James Worthy has blasted the LA Lakers for squandering a 26-point lead in their loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. The former Lakers player was scathing in his assessment of the team's performance following their disappointing loss to the Thunder.
The Lakers seem unable to figure things out at the moment, and are seemingly unable to get on the same page at both ends of the court. They led the Thunder by 26 points after the first half. But they squandered the lead in a dismal third quarter, getting outscored 41-23 by a young, inexperienced Thunder team ranking in the bottom half of the table.
The Lakers' lack of energy, drive and concentration led to their disappointing defeat, infuriating fans, former players and analysts such as James Worthy. Here is what Worthy had to say about the Lakers' performance in his post-match analysis on SportsNet:
“This is really ugly, I don't have a whole lot to say. I'd put them on the greyhound and let them drive back to LA to think about it. You cannot perform like that; you can't be a Laker and perform like they did tonight."
The Lakers have had a top-five defense over the past few seasons, but have been disappointing at that end of the court this campaign. They leaked points in the paint despite having dominant interior defenders such as Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard.
They conceded 54 points in the paint against a Thunder side that lacks a reliable center. The Lakers allowed the likes of Josh Giddey and Darius Bazely to drive into the paint at will without any resistance. This was a key reason why they blew their significant lead and eventually lost the game.
Incidentally, it marked the first time in 231 games, including playoffs, spanning 25 seasons that the Lakers squandered a 25-point lead in a game.
The Lakers are now 2-3 on the season. The loss to the Thunder snapped their two-game win streak after they started their 2021-22 campaign with consecutive losses.
"You cannot disrespect the worst team in the league" - LA Lakers legend James Worthy
Lakers legend, Hall-of-Famer and three-time NBA champion James Worthy knows what it takes to don the revered purple and gold and succeed in a hyper-competitive environment such as Los Angeles.
Worthy tore the LA Lakers to shreds for disrespecting the OKC Thunder, saying every team in the league, regardless of their position in the standings, demands respect. The former player said that the Lakers should have come out strong in the second half and put the game to bed.
Instead, the Lakers inexplicably allowed the young Thunder team to come roaring back into the contest. Worthy said:
“You have to finish the job, regardless of who you are playing. You cannot disrespect the worst team in the league. In fact, you make sure you put them away, like, let them know they don't have a chance."
"I think the Lakers came out with that mentality, but I don't know what happened, they kinda just disrespected these young guys.”
The Lakers need to ensure they continue playing at a high level without compromising on intensity. If not, it's going to be a long and arduous season filled with losses and disappointments for the Lakers Nation.
The LA Lakers next take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, where they'll hope to return to winning ways.
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