Lakers Fall 100-93 to Portland
Is it time for Laker Nation to worry? Not quite, but there are still bugs that need to be squashed if we want this unit to compete for a championship. Long story short, the Lakers didn’t want it in their game one matchup against the Portland Trailblazers. They came in half-cocked waiting to blow out the already hot team. Whether you like it or not, LeBron James is still the best player, by far, on the court at any given time. James tallied his 24th career playoff triple-double, scoring 23 points on 45% shooting, grabbing 17 boards and dropping 16 assists. Portland played good basketball, don’t get me wrong, but LA played TERRIBLE. Our Lakers shot a whopping 15.6% from deep, 64.5% from the line and 35.1% overall. There is room to grow obviously, but this has become a trend for the team since their entrance into the bubble, shooting 28.7% from deep since joining.
What I’ve Learned
I’ve learned a few things after the LA crumble.
First, Anthony Davis played horrific. Davis shot a revolting 8/24 (Rest in peace, Mamba) from the field and an atrocious 0/5 from three point range. This means that AD has missed his last 13 threes. He is getting to the line at least. He cashed in on 12 out of his 17 free throw attempts.
I have no idea why Frank Vogel insists on starting JaVale McGee, Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The lineup needs Davis at center. It’s simple as that. JR Smith played zero minutes and Dion Waiters played a minute. Both players have the potential to average 15 a game with LeBron’s driving and dishing, but they need minutes in order to do this. Green shot 4/12 and KCP shot 0/9. I think you catch my drift.
Jusuf Nurkic is a man amongst boys. Need I say more? 16 points and 15 rebounds against AD, Dwight Howard, and Javale McGee.
Damian Lillard is still torching. Lillard shot 42.9% from the field and 46.2% from deep. I don’t know if there is any logical way of slowing this man down right now. He’s unstoppable. There were plenty of possessions that executed great defense, but better offense.
What We Need to Do
The answer to this question is obvious: win. What else? Well, the Lakers must step up their intensity and show the will to win. They have to shoot the ball better. They need to put more pieces into their lineup and possibly switch some positions around. This team cannot ride on the shoulders of LeBron James. AD should look to evolve his role with the team to more of a big man rather than a stretch four.
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