The Los Angeles Lakers (6-6) will look to avoid their second straight loss when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies (8-2) on Friday. The initial honeymoon period between new coach Mike D'Antoni and the Lakers may now be over, as the team will look to rebound after a tough loss to the last place Sacramento Kings. Los Angeles will face the Western Conference division's top team in the Grizzlies after losing to its worst in the Kings.
Under D'Antoni's supervision, the Lakers won their first three games. His continued recovery from knee replacement surgery postponed his arrival along with his debut on the sidelines, which ultimately came on Tuesday in a 95-90 home victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
However, Wednesday was a different story as the Lakers gave up 20 turnovers and also allowed a season-low 54.3 percent shooting percentage in their 113-97 loss to Sacramento.
"I think you always have a little bit of shock when a guy comes in new, and so you start off all like puppies out there. Now it's back to reality a little bit," D'Antoni explained to ESPN.
While the coach is still on crutches, it was his star players who seemingly had trouble moving along to his fast-paced offense.
Dwight Howard only had four field-goal attempts in 41 minutes, finishing with a mere seven points and nine rebounds, which followed a streak of five consecutive double-doubles.
Pau Gasol didn't fare any better with eight points while shooting 3-for-10. The Lakers are now 0-4 when he's scored fewer than 10.
Despite Los Angeles' overall troubles, Kobe Bryant still managed to put up 38 points and shot 11 for 20.
"It seemed like we were a little lethargic for whatever reason. We just have to push through it, particularly the second unit, especially while Dwight is in there. You don't have to go to as many pick-and-rolls, really, just dump the ball down to him and let him operate," Bryant said.
CLICK HERE to watch the Los Angeles Lakers face off against the Memphis Grizzlies via free live stream. Coverage of the game is set to begin at 5 p.m. PT on Friday, Nov. 23.