Los Angeles Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt admitted that his team is running out of time in the ongoing season. The Lakers still have 12 games to go in the regular season but they fell to a 34-36 record after their 114-110 loss against Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.
In fact, the Rockets had come into this match with only 16 wins, the joint lowest along with Detroit Pistons in the league.
But the Lakers were without the services of LeBron James (right foot), Anthony Davis (right foot) and Mo Bamba (left ankle) and they couldn’t bring their best to the court against the Rockets.
“We just got to play the game like it’s our last,” said forward Jarred Vanderbilt, who had 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in the loss. “We’re running out of time. I mean I know we got 12 games left? We have no more freebies. We never had none to begin with. We need all these games.”
On the other hand, the Lakers head coach Darvin Ham admitted his team lacked the hunger and intent on the court against the Rockets.
“We’ve talked about it and I’ve said it before games, after games, non-game days: energy, effort and urgency,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “And I thought coming out of the gates that kind of was nonexistent.”
Houston outscored L.A. 78-46 in the paint and Ham reckons it led to his team’s downfall.
“It’s a product of us not being good on the ball,” Ham said. “That individual pride it takes to keep the ball in front and guys behind you know that the paint is the priority. This team lives in the paint. The Houston Rockets live in the paint. … And we preached that to them before the game.”
Ham believes the offense will automatically struggle if the team’s defense is out of place.
“When you struggle defensively and you’re playing against a set defense, the offense is going to struggle,” Ham said. “You’re not going to be able to be in a good rhythm.”
The Lakers will next face Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.