5 Things I Liked

Losing streak ended (us) and extended (them). Yay.

1) Brandon Ingram’s super efficient game. Well, except from the stripe where he’s struggled all season. But I digress, Brandon started off hot and if anything I wish he would grab the bull by the horns more. Brandon doesn’t take a ton of shots and so his success is largely defined by how many he makes. Tonight he made a lot (9-11, 1-1 from 3) for a 22 point game, first time all year he’s had back-to-back 20+ point affairs. Still seems like he’s having a treading water season but I did like that he played as well as he did and only had 1 turnover. 3-6 from the stripe…he should be a lot better than that.

2) Zubac. I’m not gonna lie, I’m loving Zubac in Hulk mode. He’s playing big, keeping his hands high and using his feet on defense. He’s blocking shots, affecting others, rebounding and scoring in the paint. In past seasons I’ll bet the average Zubac shot chart would have had at least 1 mid range jumper/game. He was bad at shooting them. Now, he’s doing damage at the rim, using his size, strength and what speed he has to do the fundamental things you want your center to do. Frankly I can’t recall a single outside jumper he’s taken all season. Still tops out as a solid back up to decent starter in my opinion but he’s certainly turned his narrative around this season.

3) Lakers coming out with energy. Since LeBron has gone down the Lakers have developed the terrible habit of coming out flat. Rondo has helped alleviate that, to some degree, but tonight I thought the starters came out with a great energy which has not generally been the case of late.

4) Lance Stephenson dropping rock bombs. When Lance is on from 3 like he was tonight our 2nd unit looks great. When he’s off and/or just doesn’t get the minutes, our 2nd unit suffers. I’m not sure Luke and the staff have figured out how to use Lance, like Ingram he’s too often asked to be a PG and create offense. Something he does with mixed results. That isn’t aided by Lance’s tendency to go off the reservation and over-freelance. Still, feels like there is some untapped gold in Stephenson. DJ you watch a lot of Indy games the last few years? What do your Elf eyes tell you?

5) Rajon Rondo’s 42 minutes. Rondo had 11 assists to 3 turnovers, only shot the ball 8 times and grabbed a decent for a guard but low for him 4 rebounds. Yet he was the maestro conducting the orchestra in every sense. On the broadcast you can hear Rondo yell “ZU!!!” after every Zubac rebound, which I love. The dude brings such an intensity to the court, like Miles Davis. Miles didn’t always have the flashiest solo’s or the fleetest fingers, but he had so much power behind his notes and compositions that everything else kind of wilts in the face of it. That’s how Rondo plays basketball.

Special mention certainly has to go to fellow Lakerholic and resident blogging ne’er-do-well mclyne for being there and helping to will the Lakers to a much needed W. Going to games is always fun, but going to ones we win is always better. Hope you had a good time.