The Los Angeles Lakers need to do something—anything—to stop their relentless slide into the Western Conference basement.
On the heels of their sixth loss in a row—the 12th in their past 13 games—on Wednesday at Phoenix, the Lakers called a team meeting to get on the same page, according ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin.
The first order of business was the in-game incident on Wednesday; Lakers swingman Nick Young received a one-game suspension for throwing a punch at Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic.
After the game, Young let it be known that he was disappointed with his Lakers teammates for failing to come to his aid in the scuffle when he was surrounded by angry Suns. No team wants to see its dirty laundry aired in public, particularly when the subject is teammates not having each other's backs.
But Young seemed much more calm when he addressed the media after the team meeting. Per McMenamin: "I think we all know what to do now in situations like that," Young said. "Once we talked, we aired it out and we're all good."
Point guard Kendall Marshall, who looked particularly bad loitering around the court in the video footage of the Young fight, had a good laugh at the incident. "I thought it was hilarious," Marshall said. "You look at it and it does look really bad."
But Marshall reiterated that he has Young's back.
Of course, the Lakers have far more pressing issues than brawling. And head coach Mike D'Antoni addressed those concerns. Per McMenamin:
We talked about it. It's just, we need to be more aggressive. Not, per se, in fighting, but being more aggressive in playing. It really just kind of showed that we don't have enough fight in the dog right now.
The Lakers have many of the symptoms of a team without much fight. According to Basketball-Reference.com, L.A. ranks 26th in the league in defensive efficiency, 26th in offensive rebounding rate and 29th in defensive rebounding rate.
The Lakers are a soft team right now, particularly without their leader, Kobe Bryant. There is not a lot that can be done with the roster they are putting on the court right now, meetings or no meetings.