Energy continued to be an issue in this game. It’s hard to get amped for a comeback during the game when you’re used to having the crowd cheer you on and energize you. Without a real crowd to amp you up, it’s sometimes hard to have that mental toughness required to make a final push. AD had 8 points in another struggle fest for him. Even AD at 50% would have been enough to win this one, though I don’t think we even got AD at 10% today.
One of the biggest issues the Lakers have to watch out for is over-reliance on LeBron’s production. When LeBron was on the court he was a +13 today, and when AD was on the court he was a -20. That will not result in wins, let alone playoff wins. Dwight Howard brought back his double-double effort here and is beginning to look more like himself in each game. The bench production wasn’t there in today’s game and that is going to need to change if the Lakers have hopes for progressing in the playoffs. AD at least took ownership of the poor performance and acknowledged that he needs to improve.
Let’s hope this turns around, quickly.