The only thing wrong with the Los Angeles Lakers is the inconsistency in the Staples Center. Now that is not even a problem anymore. After falling down by 15 points in the first half, the Lake Show blew the Pelicans back to the East Coast giving up only 37 points in the second half.
Two things will happen in the future when the New Orleans Pelicans come to town. Number one, the much-hyped LeBron James/Zion Williamson matchup will be the rage. Number two, LeBron won’t allow the actual result to match the hype. The last time the Los Angeles Lakers came back from a 15+ point deficit was against the Pelicans back in November of 2019.
They repeated the feat in this game and it was nowhere near as close as the last time. To put a visual on this narrative. This is basically what happened in the first half (Zion bringing up the ball!) and what happened in the second half (AD squashing the ending!).
The Los Angeles Lakers spotted the Pelicans the first quarter and nothing else as the Lakers played lockdown defense in a 112-95 blowout. The Lake Show have won five straight and four of those wins have shown defense not seen since 2003-04 Pistons. They are that dominant in this stretch. The Lakers also had SIX players score in double digits, which is the sixth time they’ve done it this season.
The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:
The Lakers were lucky the Pelicans were sloppy:
The Los Angeles Lakers were down only one at halftime. The New Orleans Pelicans outplayed the Lake Show in nearly every aspect of the game, especially toughness.
The only thing that kept the Lakers from being down double digits was the 13 Pelicans turnovers in the first half along with collecting fouls defending seemingly every Los Angeles possession in the final minutes.
The Los Angeles Lakers defense destroyed the Pelicans after halftime:
The Lakers were down as much as 15 points in the first half. They left the floor and came back in the third quarter with a 15-0 run over six minutes. When this team decides that a team won’t score, they don’t.
LeBron James is still playing chess with the NBA and is now embarrassing his opponents. He spared no expense in doing the same to the Pelicans. The numbers are not telling the story anymore. It’s the efficiency of his play in a career-low amount of time.
- LeBron only took 11 shots to get his 21 points.
- He hit all seven of his free throws.
- His assists to his teammates kept the Lakers close in the first half.
- Oh and this.
Kentavious Caldwell Pope is playing the best ball of his career and it is not even close. He is playing unconscious ball across the board on both ends. A reader named “Bossman” had this comment from the last Lake Show Life Lessons article.
"KCP only took 6 shots last night. Still shooting lights out. Vogel needs to get him minimum 10 shots a night."
Well, another satisfied customer. KCP shot 6-11 (Four 3 pointers!) for 16 points. But it’s more than that. As well as he is shooting from the 3 point line, his defense is better than that!
The interior passing of the Lakers:
Bottom line, Stan Van Gundy must have called three timeouts in frustration because LeBron, AD, Alex Caruso just rolled the Pelicans defense just driving in the lane and finding Montrezl Harrell.
The bad of the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:
The Los Angeles Lakers looked soft at times:
The Lakers’ toughness was tested by New Orleans. Zion Williamson knocked Montrezl Harrell and Markieff Morris out of the game briefly and LeBron got locked up with Steven Adams. The Los Angeles Lakers will be facing this type of treatment going forward. It happened in the first game in Houston with DeMarcus Cousins and in this game here.
There are going to be situations where the Lakers will have to give out hard fouls to send messages that they can play bully ball too. Let’s stop here before readers ask why Dwight Howard wasn’t resigned.
Anthony Davis had a very uneven night:
No one thought Anthony Davis would run roughshod through the NBA every night, but he was struggled at times in this one. New Orleans Pelicans writer, David Grubb mentioned to Lake Show Life in the past that AD struggles mightily with the physicality of certain players. It showed.
Even though AD got numbers, his efficiency was not there on both ends. Missing numerous shots early along with free throws is one thing, struggling to keep Zion Williamson in front of him is another.
The officiating really slowed this game down with missed calls that got star players in foul trouble.
- They made a bad Brandon Ingram charging call when Anthony Davis was in the circle.
- They called LeBron James for his third foul when he actually drew a charge from Brandon Ingram.
- Nickeil Alexander-Walker had three fouls seemingly getting out of the shower.
- Marc Gasol had three fouls in the second half in three minutes.
There were other instances, but there was a lack of consistency in the calls that could have made this a very entertaining game. Instead, players that were playing well had to sit on both teams.
The story of the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:
The Los Angeles Lakers have a goal of being the top defensive team in the NBA this year. By the advanced stats, they are backing it up. This game showed how the coaching staff is now making adjustments to collaborate with the much-improved play. In the first half, Brandon Ingram was giving the Lakers the business.
In the second half, Ingram was on wanted posters because he couldn’t be found. They threw J.J. Redick’s jumper in the trunk and wouldn’t allow Nickeil Alexander-Walker to get started after dropping 37 points in his last game.
The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t just giving lip service when they talk defense. They are for real Lakers fans!
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.