Missing Brandon

Last night I thought was the first game where you could see how Brandon Ingram could have been the tide turning force. His length on the perimeter might have been enough to disrupt some of those clutch shots, his ability to get to the rim was MIA and we could have used a ball handler who excels in the half-court. All of those things were missing along with too many points left on the floor in the form of blown lay ups, turnovers, and missed free throws down the stretch.

While I don’t like to pin a loss on any singular statistical category the Lakers free throw shooting has left as lot to be desired. IT missing the tech off the loose ball foul prior to the inbound, Lonzo missing 2 in the 4th quarter, KCP and Kuzma each missing one. While no single free throw made would have tipped the balance, what I’m hoping to see (at some point) is one of these guys rising to the challenge of becoming clutch.

IT has been clutch in the past but he’s nowhere near 100% and most likely will never be again so long as he opts to not get surgery done on his hip. It’s the biggest reason I’m not too high on re-signing him. For every sweet over-the-back pass to Randle for a dunk there’s a more than curious foray into the paint with nowhere to go and defenders all around him. It got to a point where IT was on the bench until those last few seconds where he subsequently bricked a free throw that would have brought us to within 2 points.

This is still a young team and wins against San Antonio on the road can be over-shadowed by a winnable game against the hated, vile Trailblazers. One of these teams had to have a streak end last night and it was ours. That’s too bad because we had control of this game until the last few minutes of the 4th quarter. Nobody stepped it up on defense and nobody was able to make a basket in what turned out to be the pivotal moment in the 4th quarter.

Lastly, why are we still playing Tyler Ennis any minutes at all? Caruso is better. Ennis has forgotten how to make an entry pass into the post, make a lay up, or do much of anything on the basketball court. Gone is the player that closed out last season so strongly. It’s too bad but his play on the court is terrible. I’d just as soon see Gary Payton II, Caruso or really anyone get those few minutes. Dude needs a change of scenery and is going to find an NBA deal hard to come by this summer. Here’s hoping we don’t guarantee that contract before July 5.

Day off and another one on Wednesday, pick up the pieces and come back hard, lads. Go Lakers.