The Los Angeles Lakers defense is a problem that goes further than a backup center!
Many blamed Montrezl Harrell for the Los Angeles Clippers collapse in the playoffs last year. Some of the blame is unfair because no one can find a big man to stop Nikola Jokic when he’s on his game (He had a triple double last night…19 points, 12 rebounds and 18 assists. Last man to do this? Wilt Chamberlain!). But the Lakers signed the same problems in the offseason.
Harrell has played well in his first three games with his scoring, offensive rebounding and energy.
But his numbers largely came against bench lineups that he manhandled. In this game, Frank Vogel left him on the floor and Portland exploited his defense. The Blazers picked on Harrell with pick-and-rolls.
- Play one: Trez got caught sleeping as Nurkic stops at the 3 point line to set a pick on KCP. That split second left an open 3 point shot for C.J. McCollum for a wide open shot because Harrell was way out of position.
- Play two: Look at the room Harrell allows for the pick and roll to develop. As Damian Lillard uses the pick, Schroder falls behind. Harrell does not close the gap and commits the foul as Dame scores.
- Play three: Lillard sees the weak double team from Trez coming and splits the pass to Nurkic. Harrell is in the dust as AD has to come over and rim protect. Nurkic scores the easy basket.
- Not so fun fact: That play could have been an easy alley oop to Derrick Jones Jr. too.
After playing so well against Minnesota, Kyle Kuzma gave yet another illustration why the Lakers fanbase have virtual cage matches arguing about his game.
Forget his shooting. He was terrible. 2-9 shooting, 6 points and a plus/minus of -23. But that defense?! Kendrick Perkins said it best on Twitter.
"I don’t know who gets picked on more out of Michael Porter JR. or Kyle Kuzma…but both Can’t Guard A Parked Car!!! Carry on…"
Before anyone wants to start flooding the comment section about “Big Perk” and his comments, film does not lie.
Understand Gary Trent Jr. only played six minutes in the previous game, but lit every wing player on the Lakers roster most notably Kyle Kuzma. He missed switches on defense, had weak closeouts and played poor defense. Sure Trent gave out business cards to others but in reality…
- Talen Horton-Tucker is too young to stop a player that was already hot. He had no chance.
- Montrezl Harrell we’ve already talked about.
- Wesley Matthews has been bad all season.
To be clear, look for the front office to make changes around the trade deadline or in free agency. Until this defensive problem is dealt with, the Lakers will receive scares in the playoffs.
Lake Show Life will be extending it’s post-game coverage this season! There will be a short post-game report shortly after the game in addition to the extended post-game of Lake Show Life Lessons!
More championship coverage for championship fans.