The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Charlotte Hornets 121-115 on Monday. That is the Hornets’ second straight loss at home, and it was a rough game for the team all the way around. A few different lapses in transition defense and some questionable shot selection killed this team in the early proceedings. They were down by 15 at the half and were playing from behind the entire game. With that, both Terry Rozier and Dennis Smith Jr. think the team have a lot to fix, specifically their slow start.
“It’s like every game has become predictable for us. It’s like we don’t have a way to play, and then sometimes we’ll start defending when our back is against the wall, which is in the fourth quarter,” Rozier said. “It’s tough. We’re playing against the best players in the world and you can’t just turn it on whenever you want to. We’ve got a lot of talent, but we’re not disciplined and stuff like that. It kind of puts us on the back burner, so we’ve got to clean it up from the beginning and play with that toughness, that edginess from the beginning and can’t wait.”
Falling behind big in games early just generates an insurmountable leads that the Hornets have to attempt to fight back into games. This is unfortunately a bad trend they need to break. The Hornets are now 10-28 on the season and things are not going to get any easier for this team. Still both Rozier and Dennis Smith Jr. believe it is possible for the team to turn things around.
“We’ve just got to figure it out,” Terry Rozier said. “We’ve got to figure it out, ain’t nobody going to figure it out for us. The guys in the locker room, we’ve got to really get together and watch film tomorrow, and figure this stuff out because it’s not going to get easier. We play Memphis on Wednesday, one of the toughest teams in the league right now. We’ve just got to figure it out, and we will.”
Dennis Smith Jr. added: “I think it comes down to buying in. We’ve got a coach who really believes in our guys and the way he sees the game and how we should win games. I agree with him 100 percent. I think once everybody buys into that – and you know things are different, it’s kind of a change of pace of how the team was last year, how it is now, and how coach coaches us – I think once we buy in, we’ll have a really good team. We do have the personnel.”
There is work to be done and it needs to happen as soon as possible. It will surely be an uphill battle, but nothing is impossible. The Hornets just need to have the one-game-at-a-time mentality and see what this team is really made of.