The only thing the Los Angeles Lakers have left to motivate them is ruining it for others, and while it’s difficult for this team to beat superior sides, they proved that filling your body with hate towards the opponents, which is what happened according to Nick Young, leads to some impressive results, like beating the Phoenix Suns 115-99 with Chris Kaman doing better than anyone else.
Kaman and his head coach don’t really like each other and actually aren’t talking, but Kaman usually does very well offensively when he gets the minutes, scoring 28 points and grabbed 17 rebounds as the Lakers turned on the pace against the Suns, who needed the win a lot more badly, facing a 3-way tie for the 7-8-9 spots in the Western conference with Memphis and Dallas.
Phoenix is usually a good team in this type of basketball, but instead of trying to attack the paint and the rim they went on a 3-point barrage that didn’t end well, hitting only 8-of-36 and finishing with a very poor 38.5% from the field.
Kendall Marshall, playing against the team that drafted him but didn’t give him the chance he’s getting with the Lakers kept pushing the ball forward, finishing with 11 assists and 13 points. The Lakers scored 22 fast break points, and focused on attacking the paint, finishing with 56 points near the rim, instead of being hell bent on hitting 3’s, which didn’t go so well for them either, making 5-of-18 shots.
Jodie Meeks was aggressive and finished with 22 points, including 9-of-10 from the line. The Lakers are about only spoiling it for others, because this season has shown that simply playing well and trying to earn a contract for next season isn’t enough for this team to preform at its best basketball-wise in every game.
Defense, always this team’s Achilles heel, wasn’t really needed with the Suns playing without their brains switched on. The Lakers allowed 13 offensive rebounds but still that didn’t really put any kind of threat on them, with the Suns focused on shooting from long range. Gerald Green was 3-of-9, Goran Dragic only 2-of-7 and Eric Bledsoe missed all four attempts from beyond the arc. Jeff Hornacek didn’t seem happy with the way his players decided to try and get back into the game.
Most of this group the Lakers have right now isn’t going to be together next season. Very few players will remain next to Kobe Bryant as a quick rebuild will take place, hopefully taking them not just back into the playoffs but a lot further as well. Hating on other teams seems to be the only way they feel like they have a shot of winning some games, even against favorites, from now on until the rest of the season.
We’re trying to be the player-haters of the year. That’s definitely what we’re trying to do, and we embrace it. We want to keep teams out of the playoffs and mess up seedings. That’s our motivation right now. Any type of motivation we can get to grow as a team is good for us right now.