Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton thought the Boston Celtics were showing off Friday, but he doesn’t blame them.
The Celtics handed the Lakers a 115-95 loss at Staples Center, and the game was never close. In fact, Boston had so much control over L.A.’s defense that Isaiah Thomas was able to throw an off-the-backboard alley-oop pass to Jaylen Brown, combining for a play you see more often in the All-Star Game than during the regular season.
While most teams wouldn’t take too kindly to their opponent putting on a show on their turf, Walton didn’t hold back in blaming the Lakers’ poor play for it.
“A little bit of anger, a little bit of frustration because this team is showboating on our home court because of, in my opinion, you give up those type of transition buckets if we’re not giving effort to get back, which is the reason why I pulled the starters in the third quarter,” Walton said of the Thomas-Brown play, per ESPN’s Baxter Holmes. “They stopped passing and they stopped getting back on defense. That’s not how we’re going to play. That’s not why the fans fill this arena to watch.
“Obviously, it’s not enjoyable to watch teams showboating on your home court, but if I’m them, why not? If we’re not running back on defense, rub it in our face. Hopefully, it pisses the players off, and the next time it happens, we’ll use energy to get down there to contest it.”
At the end of the day, the Lakers don’t have anything to play for sitting in last place in the Western Conference at 19-43, but it’s safe to say they’ll at least be hustling to finish out the season.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images