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LeBron James says Lakers need more sense of urgency, play better regardless of health

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The Los Angeles Lakers had championship aspirations entering the season. But through 17 games, the squad is far from playing like a contender.

Los Angeles is 8-9 with bad losses to less talented teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder and narrow escapes against teams such as the Houston Rockets.

The form L.A. had in those games has translated to blowout losses to better opponents. Though the Lakers have dealt with multiple injuries, star forward LeBron James said the unit needs to get into a rhythm now, regardless of who is available.

“No, it’s never, ‘We got 65 games left,'” James said after the 22-point loss to the Boston Celtics. “We damn sure need to play better, no matter who’s in the lineup.

“We have our system and we need to obviously fast track it and get better with it to where we can play, no matter who is out on the floor. We could play at a high level. … But there’s no level of panic.”

James added how the Lakers need to play with more seriousness for a complete game instead of letting other teams control the tempo.

“But there should be some sense of urgency anytime we hit the floor, and I felt like we had that at moments throughout this game tonight and then at some points throughout the game we didn’t,” James said. “So we got to figure how we can keep that sense of urgency for as close to 48 minutes as possible compared to the other side.”

James’ comments are different from what Russell Westbrook had to say after the loss to Boston. Westbrook said even though the media has rightfully high expectations for the team, the reality is that there are 14 new players trying to adjust to each other’s styles. Players have no idea when things will start clicking, he added.

LeBron and Westbrook have played seven games together, so they, just like the rest of the team, need to get more games under their belt.

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