Recap: Lakers Fight Back, Fall Short of Spurs

The Los Angeles Lakers once again showed their renewed sense of resilience against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday. After falling down 17 points, the young Lakers were able to come back and make it a close contest.

Unfortunately, they were ultimately unable to get over the hump, eventually losing to the Spurs. Nevertheless, it was another strong effort from the Purple and Gold as they continue to claw and compete against top level competition.

For our recap, we’re trying something new: answering a few fan questions about the game:

This is definitely a fair question. The Lakers were killed down the stretch by the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge. As improved as Julius Randle is on defense, he is not big enough to consistently guard LMA as he had to for a long stretch at the end of the game.

That said, the Lakers needed a lot of scoring to come back from a big deficit and the (mostly) closing lineup of Clarkson-Williams-Young-Deng-Randle was a +3 on the night. Walton has exhibited a proficiency of playing hot lineups together even if it means not playing some of his better players.

When it comes to Robinson, minutes will always be tough for him to find. The frontcourt rotation is loaded with Randle, Mozgov, Nance, and Black, not to mention whatever minutes are made available for Deng at his preferred PF spot. While he can bring energy, Robinson’s skills are fairly redundant on this team.

As for Huertas, he may have been able to help considering he’s a bit of a better penetrater than José Calderon, but I don’t think his addition to the rotation would have done much. If anything, I would have started Clarkson to add another playmaking threat next to Julius Randle with D’Angelo Russell not playing due to injury.

The good thing about this dilemma of sorts is that the Lakers have plenty of time to decide. If they truly are still in contention for the playoffs in mid-February, then there’s no way they should trade two veterans who have played surprisingly great basketball this year.

If they are not, then Mitch Kupchack and company should absolutely try to look around for any deals. That said, there is no need to trade Williams or Young and I have a hard time believing they will. Lou has been mentioned as a huge leader and mentor by Luke Walton and Young has been claimed as a favorite teammate of many of the young (see what I did there?) Lakers. I don’t think you mess with that chemistry.

That was my main issue with starting Calderon. Randle is the only good playmaker on the starting five with Russell out and even he is still trying to figure things out, despite his admittedly enormous improvements.

I would start Clarkson in Russell’s spot. Walton likely made his decision based on the fact that the bench unit, with Clarkson, has been phenomenal all year and he did not want to ruin that dynamic. That’s a valid argument, but the bench doesn’t lose as much creativity with Williams and Ingram able to shoulder the load.

Hopefully we don’t have to worry about that though.

After that 10 point performance? Are you kidding me?

There are four total games there including two against the Warriors. So I’ll go with four. (In all seriousness, they should have a good shot at both the Thunder and Bulls.)

The same reason you’re fired.

I’m about ready to start a petition.

They’re all hot dogs, because we can’t completely characterize them but we can agree they are much better than expected.

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