Friday night’s loss to the Boston Celtics had some symbolic power for the Lakers and the Celtics. With the victory, the Celtics became the winningest franchise in NBA history. It’s been the Lakers since the 2000-01 season.
At its core, though, it was simply a surging team beating a struggling opponent. The Celtics have lost only four games in 2017.
Here are five takeaways from the Lakers’ loss to the Celtics.
1. The Lakers have a bad habit of allowing shooting struggles to impact their effort on defense. It happened Friday night in Boston. Nick Young explained the phenomenon a little differently Friday, attributing stagnant ball movement to defensive lapses. “It brings down your energy, and people get frustrated when they’re not touching the ball,” Young said when asked how that affects defense. “It’s sad to say, but it’s a part of basketball. Everyone wants to feel like they are part of the team.”
2. This quote from Young made it onto the Celtics quote sheet, too: “If Young were a football player he’d be a wide receiver — a Randy Moss type of guy, he said, who for sure would have won a Super Bowl.”
3. Brandon Ingram believes his recent slump was because of a lack of focus in pregame warmups and shootarounds. Ingram scored 14 points Friday, making five of 10 shots. It was the first time in six games he had reached double digits. In the previous five games, Ingram had made only five of 34 shots. “Just looking at previous games and seeing the lack of focus that I had, the lack of engagement that I had in certain games,” Ingram said, “so I just tried to come in and do something different.”
4. Ingram got to see a childhood friend Friday. He and Celtics guard Jaylen Brown used to play against each other in high school, and Ingram insists he won most of those battles. Brown played college basketball at California and was the Pac-12 freshman of the year last season. He went to high school in Georgia, and he and Ingram developed a bond because they were two of the top high school players in the country. “We definitely had numerous talks,” Ingram said of playing in the NBA. “We just always had the dream to come to this league. He went to college for himself and I went to college for myself, and it all panned out for us.”
5. Lakers guard Marcelo Huertas hadn’t played since Jan. 22, but Lakers Coach Luke Walton was really pleased with how he entered the game when he did Friday. “He’s brilliant with the ball,” Walton said. “It’s tough to get him out there a lot because we don’t have a lot of spacing with some of the lineups. And he’s really good with a small lineup where he can really playmake out there, and we had that lineup going tonight. So in a true professional manner, hadn’t played in a while, jumped out there and did everything we hoped he was going to do and played great for us.”
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