The Los Angeles Lakers defense is deteriorating in front of everyone’s eyes!
Lake Show Life Lessons is not fully operational without our loyal readers. They are smart, they are opinionated and have no problems voicing their views. Take an example here from a reader named Bossman.
“It’s a wonder this game was even close. The Lakers lead in almost all statistical categories.
- 3-Point percentage: Lakers 42.4 percent – Spurs 38.2 percent.
- Rebounds: Lakers 58 – Spurs 45.
- Assists: Lakers 27 – Spurs 23.
- Steals Lakers 8 – Spurs 3.
- Blocks: Lakers 7 – Spurs 8.
- Turnovers: Lakers 13 – Spurs 13.
- Field Goal percentage: Lakers 40.6 percent (101 shots) – Spurs 42.4 percent (85 shots).
- Free throw percentage: Lakers 81.3 percent – Spurs 69.2 percent.
Yet this game came down to the wire. It’s baffling. These stats would seem like this game should have been a blowout. But that was far from the truth. I mean these games shouldn’t be this close when you’re seemingly dominating the game. But I still couldn’t put my finger on what was amiss as I watched the game. It was a game of runs and spurts for both teams. But somehow it just seems to me at least the margin of victory should have been wider.”
Well folks this is how the game stats can be dominated by the Lakers and the game is still close. First off, this game was no different from the previous game from the Lakers quality of bad defense. The major change was that the Spurs actually didn’t blow layups throughout the game.
Watch this play here.
Rudy Gay being defended by Wesley Matthews in the post. Anthony Davis does not move from the top of the lane and LeBron moves out of his area. Both players leave a smaller guard on a much taller Gay.
AD does not close the lane which allows Rudy to have an easy look at the basket. Dennis Schroder in left top corner hasn’t moved. LeBron did not move and Wes gives up the cheap foul while Gay scores the basket and free throw.
This one is worse.
Dennis Schroder blows the layup. (Please just pause and just look at Dennis stretched out!) Kyle Kuzma does not hustle back down the floor as the Spurs are on a fast break. DeMar DeRozan hits Keldon Johnson on the left wing for a 3 point shot.
Johnson almost sent a limo for the Lakers scoring a career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds. He basically outworked the Lakers’ guards and made them pay. In the first meeting, it was Dejounte Murray achieving his career-high in scoring with 29. In both games, DeMar DeRozan finished with 23 points.
The problem is broken down into three issues.
- The rim protection lost with the departure of Dwight Howard and JaVale is easy. Here are the other problems.
- The perimeter defense is absolutely horrible and it starts with Dennis Schroder. Most look at his stats and see his steals and think he’s a good defender. Nope. He’s been terrible for most of the preseason and the start of the regular season. The constant breakdowns hurt the interior defense that haunted the Lakers both games. In this game however, the Spurs took advantage and didn’t blow easy opportunities.
- The transition defense is just as bad. As you saw in the second highlight the Lakers don’t sprint back, they jog. If there’s a turnover, most likely it’s easy points for the opponents.
Kyle Kuzma’s defense is just as bad. Sure he scored 11 points but instead of moving his feet he believes he can block shots from behind.
The frustration might be setting in. In the 4th quarter, DeMar DeRozan hit a mid-range jumper with little resistance from Kuzma and his teammates had no problems letting him have it going to the bench when Frank Vogel called time out. Stay tuned for events like this going forward.
The Los Angeles Lakers could have lost this game. Bottom line, it took a monster game from Anthony Davis and crunch time brilliance from LeBron James to survive.
Lakers fans, it’s going to be around March before the center position can be taken care of. But until then, the coaching staff needs to start attaching playing time to players that will compete on the defensive end to send a message.
The Los Angeles Lakers can get away with games like this against teams with no superstars but they are vulnerable going forward against teams that do.
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.