The Los Angeles Lakers' struggle to find consistency hasn't gotten any easier since the trade deadline passed and the buyout market came to a crawl.
That's not a surprise for forward Andre Drummond, who joined the Lakers after getting bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers last month. After defeating the Charlotte Hornets, 101-93, on Tuesday, Drummond explained building chemistry will take time. Until then, L.A. can focus on playing tough defense like it did against the Hornets.
On Tuesday, that defense held Charlotte to 25.7 percent behind the arc, forced 18 turnovers while building an 11-point lead.
That's not to say the Lakers didn't show flashes of offensive chemistry on Tuesday. L.A. shot 41.5 percent from the floor—36.4 percent from three—and assisted on 24 of their 34 made field goals.
"We're still learning," Drummond said. "I'm still learning. Still trying to figure it out. For a team that has so many people out right now and guys that are hurt, we're still finding ways to pull it together and win. It just shows the fight and grind that we have here."
LeBron James (ankle) and Anthony Davis (Achilles) both remain out and there's no question the Lakers' entire game plan will take a dramatic shift once they return. With two of the best players in the NBA stepping back onto the court, it'd be foolish to believe otherwise.
The Lakers are 6-4 in their last ten games and holding onto fifth place in the Western Conference. As the defending champions try to get healthy for another deep playoff run, their newest acquisition is trying to keep things simple by working hard on defense. The rest will only get easier after that.