2. Wesley Matthews has to be better for the Los Angeles Lakers
Wesley Matthews is one of the four new rotation players that Rob Pelinka added in the offseason and I absolutely was drinking the Matthews Kool-Aid. While one game is nowhere near enough to sour the Kool-Aid, Wes Matthews has to be better and it appears even that his role might not be as big as I expected.
Matthews was essentially replacing Danny Green in the rotation but he did not come close to Danny Green minutes. Matthews played only 11 minutes and in those 11 minutes, he was really bad.
He has to be better. It is the first game on a new team, so it is fine. But if the Los Angeles Lakers get this version of Matthews this season then they have a significant wing need. Of course, it is waaaaaay too soon to even think that this might be the permanent version of Matthews.
Matthews played really bad defense in this one. Using NBA’s matchup statistics (which is not perfect, but does provide some insight) we can see just how bad Matthews was defensively (although, we really only need the eye test!).
Clipper players scored 20 points on Matthews in this game and shot a combined 9-10 when Matthews was guarding them. Ouch.
He also did not hit the two threes that he took. We should not expect him to go 2-2, but if he is only taking two shots (and relatively good ones, too) then we should expect him to at least make one.
This was a bad game for Wes Matthews and as one of the team’s primary wing defenders moving forward, he has to be better.