The Lakers looked to win two in a row following an exciting home win against the Oklahoma Thunder and Russell Westbrook. Following that game they flew to the bay area to face off against Westbrook’s former teammate Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors.
The Lakers came into the night giving the Warriors a chance, handicapping themselves by not playing Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell who are suffering from injuries.
Sadly the Warriors took this once in lifetime opportunity and played their hearts out to blow out the Lakers 149-106
Losing Russell and Randle hurts
It showed in tonight’s game how bad it hurts to not have D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle play. The Lakers were playing arguably the best team in the NBA so take this loss with a grain of salt. Bad losses show the teams weaknesses and tonight it showed how Randle and Russell affect the game.
They were missing a ton of playmaking, especially in transition where Randle excels. Luol Deng can’t provide the same amount of passing ability that Randle has and that severely limited the Lakers offense. It wasn’t just Randle’s offense that they missed, as Randle has showed off his skill to switch onto guards and bigs alike making his defense much more versatile. He’s not a defensive stopper, but the Lakers would rather have Randle defending Draymond Green than Luol Deng.
The Lakers were lacking in assists tonight and without a doubt that is due to D’Angelo Russell not playing. He passes as well as anyone in the NBA minus a select few, and controls the offense in an advanced way. When he’s on the court, teams often double team him to keep him from shooting, giving his teammates get great looks and options to score. Jose Calderon simply can’t create those same shots as an offensive threat.
The defense needs some work
As previously mentioned the Warriors are the best team in the NBA so take this loss with a grain of salt. But if the Lakers hope to have any playoff chances, they need to fix the defense. They let the Warriors score 149 pointsand while the Warriors have the best offense in the league, they don’t usually score that much.
149 points is ridiculous and no NBA team should give that much up regardless of the opponent. The Warriors were able to put up 47 assists. They played a great offensive game and the Lakers need to step it up if they want to win with Russell our 2-3 weeks.
Brandon Ingram looked great
Against a team with Brandon Ingram Lite, Ingram himself scored 16 points and had his best individual scoring nights in the NBA. He hasn’t been the best offensive player in his young career but his defense has been phenomenal.
Tonight had opposite results. He was the starter at SF with Deng sliding over to PF so he was tasked with defending Kevin Durant for most of the night. While there wasn’t much he could do to stop a top-three NBA player, he did his best scoring a career high 16 points and collecting three rebounds.
While 16 points doesn’t sound like much, it was big accomplishment for Brandon who has had trouble scoring in the NBA so far.
Looks like it.
They look like a complete different team without any of those two.
I guess they needed the confidence after getting blown out by the Lakers the past two games.