Los Angeles Lakers: 6 observations that righted the Lakers ship for 2020

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers remembered how to play defense and Dwight Howard is anchoring it.

During the four-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Lakers fell off the cliff defensively to 28th in the NBA during the stretch. Well low and behold, the Lakers remembered that defense got them to the 27-7 record that they own. Look, the Portland game won’t show much based on the fact their team is totally depleted. Let’s talk about the Dallas team that has a superstar in Luka Doncic.

Avery Bradley, Alex Caruso led the charge as the Lakers did a good job of keeping consistent pressure on Doncic, sometimes even picking him up full court.

Frank Vogel did a good job adding a bit of zone defense to force him to get rid of the ball early and force his teammates to make plays. Doncic finished with 19 points on 5-of-14 shooting. But most of his issues stemmed from a hard foul from Dwight Howard.

Speaking of Dwight Howard, the dude barely missed the entire weekend.

Over the two-game stretch, Dwight Howard hit 10-12 field goal attempts. Plus he provided strong rim protection. When Doncic was injured, Howard sent him to the floor with a hard foul. Nothing dirty, but a foul Lakers fans will see a lot of in the postseason. The physical pressure he takes off of Anthony Davis can not be understated. On offense, no one can stop the big to big passing game the Lakers can employ.

The combination of Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee rendered the Mavericks big men a nonfactor by finishing a combined 11-of-13 for 26 points.

Combine the strong rebounding and blocked shots, the Lakers have the answer to all of the small ball schemes around the NBA. When the Lakers figure out their zone defense and get it up to speed, forget it.