5 Things I Liked

Been nutso at work so kind of checked out for a hot minute. Loved that game last night.

1) Kyle Kuzm’a very, very good evening. Dude was on fire from all over and the best part about that scoring out put is that it very much came from within the offense. Kyle sitting out the 4th was so very Kobe, “Nah, I can score points tomorrow, let MB get some.”

2) Michael Beasley finding some inner peace on the basketball court. Many athletes find something like their old selves on their chosen field of battle. It’s a place where idle thoughts are sublimated by reaction and anticipation and where the hours of training for a certain skill to become rote lay in wait to be deployed. Watching Michael last night was a truly joyous moment as a hoops fan. Happy belated birthday, sir.

3) Lonzo Ball. You know, I got down on him for is ‘4 shots in 35 minutes’ lack of aggression game the other night and all he did in this win was, statistically, replicate that line. Granted he yanked down 5 more rebounds and used the 4th to either let Beasley do his thing or set up teammates. The difference was the purpose and intensity with which he played, he was calling out play, active all over and looked as much like a playoff quarterback as an NBA point guard. Great game for Mr. Ball.

4) Josh Hart taking chest hits and barely budging. Josh has more than a little junkyard dog in him. Didn’t score or a ton but played stellar defense.

5) 4th quarter garbage time for the starters, a win that was forged from the identity of the team, and best of all a home win without LeBron. There’s nothing these Lakers can do to even come close to replicating the shine and gravitas LeBron James brings to a basketball court. But when they play as a unit they can be tough to beat. This ragtag group of rebels looked a lot more cohesive and engaged last night. Keep it up.