The Los Angeles Lakers finished up their homestand in a Saturday matinee against the Atlanta Hawks. The Lakers lost LeBron James to an injury in the game. When he left, any offensive fluidity of any consequence left with him as the Lakers lose the first game of a back-to-back.
The Lakers play the Phoenix Suns tomorrow night and might be facing life without both of their superstars in Anthony Davis and LeBron James for the immediate future.
The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:
Wesley Matthews shot the lights out early!
Lakers fans, Wesley Matthews was shooting so badly, it looked like he might be placed in the witness protection program to get away from the criticism that he was getting from seemingly everywhere.
Matthews knocked down three long-distance shots in the first quarter. Why is this a big deal? He had a six-game stretch of just 3 points total! Lake Show Life is so happy to see multiple shots fall for Wesley Matthews.
Talen Horton-Tucker looked unaffected by the LeBron James injury.
The rest of the Lakers went into a fog when LeBron left the game, but THT was not one of them. He continued to fight and attack the basket to generate some offense for the Los Angeles Lakers. He finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
LeBron James was actually balling early in the game!
LeBron James continued his scoring tear from the previous game against the Charlotte Hornets. Before he got hurt, James had 10 points (3-6 shooting!) and 4 assists in 11 minutes.
The bad from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:
LeBron James turned his ankle in the second quarter.
LeBron got his ankle caught under Solomon Hill going for a loose ball. After tying the shoestrings tight, trying some stretches and even hitting a 3 pointer in the left corner, LeBron left the floor to go to the locker room. He did not return to the game.
Look Anthony Davis is out indefinitely and the Lakers have had injury issues throughout the season but this guy can’t sit out an extended period of time. That’s not analysis, just facts based on common sense.
John Collins bullied the Los Angeles Lakers frontline!
Collins was handing out business cards in the first half. He had 18 points (8-11 shooting!) and 9 rebounds by the intermission. It wasn’t flashy either. John Collins outworked Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and Damian Jones for rebounds with nothing more than energy and effort.
John Collins destroyed the Lakers finishing with 27 points and 16 rebounds.
The Los Angeles Lakers backcourt.
Really Lake Show Life doesn’t know what was worse…Watching Dennis Schroder play inefficiently at point guard or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shooting the ball like he has no chance of making a shot. KCP is a shooting guard that averages seven shots a game for the season and his zero points in the game makes the next observation even worse!
Frank Vogel did not ride Wesley Matthews’ hot hand!
Remember the hot hand Wes had in the first quarter? He was 3 for 3 from behind the arc in a 2-minute stretch (2:18, 1:09 and 45.2 seconds) to tie the game at 25. Then he sat down and didn’t attempt another shot until late in the third quarter.
It seems when the stars get hurt, Vogel makes strange decisions. This was just a bad one. With the Lakers struggling to score throughout the game, Matthews’ potential hot hand may have made a difference.
The story from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:
Montrezl Harrell went crazy in the 4th quarter but it was not enough!
Trezl did not play great early but he got it going late in the third quarter. In the final quarter, he exploded on the Hawks and kept things close late. He was the only source of offense in the last frame with 16 points. He finished with 23 points.
How long will LeBron James be out with injury?
The Lakers have a lot of decisions to make. This is not about collecting wins over the next week or two, but the big picture of getting everyone healthy for the playoffs. With Phoenix on the horizon tomorrow night, it remains to be seen of the face of the franchise will be in the lineup.
If it’s up to LeBron James, he will pay but the franchise has to be responsible and sit him down for a few games if keeps a situation like Anthony Davis’ Achilles/Calf from happening.
If Lake Show Life has a vote…SIT HIM!
Speaking of the Lakers’ list of decisions, here’s an important one.
Will The Los Angeles Lakers keep Damian Jones?
Lake Show Life has let everyone know that decision day for Damian Jones was coming. Saturday was the 10th day of Damian Jones’ second 10-day contract. In another Rob Pelinka chess move, he signed him late in the day to make sure he was eligible for this game. After this Hawks game, the Lakers either have to let him go or sign him for the rest of the year.
Damian Jones has made 15 of his 16 field goal attempts since being signed to two 10-day contracts with the Lakers coming into this game.
Then 10 seconds into this one…he dunked his only shot of the game.
Rob Pelinka has plans going forward. If he does not get signed for the season, look for the Andre Drummond and Hassan Whiteside rumors to explode.
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.