5 Things I Liked

Disappointing road trip, feels like the defense hasn’t been able to overcome the losses of McGee, Ingram and Rondo (in that order) and I still don’t know why we ever go small. We’re a terrible small ball team.

1) The imminent return of Ingram (7 games missed) and Rondo (17 games missed) and one must assume McGee (2 games). The Lakers were able to overcome the defense and all around game of Brandon Ingram and Rondo with the two-headed defensive monster that JaVyson McHandler morphed into, LeBron James turning back the clock for a good stretch of games and Kuzma and Hart playing well as starters. But with McGee going down for the last 2 losses, Kuzma and Hart returning to their earlier season versions and LBJ looking a little gassed by the end of the roadie we looked more like the team we saw in the first 15 than the last 16. The Lakers need some home cooking and the return of key players both of which are just over the horizon.

2) Lonzo’s best game of the year on offense. 23 points (9-16, 5-9 from three…0-2 on free throws). Only had 3 assists but that’s more of an indicator as to how the rest of the team played. Which was pretty poorly. 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 turnovers and he fouled out. Solid game and his best scoring performance in a long while and was also the 1st time all year he cracked the 20 point mark.

3) Solid game from LeBron, started slow, got a dunk stuffed in his face by Jarret Allen’s great block, only made 2-7 from 3 but the last 2 misses were just to get buckets in a poorly executed final2 minute drill

4) The number of times Luke, the staff and Rondo will get to say “Jared Dudley” in the film session associated with this game. Dudley was a clutch part of a Brooklyn bench that outscored ours 48-12. We could talk about the 10 missed free throws and number of bricked 3 pointers but where we really got our buttocks handed to us was from the Brooklyn bench. Dudley schooled our defense for a couple of times for wide open layups when there was no traditional center on the floor. We are a bad small ball team, especially without Ingram. Just not enough length.

5) Laker first half and then some. We were in this game through 2/3s of the game. Just ran out of gas. Too many injuries, too many days on the road in cities where it’s easy to miss out on some extra sleep, and the team lost a true fan in Penny Marshall. This isn’t a game to over-sweat the loss. Getting a player or 3 back, getting some home sleep and resetting for the 2 game Christmas home stand and some in-state away games. Time to turn the ship around with a strong December finish.