LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers take stock after loss to Detroit Pistons


Mark the calendar: It was nine days into a seven-game road trip before the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers showed any sign of being vulnerable this season, in Thursday's 107-92 loss to the Detroit Pistons .


"I think we just weren't connected defensively at the level we were kind of supposed to be," said Kyle Kuzma , whose 22 points and 10 rebounds were spoiled by the Lakers' late collapse.


Whatever explanation might have existed for the poor showing, be it the absence of Davis, the accumulation of road weariness or the challenge of a back-to-back, James didn't want to hear it.


While no one sounded the alarm, both Kuzma and James lamented how the Lakers are still trying to find a set rotation, and because of a lack of practice time, end up experimenting with new lineups in the games.


Kuzma provided a 10,000-foot perspective, saying that losses -- even bad ones like Thursday's -- are "just the beauty of the journey" and the regular season is meant to be a rehearsal to work out the kinks before the playoffs, anyway.


And, as the Lakers' road trip stretches beyond a week and a half, he acknowledged the very real challenge of constant travel.






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