The Los Angeles Lakers survive Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls.
The Los Angeles Lakers were back at again on Friday night after a disappointing loss to San Antonio the night before. Despite Zach Lavine going crazy to open the game, the Lakers did a good job treading water until LeBron James closed things out in the end.
The Los Angeles Lakers had some serious adjustments to their starting lineup. But despite Zach Lavine dropping bombs in the opening quarter and a continuation of bad defense the night before.
The Lake Show still managed a pick up a narrow 117-115 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
Stop us if you haven’t’ heard this one before…The Los Angeles Lakers struggled throughout the game, but LeBron James turned it on to escape the jaws of defeat.
LeBron James basically owns the Chicago Bulls. He went over the 20 point plateau for the 50th time in his career. LeBron James again closed out the game late getting to the basket and drawing fouls. He finished with 28 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists.
But he almost went from hero to goat when he settled for a 30-foot shot and gave the Bulls a chance to win the game.
Wesley Matthews was firing on all cylinders in the third quarter for the 3 point line. He knocked down four shots from the land of the extra point that gave the Lakers some cushion in the second half. He scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half while making timely defensive plays on Zach LaVine.
Montrezl Harrell came off the bench and did what he has always done during the season. He comes out and plays hard and with energy. After Daniel Gafford hit him in the face with an elbow, Trezl played with a certain extra something if you will. By the 4th quarter, it was Harrell giving Gafford the knockout blow.
Montrezl Harrell finished with another double-double scoring 17 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Forget what you just read, the man had 7 offensive rebounds. That is a ton. That’s doubled his average of three for the season. The man plays hard folks.
Frank Vogel’s defensive adjustments in the game. After the 1st quarter, it looked like Zach Lavine would score 40 points and Coby White would score 25 himself. What stopped that was the Lakers started rushing to double team those two to cover up the issues of the pick and roll offense of the Bulls. It didn’t stop LaVine, but it did White.
Anthony Davis did not play because of an abductor strain. This was bad because one, the Chicago Bulls ran the pick and roll so much, the coaching staff will have plenty of film to show in their video session. Two, after calling out the Lakers defense like he did the might before…
It would have been nice to see how he would respond. It was a smart time for rest for the long run, but as an NBA fan, it will be interesting when he returns against Houston potentially.
The pick and roll defense was a complete mess. Zach LaVine went crazy from the outset and his teammates Coby White and Wendell Carter Jr. joined the party. AD said the Spurs did whatever they wanted and the Bulls did too. The Lakers really struggle with slip screens and it led to over 50 points for Chicago in the paint.
The Los Angeles Lakers played better, but this is not championship basketball. This is more than Anthony Davis being out. At this point, every opponent can watch this game and see spreading the Lakers defense out and running variations of the pick and roll offense will give them a shot.
The Lakers played a lot harder than they did in the last game which is okay. The big improvement was the contributions from the starting lineup not named LeBron James. The Lakers’ superstars showed up against the Spurs, the rest of the starters didn’t. This win over the Bulls was a complete team effort.
This game does not change the ongoing narrative of their recent play. The Lakers are beating the lesser teams as they should. The back to back games in Houston will show if the Los Angeles Lakers raise the level of play against the top tier teams in the NBA.
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.