LOS ANGELES — There are no surprises. No secrets. Mike D’Antoni put it rather bluntly.
"We knew it was coming," the Lakers head coach said of the team’s seven-game Grammy trip. "We looked at it in August so it didn’t sneak up on us."
The road swing begins with a back-to-back at Phoenix on Wednesday night. There will be two additional back-to-backs on the trip as well.
If there’s anything to take from that, it’s that the Lakers have won three of five games on the second night of back-to-backs this season. However, nothing’s a given, and at this point the team simply needs to find itself on the opposite end of the loss column.
"We have to somehow get a win," Nick Young said. "That’s all there is about it. We have to stay with it (and) don’t give up. It’s too early in the season to give up, and just go into the gym and lay an egg every night. We still have to play with pride, go out there, and compete. We have to do it for the fans."
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Being in a slump as the Lakers are currently in — losers of 11 of their last 12 and five in a row — the question always arises: Is it or is it not a good time to be going on such an extended road trip?
Some players say yes.
"We haven’t really been bonding since we’ve been here lately, so now since we’re on the road trip we have a chance to get together, show some love to each other, and just make it happen," Jordan Hill said.
Although the Grammy trip is upon them, a more pressing issue isn’t so much being on the road as much as it is the injuries.
Kendall Marshall remains the only healthy point guard currently on the roster. Pau Gasol was a game-time decision in Tuesday night’s loss to Cleveland with a strained toe tendon, and Xavier Henry is still at least another week away with a knee injury.
If there is light at the end of the tunnel, it’s that Kobe Bryant’s six-week window for his fractured left knee expires at the conclusion of the trip. Bryant’s possible return at the end of the month could coincide with a return of Steve Nash as well.
It’s too early in the season to give up and just go into the gym and lay an egg every night.
-- Nick Young
In the meantime, the Lakers will have to face their longest trip of the year short on ammo.