5 Things I Liked

Well that was fun up until the 4th, somehow we let Wiggins shake loose and after we got down 10 the game was pretty much over. Minny has had our number all season and the Lakers are really starting to slide down in the standings. Wasn’t too thrilled with the officiating all around in this one but that is life in the NBA. Here goes.

1) Welcome back Rajon Rondo! He of the only played in 15 Lakers games all season, including this one. Rondo was excellent as both a floor leader and release valve on offense. His game-high 13 assists were great and to top that off he only had 2 turnovers but the team truly floundered whenever he went to the bench. Still not sure why the Lakers try and force Lance into the PG role and don’t play either Caruso or Bonga at this point, he’s just so much more effective not trying to do too much and once he has that ball it’s real hard for him not to try and iso and get to the rim. I’d also have staggered Ingram and Rondo’s minutes more.

2) The frustrated tone in the voice of whatever person goes over the lack of boxing out that just about every Laker had one instance of. I imagine it will be a combination of pitchy annoyance coupled with a dash of patience and nurturing but generally laden and dripping with sarcasm. Just like this ‘like’. ;)

3) Brandon Ingram’s slow-down/speed up moves. The dude can be like a snake-charmer out there when he’s on. Sometimes missed shots take him out of his game but having Rondo out there to lessen his PG duties I thought BI looked a lot more like himself. But where I find Ingram lacking is the fact that we’ve already seen this, I’ve watched every game and I’d challenge anyone to tell me what he added to his game this year? The best I’ve come up with is a little more weight and an improved handle…kinda. Shooting fewer threes and worse, not hitting from the free throw line, defense solid but about the same. I’m not saying he needs to go and learn from Dream or go to Mamba University but for a player that wasn’t rehabbing an injury I haven’t seen anything that I didn’t see last year. Ingram has played fine, sometimes very well, sometimes poorly, and there is certainly a place for that player in the NBA. I think he and a lot of fans and Laker coaches and brass had hoped for more.

4) KAT fake high-fiving his teammates after making the silliest Flagrant 1 foul I’ve ever seen called to date. That was funny, and so was the officiating. Minnesota shot 11 more free throws and did not dictate the physicality of the game, we did and got offensive fouls called on us. Kuzma jump stops, traveling. Wiggins jump stops, great move. The JaVale flagrant was ludicrous and could be rescinded. They missed Rondo stepping out of bounds but acutely assessed him a tech when he timed his towel throw to distract a free throw shooter. All in all, not a great showing from the zebras.

5) Lakers finding their offensive mojo. Team shot a little over 50% from the field, this while shooting 8-28 from 3. We lost this game with our turnovers and not keeping the Timberwolves off the offensive glass. Didn’t matter who was in, they murdered us on the glass. Kuzma did not match up well against Taj Gibson who led the way with 6 offensive rebounds, but every single starter got at least 1. Gotta box out…

Also, welcome back to STAPLES Luol Deng. We hardly knew ye.