By Austin Payne
The Lakers finally lost again, albeit in a somewhat close game to probably the best overall team in the league where we saw the coming out party of uh the splash freak, they still lost.
This was a very valid and well fought loss to a quality opponent by my assessment. You’re able to keep pace with one of the best teams in the NBA who has size, depth, defense, offense, versatility, oh and, Giannis. Speaking of Giannis, he hit five of eight three point attempts in this game, which is obviously something we’ve all been waiting to see from him, an improvement or even competent three ball. He’s up to 32% from deep this year and if the season ended today that would be a career high. Splashing 5 on Lebron and AD in a high profile matchup will definitely be a talking point.
The Lakers lack of depth showed a bit in this game where although Anthony Davis dropped 36, he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from deep or even on a few mid range attempts that seemed way off. Make no mistake about the fact that Anthony Davis is a skilled player who has a Jumper and can do more than just play on the block, but…he’s not exactly Steph Curry, and taking off balance or bad attempts are not going to be his forte. Danny Green made a surprise appearance on offense and gave them 21, while LeBron did the same on somewhat of a rough shooting night, understandably so.
Outside of this, the only guy that really gave them much in the way of scoring was the often maligned KCP, who put up 18 and has been playing much better since being inserted into the starting lineup and given a consistent role. Four. That’s all i’m going to say. Kidding, but seriously, four bench points. For the entire game. Rondo and Dwight both got a bucket, but that’s it, and if we’re being honest, the bench really wasn’t given many opportunities.
Rondo, Howard, and Caruso all garnered roughly 15 minutes of playing time, but Anthony Davis, in his first game back from injury mind you, was asked to play 43. Lebron Played his Typical 36 as did the other starters outside of starter in name only Javale Mcgee, and it really made prominent the lack of scoring depth this team has. They have great big man depth, good defensive players, and let’s not forget Kuzma was out, but outside of Lebron, AD, and sometimes Kuzma, who could you depend on to get you a bucket?
Nobody outside of those two on this roster is a player who you’d say, yeah, he can just score. Even LBJ and AD are limited. Lebron isn’t a “guard” and AD certainly is not, neither has that ball handling or maneuverability. They truly need someone who can push the pace with ease and score on ball without help. Think of Lou Williams, Terrance Ross, George Hill maybe, just supplemental bench guys who give great offensive help. They have none of this. The closest thing to it is maybe Quinn Cook, who they refuse to play consistently.
These problems come to light in a game like this, and teams like these are exactly who you’ll be having to face come playoff time. We understand that some teams have the luxury of rookie contracts and vet minimums on their hands, but there are also teams that don’t who simply obtain the right pieces through shrewd business minded actions. The Lakers assembled a good roster, but not a great one, and if they do find themselves in the finals against this team…well, LeBron might just lose another one.