Los Angeles Lakers: Listless defense hurts in a loss to San Antonio Spurs

Jan 7, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan (10) shoots past Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan (10) shoots past Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers were unable to return home with a win.

The Los Angeles Lakers were looking for their fifth straight win and a season sweep against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday. A bad offensive start, no perimeter defense and bad habits the Lakers started on the road traveled home with them in a loss!

Lake Show Life saw this debacle coming. Even though the Los Angeles Lakers swept all four games on the road, this site stated on the record numerous times that they could have easily lost them all. This game was a carbon copy of all the road games.

The difference? The San Antonio Spurs shot lights out in this game unlike the horrid shooting by Lakers’ opponents on the road trip.

The Los Angeles Lakers won’t be getting the season sweep from the San Antonio Spurs this season. After winning two ugly games against the Spurs the week prior, the Lakers fell 118-109 at the Staples Center. It’s their first loss to San Antonio since December of 2018.

Just like previous games on the road, the Lakers got more production and energy from the bench than the starting lineup. LeBron James and Anthony Davis continued scoring dominance netted 50 points on 19-32 shooting, but the performances on the defensive end nullified all of that.

Davis had a front-row seat watching LaMarcus Aldridge go off for 28 points. Aldridge hit some tough shots, but it makes one wonder if the Lakers would be facing a sweep had Aldridge played like this in San Antonio.

The Good:

Thank God for Keldon Johnson, if he didn’t miss a wide-open dunk and two other layups, the Lakers could have easily been down by 20 points in the first quarter. The Los Angeles Lakers were bad on defense (More on that later!) and the Spurs was shooting as high as 80 percent from the field. Here’s why this game was not a blowout besides Keldon Johnson.

Anthony Davis started the offense by himself. This means the Lakers did not score a point until nearly four minutes into the game. Couple that with bad defense, he kept the Lakers from being down 20 points before the teams broke a sweat.

Alex Caruso showed why the Los Angeles Lakers need him badly in the lineup. When the Lakers were struggling to keep afloat, he knocked down two HUGE 3 point shots to keep the deficit manageable.

Moreover, Caruso applied some type of defensive pressure to slow the San Antonio offense down from the shootaround pressure the Lake Show was providing out to the 3 point line. Hopefully, Caruso will provide Frank Vogel some defensive options to hold the rest of the backcourt and the wings accountable.

Talen Horton-Tucker had a solid bounce-back game from that awful performance in Memphis. THT was another player that got the Lakers back in the game in the first half. He ended up finishing the game late in the 4th because he showed a willingness to defend.

LeBron James played very well in this game. Anthony Davis played will in spurts, but this guy played hard every minute he was on the floor.

After AD got the offense started, LeBron sustained the momentum for the rest of the game. It wasn’t nearly enough though.

The Bad:

Marc Gasol played terribly and was in foul trouble basically the entire game. What’s worse? He will be starting the next game. Why? Markieff Morris is being exposed for his lazy defense. Lake Show Life could talk about needing a center, but that’s like saying the sky is blue and water is wet at this point.

The San Antonio Spurs shot 20-40 from behind the arc in their previous game. Did anyone let the Lakers know? The Spurs shot 16-35 in this game! The Lakers perimeter defense has been covered nearly after every game in the Lake Show Life Lessons series.

Some of this is because of Alex Caruso being out for the road trip and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope being out now, but the Lakers basically stink on three-point defense folks.

The Los Angeles Lakers are below .500 in the Staples Center. Might want to start playing games in Las Vegas or Anaheim.

The Story:

The Los Angeles Lakers are not playing like championship contenders. The bad habits that were being practiced on the road caught up with them in this game. They were awful at the start, the turnovers turned into 16 points for the Spurs and playing with the on/off switch didn’t work.

The Lakers wins that were against teams that are low on talent was not a factor with LaMarcus Aldridge coming back. The ongoing question for the next few weeks will be can the Los Angeles Lakers raise this level of play against the top tier teams in the NBA?

Next. The best version of Kyle Kuzma is this Hall of Famer. dark

Lake Show Life’s more in-depth breakdowns will come in Lake Show Life Lessons tomorrow. Keep it locked for the only Los Angeles Lakers post-game report with highlights and in-depth analysis.