The Los Angeles Lakers were dealt a tough hand on Tuesday before their game against the Phoenix Suns. Shortly before the game started, the team found out they wouldn’t have Marc Gasol because of the NBA’s Health and Safety protocols. After they found that out, it was revealed that Kyle Kuzma would miss the game with a heel contusion.
Add that to the fact that Anthony Davis isn’t playing and the Lakers had a really hard time against the Suns. Los Angeles ended up losing 114-104.
With all the recent injuries, Markieff Morris has been able to start for a few games, including Tuesday’s game against the Suns. Despite the loss, he didn’t blame the referees.
“I don’t know man, you’ll go crazy trying to figure the refs out,” Morris said, via The OC Register. “But they had nothing to do with us losing tonight.”
While Morris wasn’t ready to hand out blame to referees, he did have some harsh criticism.
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Morris Rips His Defensive Play
The Lakers haven’t been a great team on offense this season but their defense is elite. Ever since Frank Vogel took over as head coach prior to last season, the team has put a ton of pride into how they play defense. Morris was not happy with how he played on Tuesday.
“Offensively I made some shots,” Morris said. “Defensively I played like s***. My worst defensive game in a long time.”
Morris has never been known as an elite defender but he’s usually solid on that end of the floor.
“I had an undisciplined defensive game,” Morris said. “That’s not in my character. I was a little tired. I just made a bunch of mental mistakes. I think it kind of led to breaking our defense down.”
The Suns’ power forwards had a very productive day. Jae Crowder scored 15 points and Dario Saric scored 21. That’s not all on Morris but he definitely didn’t do his part to slow either of those guys down. Vogel is all about defense so having bad defensive games won’t bode well for Morris’ future as a starter.
LeBron James Set to Miss 1st Game of Season
All-Star weekend can’t get here fast enough for the Lakers. After an excellent start to the season, the team has hit a bit of a rut. They’ve lost six of their last nine games, and are getting hit by the NBA’s Health and Safety protocols and injuries lately. The Lakers have one more game before the break but they won’t have LeBron James. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the superstar will be sitting out his first game of the season on Wednesday.
LeBron won’t be getting the extra time off for All-Star weekend because he’ll be playing in the All-Star game on Sunday. It’s likely that the Lakers are giving him the night off so that he can have some extra time to rest before the team starts the second half of their schedule. With so many players possibly out against the Kings, it might not be the prettiest game for Los Angeles.