5 Things I Liked

Nice way to close out 2018, with a W. Solid contributions all around as we finish out the year with a record of 21-16. Let’s look at some fun numbers:

1) 1-13, teams with LeBron on their roster were on an epic 13 game losing streak when The King couldn’t suit up. With the Lakers it was only 0-2 but the trend had continued and were talking about squads with NBA Finals pedigree. So for this group of guys to win the first game without LeBron playing since 2013 is a worthy accomplishment to recognize.

2) 18-4 with 4:30 to go. Once the game clock hit four minutes and thirty seconds the Lakers turned it on. Big time. Leading with their defense the Lakers came back from a 103-11o deficit and stole one back from Sacramento. This was a nice reminder of how team defense will be the defining characteristic of this team going forward.

3) 7. The number of “crunch time” points scored by Brandon Ingram as a part of said run. BI has been on my shyte list, lately, because he’s been playing too passively. Not last night. Right from the start Brandon was more decisive and aggressive with the ball and was making great reads with timely passes to the tune of 9 assists. When the team needed it he scored the rock to the tune of 21 points and he grabbed 7 boards. Brandon had great game within the flow of it. Also, this:

4) KCP’s 26 points to lead the team. It’s been an up and down season for the young vet but this team needs more nights like this from Mr. Pope. While he may not have been our most efficient scorer he was aggressive all game long.

5) Josh Hart’s 17 points in the 1st half, a career high for any half for Mr. Hart. While the team struggled to find it’s defensive footing Josh Hart did a lot to keep the game close. He was as aggressive as I’ve ever seen him play over the first 2 quarters. Good stuff.

All in all a very good start to the 2018-19 campaign. Injuries and suspensions could have cost us more than they have. These guys are learning and improving in an environment more intense and unforgiving than almost any other in any sport: the Western conference of the NBA. They’re holding their and doing more than just treading water. While it’s very easy for us as fans to both nitpick and play favorites the plain truth of it all is the Lakers are, so far, exceeding expectations and are ahead of schedule. Could this player do better or this player do more, sure. That’s the nature of team sports and the growing pains of young players. I, for one, am enjoying the ride.

Happy New Year, Lakerholics. Be safe, love your neighbor as if he were your brother, keep your family close and in your heart and remember that the left lane is for passing and the right lane is for cruising at speed. Let’s have a great 2019!