Carmelo Anthony Calls out Lakers After Blowout Loss

Russell Westbrook DeAndre Jordan

Getty Carmelo Anthony has been a consistent performer for the L.A. Lakers.

There is plenty of blame to go around for the Los Angeles Lakers’ recent skid, but Carmelo Anthony had an interesting explanation for their blowout loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. During his postgame press conference, Anthony was candid as he called out his team’s competitive drive against the Blazers.

“Just playing basketball, I think for the most part tonight we just we didn’t play basketball,” Anthony admitted. “We didn’t just go out there and compete. We didn’t play hard, only played in spurts. Those guys came out hitting all cylinders, especially in that first half to get that big lead. But, it’s gonna be like that, this is part of the game.

“We don’t know who’s going to be in here, we don’t know. We can’t control injuries, we can’t control what guys are going through physically. So, it is next man up, it sounds cliche but it is what it is. We still got to go out there and compete.”

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Howard: ‘Every Night the Effort Has to be There’

Anthony was not the only player to question the Lakers’ effort. Dwight Howard also mentioned the team’s competitiveness in his postgame media session.

“Dwight Howard used the word ‘effort’ nine times in his postgame remarks, and said ‘no excuses’ at least three times,” SB Nation’s Harrison Faigen tweeted. “He also repeatedly said that the Lakers need to ‘be humble’ and have ‘humility,’ leading to an interesting exchange between him and [ESPN’s Dave McMenamin].”

Howard’s full comments emphasized that the entire team needs to “play harder” during “every possession.” The Lakers big man also shot down the notion that the Lakers have a built-in excuse with LeBron James and Anthony Davis both sidelined.

“Everybody just got to be ready to play no matter who’s on the court,” Howard explained. “You got to play harder, everyone [who] steps on the court, every possession has to matter and just got to play harder, that’s it. …I mean, every night the effort has to be there. Like I said, it just has to matter, everything, at every possession, every minute that we have on the floor has to matter.”

Westbrook: ‘Just Gotta Play Harder’

Russell Westbrook also noted that he needed to “play harder” but the point guard’s comments were more directed at himself than the team as a whole. The Lakers point guard emphasized that he is still trying to adjust to playing with his new teammates.

“Yeah, I mean, just from my perspective, just probably just gotta play harder,” Westbrook detailed after the Lakers’ loss to the Blazers. “Strictly just speaking for myself, do a better job just being me consistently and not confiding my game or how I play because it just doesn’t work for a team. It doesn’t work, just in general, just doesn’t put me in a position or a pace that I need to play at to be better [for] my teammate[s]. So, that’s just something I need to make sure I’m consistently doing.”

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