5 Things I Liked

Wow, that was unexpected! From being down 18 early to Boston mounting a serious comeback to Al Horford’s un-called goal tend on Brandon Ingram this game had ‘L’ written all over it. That’s why you play the games.

1) LeBron James triple-double in Boston. One of the things I’ve noticed while watching LeBron plays is that you don’t notice him racking up stats. But his stat line is ridiculously good: 28 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists, 3 steals to only 3 turnovers. When they said he was chasing a triple double I was surprised. He doesn’t really score in bunches he just puts some points up in every quarter, generally helping to stave off a big run in the doing. Same with assist and rebounds, he’s just there for the team all game long. LeBron looked like he was playing at about 80/85%, in my opinion. All good stuff.

2) Brandon Ingram’s defense. BI had a rough start to February culminating with getting jeered by Indiana fans during his free throws. While he only shot 4-14 (1-4 from three) he dished out 7 assists to 1 turnover and played stellar defense all game long. BI may never be the scorer I envisioned him to be when he came up but his other contributions are Lamar Odom-esque. Just does a lot of the little things you need to win a ball game in the NBA.

3) Kyle Kuzma’s three point shot resurfacing. This aspect of his game has been really up and down this year and if he could find a little more consistency in that area he’ll be an All Star next year, either here or somewhere else. Kyle went off from three point land with the biggest one coming off a Brandon Ingram assist late in the 4th to make it a 1 point see-saw battle for the final minute. Huge game from Kyle who also chipped in 5 rebounds, 2 dimes and a block without turning it over once.

4) Coach Walton’s message to the team. Asked at the 1st quarter break what he wanted to see from his team he said “To have fun playing the game of basketball” and went on to say that the locker room was tight, everyone likes each other and that they had to put all the stuff swirling about the team to the side and just play. Great game by Luke with a short bench, his rotations looked like a playoffs game.

5) Rajon Rondo. Saved the best for last. It’s unfortunate so much of this season has been derailed by injuries. Every NBA team has ’em and so it’s on the healthy players to rise above which we’ve done to mixed results. Rondo had a great game on his old home court but the capper was the buzzer beater, first of his career, that sunk the entire arena and may have helped to turn this season around. One basket over the course of game is a small glass of water, one basket in the course of the season is a drop of water and one basket in a player’s career is like a molecule of ocean water but this basket was absolutely epic for the Lakers and couldn’t have come at a better time.

Let’s get some payback on Sunday when we visit Philly. Looking forward to seeing at least one of the new Lakers in action. My personal jury is still way out on Mike Muscala.