On Thursday, the Lakers lost a tough game against the Bucks. It was disappointing to lose, but they fought hard after a bad first half. There are a lot of takeaways from this game, and while a lot of them are negative for the Lakers, I’m not feeling discouraged. The Lakers lost on the road after a long trip against arguably the best team and player in the league. They’ll have more chances to prove how good they are. Let’s take a look at my first takeaway.
The Lakers and Bucks are the two best teams in the league
There was a lot of hoopla before the season about who the best teams in the league were. After this game, I feel comfortable saying that the Lakers and Bucks stand firmly in the top two spots. I’ll give the Bucks the nod right now because they have arguably the best player in the league and better depth, but the Lakers are close. Here’s hoping we see these teams again in June.
Frank Vogel needs to cut Rondo’s minutes in half.
The Lakers guard rotation is in a very confusing and complex place right now. All of the guards are finally healthy, but there are a few issues. The most glaring issue right now is the reliance on Rajon Rondo. Rondo is playing a lot of minutes right now and that needs to change. His defense is simply not good enough to be playing this much against good offenses. He looked lost against the Bucks, and his shooting has regressed to top off his overall poor play. The reason he is out there is to create opportunities for others to score, but he isn’t good enough at that aspect of his game to justify his playing time.
Giannis made his claim as the best player on either team
There’s been a lot of debate on who the best player in the league is, but Giannis looked like the best in this game. LeBron James looked tired and Anthony Davis clearly isn’t 100% healthy, but I’m not going to use that an excuse. Giannis made his case as the best player on the court and he looked every part of it for most of the game. He is a better athlete than both of them and is slowly but surely turning into an awesome shooter. He’s one of the best players to ever play the game and he’s not even in his prime yet.
The Lakers just had no answer for him, and honestly nobody does. If he’s going to continue to be an awesome shooter, as well as being the best interior player in the league, I honestly don’t know how the Lakers can stop him. If these teams end up meeting in the finals, I am sure the Lakers will come up with something, but Giannis is so good I’m not sure if it will matter.
Lakers have a lot of work to do, but they have time.
The Lakers’ ultimate goal is to win a championship, and they’re not where they want to be yet. It sounds crazy to say that for a team that is 24-5, but they still have a lot of work to do. Up to this point, they have out talented teams, but that didn’t work tonight. The Bucks feel like a better-oiled machine right now, and they probably have the best player in the league. There are a bunch of caveats I can throw out to excuse the game, but I’m not going to do that. The Lakers got beat and the Bucks look like the better team.
But the Lakers have a lot of room to grow, and they clearly didn’t put forth their best game. The Lakers also have some rotation issues to fix, and they still have time to fix them. While I was incredibly disappointed by how the Lakers played against the Bucks, I didn’t feel demoralized. It was simply a bad game for them, and they have a lot of time to fix these issues. It feels exciting to be able to compare the Lakers to other contenders, and while losing sucks, the Lakers are still in a great position.