Los Angeles Lakers added a third consecutive defeat, this time, by beating at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, 133-96, during the night of Saturday. The legendary, former Lakers figure, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, turned to social networks to criticize what the Los Angeles team showed on the court.
“After being blown out by the Nuggets 133-96, we as Lakers fans can accept being outplayed, but we deserve so much more than that lack of effort and no sense of urgency. Owner, Jeanie Buss, you deserve better than this.” Johnson said on social media.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 16, 2022
In the face of Magic’s criticism on social media, Russell Westbrook responded at a post-match press conference after being questioned about it.
“Every person in the world is entitled to their opinion, regardless of what it is. You can take the opinion and do something, or take it and have it go in one ear and out the other, or not respond. Magic can have their opinion, but he’s not here every day with us, he’s not aware of what’s going on internally as we try to figure out how to be better,” Russell said.
Indirectly, Russell had already given Magic Johnson some reason, because at the beginning of the press conference, the experienced point guard accepted that the team must play harder.
“We have to play hard. Sometimes tactics don’t matter and you just have to play hard. Teams are playing us with intensity and we have to defend better,” said Russell who had 19 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in the loss. “We have to be tough and we haven’t been.”
The Nuggets hurt the Lakers in all facets, they had a great night offensively, both in the paint and from the perimeter with 23 three-pointers made. Denver finished with seven players in double figures.
“We must build on our strengths, communicate better,” said the veteran Dwight Howard after the defeat. “They ‘killed’ us in transition, with dots in the paint, with everything and that ‘Joker’ (Nikola Jockic) was playing on the outside, the others were coming into the paint, we have to get up and fight.”
With the loss, the Lakers once again dropped their winning percentage below .500 with a negative record of 21-22 on the season. Their next game will be a very tough one against the Utah Jazz on Monday.
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Westbrook responds to criticism of Magic Johnson