In the 108-86 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers got off to a slow start for the second consecutive game.
While the Lakers are dealing with major injuries, it does not excuse their effort as they trailed 15-1 to start the game. As Ingram scored all of his 13 points in the second quarter, Ball did not score on his four shot attempts. He did register 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
With the Lakers losing five out of their last six games, head coach Luke Walton is asking a lot from them and is looking for a leader to emerge amid injuries to LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, and Kyle Kuzma.
After disappointing performances by Ingram and Ball, Walton assessed how they have played overall during the team’s last six games and again called for more, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“They’re trying, but they’re young. At some point, we need more passion, we need more fight. That’s not scoring more. That’s more diving for loose balls, communicating loudly. Brandon had some really nice crack-back rebounds tonight that we could get out and run. We need that all the time from him. It’s not just them, but until we get healthy again, you gotta play in this league with some passion and fire to win. It’s hard to win in this league when you’re healthy, so you gotta give double that effort when guys are down.”
With both players being just 21 years old and naturally quiet, this is a major test for them. While Ingram and Ball still have potential, they are quickly realizing it requires more than just scoring to lead the Lakers to wins in the competitive Western Conference.
It will be worth watching how they respond to Walton’s comments as the Lakers face the Dallas Mavericks on Monday in the second of a back-to-back.
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