Los Angeles Lakers lose in “NBA Finals” rematch with Miami Heat

Feb 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) stretches to reach a pass over Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) during the first quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) stretches to reach a pass over Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) during the first quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers had an “NBA Finals” rematch with the Miami Heat. Lake Show Life knows what Lakers fans are thinking… “This is a regular season game!”. No matter how the NBA or the TV networks market and promoted this game, the Los Angeles Lakers lost a close one to the Heat.

Dennis Schroder may have done more for his contract negotiations by not playing the last two games to show his worth. The Los Angeles Lakers really need Dennis Schroder.

Without Dennis (Stuck in NBA health and safety protocols) and Anthony Davis (Calf strain), the Lakers don’t really have playmakers beyond LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers lost 96-94 to the Miami Heat in one of the ugliest offensive struggles of the season.

It wasn’t that the offensive scheme didn’t work, the shooters just didn’t shoot. When they did, there was a lot of misses.

The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:

Kyle Kuzma got untracked early!

Lake Show Life stated in the last post-game report that Kyle Kuzma had to be more aggressive while looking for his shots. Well…

After that shot, the floodgates were opened. Kuzma finished the rest of the first quarter on fire as the Lakers biggest offensive weapon.

But his defense was on display as well. Kuz did not give up on a specific alley-oop play to Bam Adebayo and deflected the pass. These are winning plays Lakers fans. Fun fact: Did you know that Kyle Kuzma was ranked 5th in the NBA in defensive rating? His contract extension is starting to look like a steal.

Kuzma finished with 23 points and looked like the only Laker player that didn’t mind shooting and this is not an exaggeration. His defense slowed Bam Adebayo down some and he competed well against Jimmy Butler.

Montrezl Harrell was Montrezl Harrell! Why? He got playing time!

What a concept! Harrell can give the Los Angeles Lakers scoring down low when he is on the floor. After playing only 15 minutes the entire game against Brooklyn, he had 13 minutes in the first half alone scoring 10 points, grabbing 5 rebounds with 2 steals.

He finished the game with a double-double scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. In another Frank Vogel rotation head scratcher, Harrell was sitting on the bench in crunch time. Gasol ended up finishing the game out when it mattered (More on him later!).

Anthony Davis is out of the lineup, but not out of the action!

It could have been real easy for AD to be in the locker room watching the game or at the back of the bench waiting for the game to end. Instead, he was encouraging his teammates, talking with LeBron James on strategies and even more impressively, showing Gasol where the defense is breaking down on an iPad. This is a leader, folks.

The bad from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:

The Los Angeles Lakers defense was awful at the start! 

Look, Anthony Davis being out is going to hurt the Lakers. That’s common sense, but this is about effort and it wasn’t there at the start. Kendrick Nunn was killing the Lakers from the outside while Bam Adebayo had three dunks in the first quarter alone.

Jimmy Butler caught a rebound dunk in which Jeff Van Gundy called out Wesley Matthews for not boxing out. Outside of Kuzma, who had to sit for a deep gash that had blood all over the floor, the Lakers were horrible defensively giving up 36 first quarter points.

Three members of the starting lineup did not score in the opening quarter!

Basketball is simple math. Casuals can come up with excuses, but the Lakers can’t win with or without AD when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Wesley Matthews and Marc Gasol can’t go through the first quarter without a point combined. KCP scored the first points between these three players halfway in the second quarter! By the way, Dennis Schroder comes back on Friday at the earliest. MAN do the Lakers need him back!

Marc Gasol:

There have been 30 Lake Show Life post-game reports. His performance has been well criticized in most of them. He’s been so consistently bad on defense that our editor Jason Reed could charge plagiarism at this point. Same player…same result.

After this shot, his teammates had to come out and encourage him to keep shooting. Gasol didn’t keep shooting.

Here’s the problem. Marc Gasol has lost his confidence. He really doesn’t want to shoot the ball. He passed up numerous shots in this game along with other players. LeBron put the ball in position for these guys to take open shots, but they either hesitated or passed them up.

Gasol finished with 6 points on 2-6 shooting. Harrell may struggle against opposing centers, but he is scoring the basketball to justify him being on the floor.

The story from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:

The Los Angeles Lakers allowed yet another role player to go crazy!

Let’s be clear here. The Miami Heat have marquee players. NONE of them beat the Los Angeles Lakers. None of them.

  • Jimmy Butler did not play the greatest of games. He got his numbers but smoked numerous layups.
  • Bam Adebayo had 14 points early, then disappeared from the scoring column finishing with 16.
  • Duncan Robinson got picked on like a 98 pound weakling on the court by the Lakers just abusing him in the pick and roll.
  • Tyler Herro got hurt.

Kendrick Nunn won this game for the Heat scoring 27 points. The Lakers can’t continue to allow role players to score at near career high rates. Opposing role players shouldn’t outscore the starting backcourt by themselves. Nunn shot 10-14 from the floor with five 3 pointers.

Rob Pelinka needs to sign DeMarcus Cousins. 

The big news story of the day is the eventual separation of the Houston Rockets and DeMarcus Cousins, as reported by Shams Charania.

Will Cousins cure all of the Lakers’ issues? No. But here’s what he can do. He will shoot the ball when he’s open and opposing players will thinking about crashing to the floor when DeMarcus is on the floor. Why? Boogie scares players while Gasol does not.

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.