Red and White On Lakers’ Back

Luke Walton on Kevin DurantWith the Lakers set to play 10-of-13 games on the road after Friday’s home game vs. Minnesota, we wonder how much harder it is to win on the road with a giant target draped across a team’s back?

Clearly, with their 21-8 road record standing out as the league’s best, getting a given opponent’s best effort hasn’t been too much of a problem for L.A. … Yet and still, the Lakers logo has been at the center of the white and red circles throughout this particular season: Arenas are sold out every game, opposing fans are charged to the nth degree and players around the league consistently want to prove themselves against the only team other than Boston that boasts both elite talent and tradition.

One of the questions we asked Luke Walton is if opposing teams have gotten this revved up against the previous Lakers teams in his career, or if the team’s skill level this season is afforded more effort? Furthermore, does this help excuse road losses like L.A. suffered in Denver and Phoenix, games in which both opponents played as if losing would result in, I don’t know, the loss of that game’s check? Or was that simple fatigue resulting from a February out of their California nookie-blankie?

What do you think, Luke?