Lakers Take Down Atlanta: Most of the Lakers season has been a cake walk in terms of performance and contribution. The hawks certainly gave the Lakers a run for their money. Even in the Lakers win, it highlighted the importance of Kuzma coming off the bench for the Lakers. Due to Kuzma being out against the Hawks, other role players were forced to take on a bigger offensive load throughout the game.
LeBron set the tone for the Lakers throughout the night with timely buckets finishing with 32 points, 13 boards and 7 assists. A potential weakness within this Lakers team is allowing guards to have their way throughout the course of the game. Trae Young finished with 30 points and 7 assists. This issue could be more detrimental when trying to control the likes of James Harden and Russell Westbrook in the postseason.
In the Lakers 101-96 win, it was clear that LeBron and Anthony Davis cannot carry the load by themselves. Kuzma has been critical off the bench and it was apparent when LeBron needed a rest throughout the game. The Lakers struggled to contain, or build on their leads when he was off the floor. Holding leads while LeBron takes a break will become essential as he gains more and more miles throughout the season. With Kuzma out, the Lakers suffered on the offensive side of the floor when the Starters were on the bench.
Have the Lakers Been Tested?
The next five games will be a great measuring stick to see where the Lakers truly rank in the loaded Western Conference. If the Lakers can come out above .500 over the next five games; it will show that the Lakers can compete with the cream of the crop. If the next five games go south, my guess is that it will more than likely highlight the lack of offensive contribution outside of the star duo. It’s hard to expect despite their greatness, for LeBron and Anthony Davis to carry the offensive load for a full season.
What’s Next for LAL?
The Los Angeles Lakers 101-96 win should be a sign that the Lakers will not be able to coast with their current roster if they are trying to be legit contenders down the stretch. These next five games will show where the Lakers truly stand in a stacked western conference. The Lakers will invade Bankers Life FieldHouse Tuesday to take on an underrated Indiana Pacers team.
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