Trail Blazers: Blazers head coach Terry Stotts says it's hard to get a handle for where his team really is on the defensive end due to the league's uptick in pace and scoring so far this season. League sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin that Johnson's message to Walton increased the pressure on the coach to deliver winning results sooner rather than later, an about-face from Johnson's public comments regarding patience at the outset of training camp.
The Lakers started the season 3-5, and a recent two-game skid reportedly prompted Johnson to chide Walton for the team's performance.
The Lakers almost bungled a 20-point lead with under ten minutes in the game (last night), with LeBron scoring 10 of his 28 points in the 4th quarter to seal the win.
Saturday was their first road win of the season against a team with a winning record against a Portland team riding a 3-game win streak and playing some of the best ball in the National Basketball Association over the opening stretch of the season.
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Asked if he believed he retained support of management, Walton replied: "I feel like I have a great relationship with management". Even a victory in just one of those two games would have given the team four wins in five games and had them trending in the right direction.
"What we discuss in our meetings is between us, but. we have been saying since the beginning, we're going to be patient", Walton said. "We kind of just let them have their way and that was the obvious time to tighten up - when we wasn't making shots". J.J. Barea missed a 3-pointer for Dallas as time expired, and the Lakers (3-5) stopped a two-game skid.
"It's Halloween so we had to give the crowd a scare, I guess", said James. "That's not where we're at as a group, so a lot of it is feel", Walton noted. "We know this is going to happen. Unless you hold a team to 80 or 90 you'll always find things you have to get better at".
"We need to figure out how we can string together some great games or even good games and bring our win total from where it is now. So none of that stuff matters to me", he added.
The coach likes what he has seen from the starting lineup of James, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and JaVale McGee in the past two games but knows things could still be fluid over the next few weeks.