James Worthy Eviscerates the Lakers After Crushing Loss to Rockets: ‘I Think They Realize They Can’t Win’

As much as LeBron James and his teammates are focused on championship contention, the Los Angeles Lakers are playing nowhere near that level. The Lakers are falling further below the .500 mark, nearly tittering out of the play-in tournament altogether.

They further sank their lofty aspirations after an embarrassing loss to the lowly Houston Rockets. All of that led Hall of Famer James Worthy to dish out a harsh dose of reality.

Lakers fall to a disappointing overtime loss to the Rockets

The Lakers hoped LeBron James’ return after a one-game absence would lift them back in the right direction, but that wasn’t the case.

The Rockets performed like a team that wasn’t sitting in last place in the Western Conference. Instead, their youthful roster led by rookie Jalen Green’s career-high 32 points controlled the contest. Houston torched Los Angeles defensively, scoring 139 points on 51.0% shooting, including 42.5% from three-point range.

Despite that, the Lakers had a chance to secure the win in regulation, but Carmelo Anthony’s missed a mid-range jumper at the buzzer. The Rockets controlled overtime, scoring 19 points while shooting 5-of-5 from beyond the arc.

The defeat marked the Lakers 13th in the last 17 games while pushing the team to nine straight road losses. After the contest, James Worthy finally unloaded the harsh truth upon the franchise.

James Worthy eviscerates the Lakers after crushing loss to Rockets

The criticism has grown louder as the Lakers move through a disappointing season.

Hall of Famer James Worthy continues to dish out reality checks concerning the team’s fate ahead throughout it all. After Wednesday’s embarrassing loss to the lowly Rockets, Worthy finally admitted that Los Angeles is playing like a squad who knows they can’t meet the championship expectations.

“At the beginning of the season, there was a lot expectations of this team to win,” Worthy said. “And I think they are at a point where they know they’re not going to meet those expectations. Even without AD and the injuries and all that, it’s not an excuse. They should be better than this. All the things that they’ve experienced, injuries, protocol. They still should be somewhere around 6 or 7 in my opinion.

“They didn’t start out the season serious, with preseason, they were waiting around. Now I think they realize they can’t win. This is what I’m seeing. They can’t beat the Suns or the best teams. I don’t know man, they’re not dead on arrival, but they just don’t have that tenacity, they don’t have that will to play their way out of this, even to get into the play-in game. You would think they might be able to with a healthy team. It doesn’t seem like they believe in anything they are doing.”

The Lakers players have kept the conversation focused toward reaching the postseason. However, their performance has exemplified a team that is nowhere near a championship contender, while realistically shouldn’t be vying for the playoffs if not for the play-in tournament.

Notable injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis have played a huge factor, but it goes much deeper than that. The Lakers don’t play with consistent effort or fluidity on either end of the court and are destined to fall short in the play-in tournament. As frustrating as it’s been for the fan base, that is the reality.

Lakers are playing with fire with their playoff aspirations

The Lakers hold zero wiggle room to keep their playoff aspirations alive.

Los Angeles sits only 1.5 games ahead of the 10th seeded New Orleans Pelicans and holds a three-game advantage over the Portland Trail Blazers. Keep in mind the team recently suffered a blowout home loss to the Pelicans.

The Lakers may have LeBron James leading the charge, but the organization can’t hang their hat on him covering all their deficiencies behind his ageless performance. Meanwhile, there remains no clarity concerning when Anthony Davis will return or, if at all, before the end of the regular season.

With 17 games left, Los Angeles needs to start piling up wins if there is any hope to reach the play-in tournament, let alone the playoffs. A strong sense of desperation nowhere near describes how the Lakers must approach the final stretch.

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