Luke Walton didn’t see the mentality he’s looking for in Lakers’ win over Hawks
The Los Angeles Lakers are better than expected this 2018. Beginning January 7th, they are 15-7 and are once again riding a three-game winning streak.
Monday night’s 123-104 routing of the Atlanta Hawks looked great as well, as nine players scored in double figures, three had double-doubles, and their defense held the opposition to only 37.3 percent shooting.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton is pleased with the performance, but he’s not ready to dish out compliments just yet. In the post-game interviews, he questioned his team’s “mentality.”
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) February 27, 2018
“Good win, but we’ve got to be much better. That’s not the road mentality we talk about. The two biggest things for our road mentality and what we try to work on as a group are not turning the ball over and not fouling. We were awful in both of those tonight. Atlanta had a lot of open shots they missed in the first half, so we were able to get a lead. I liked the pace we played at, it was just more sloppy than I’d like, and I think our group knows we have to be better than that.”
Though he may have sounded too critical, Walton is right on the money with his assessment. It did look like that they caught a break by having several things come their way, as the Hawks — currently 23rd in field goal shooting — shot way worse than expected. The “sloppy” play, meanwhile, saw the Lakers commit 23 turnovers, their third-highest this season.
The Purple and Gold will be back on the hardwood on Thursday when they visit the Miami Heat. It will be the first of 10 playoff teams they’ll be facing in the next three weeks.