The Los Angeles Lakers got back to winning ways on January 31, courtesy of their overtime victory over the New York Knicks.
When speaking to the media as part of his post-game press conference, Tom Thibodeau provided his thoughts on the Lakers roster and how they managed to break down New York’s defense in the final minutes of the contest.
“You got LeBron James, and you got Anthony Davis, you got two unbelievable players who command a lot of attention, so, it’s going to change the game. Westbrook’s another guy that hurt you off the dribble; Schroder can hurt you off the dribble. And so, we knew we would be tested in that way, the way they can attack the paint, we knew we had to keep our defense tight…When you have those type of players that can go off the dribble on you, keeping the ball out of the middle of the floor is the challenge,” Thibodeau said.
Despite picking up the victory, the Lakers still find themselves sitting in 13th place in the Western Conference, two games behind the New Orleans Pelicans, who occupy the final play-in spot.
LeBron James Takes Another Shot At Boston Celtics
When speaking to the media following the Lakers’ victory, LeBron James noted how the difference between their overtime against the Knicks and the one against the Boston Celtics was the involvement (or lack of) of the referees.
“They made plays, and you know, Jalen Brunson took a charge, we got a stop. The game was decided by the players. In Boston, the game was decided by the refs. So, it was more demoralizing…What happened in Boston was what happened. Tonight the game was decided in the end of regulation by the players,” LeBron said.
Now, the Lakers will be hoping that their hard-fought victory over New York will be a turning point in their season and that their healthy-again roster can begin stringing wins together to help them climb into the post-season picture.
Jeanie Buss Understands LeBron James’ Frustration
Throughout the season, LeBron has often cut a frustrated figure, both on the court and during media availabilities. When speaking on K[no]w Mercy with Stephen A. Smith, Jeanie Buss detailed her understanding of LeBron’s current mentality, noting how the 38-year-old superstar simply wants to win at the highest level.
“I mean, unless he’s winning, he’s not going to be happy. That’s him. That’s what drives him. And I could see why he would be frustrated. We’re all frustrated with, you know, we’re down four starters, and he’s our only remaining starter, and he’s gotta show up and play. And, the burden’s on him,” Buss said.
Fortunately for LeBron and the Lakers, there is still plenty of time for their season to take off, especially given how close the Western Conference is. If Anthony Davis can rediscover his MVP-level form, LeBron can stay healthy, and Russell Westbrook continues his resurgence off the bench, there is no reason to doubt the Lakers’ ability to sneak into the playoffs and begin making noise.