The Los Angeles Lakers played their only game in Madison Square Garden without LeBron James, who was suspended for his part in the incident with Isaiah Stewart in Detroit on Sunday. This event along with the herculean efforts of Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis covered up the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers played a subpar game.
The Inside the NBA crew featuring guest host Jamal Crawford shined the light of the Lakers’ slow start.
Well, the Lakers now have a new habit…falling way behind in basketball games only to try and scratch and claw their way back to sneak wins.
The stench of inconsistency returned at the Lakers got absolutely beat down in the first quarter and a half of this game. Then Russell Westbrook went to the phone booth at halftime and put on his Superman outfit and carried the Lake Show to a tie in the third quarter.
But it was not enough as the Los Angeles Lakers fell to the New York Knicks 106-100 in a wild affair that looked like a performance that would bring back the “Fire Vogel” chants from the Lake Show Life staff.
One more game against the Indiana Pacers before Thanksgiving on Wednesday.
The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:
LeBron James’ suspension will save Lakers over $500,000 in luxury tax payments!
In games like these, you have to find some good things to point outright? Well, the Lakers can pocket this money and save it for the buyout market. The prorated salaries can get a decent veteran that is looking for a quick ring. Here’s how it works.
- James loses over $284,000 for missing this game. The Lakers will be credited half that amount on their salary cap, which amounts to $142,002.
- The $142,002 figure translates into $500,000 in savings because of how much they owe in NBA luxury taxes.
- Based on what is called a progressive tax, the Lakers pay a penalty per dollar keeps rising based on how much a team exceeds the luxury tax. How is that broken down?
- Teams that exceed the luxury tax by $1 to $4.9 million have to pay $1.50 on every dollar they spent over the tax. Teams that exceed the luxury tax by $5 million to $9.9 million get taxed $1.75 on every dollar spent.
- Now that the Lakers received that credit on LeBron’s $142,002 game salary amount, now they won’t have to pay the tax penalty on that amount adding up to $532,508.
- But the Lakers have to pay over $45 million in luxury taxes anyway, however desperate can’t be choosy right?
Malik Monk was the only one that played basketball in the first quarter for the Los Angeles Lakers!
The New York Knicks started the game on a 10-0 run in the first two and a half minutes of the game. The Lakers were nosediving to a deficit as high as 25 points. The Lakers actually caught up with a huge run in the second quarter (More on that later!) that would have been null and void if Malik doesn’t come off the bench ready to play!
Lik’ Lik’ scored 12 huge first-half points to jumpstart the Lakers’ comeback before halftime and avoid an embarrassing blowout. The problem is he didn’t score in the second half.
Avery Bradley was huge defensively in the second quarter that added to the momentum of Malik Monk’s first quarter!
The staff of Lake Show Life has been critical of Avery Bradley’s play due to the fact that he can go games without scoring a point, but he reminded everyone of his role in this game. His defensive tenacity started a huge run that cut the 25 point deficit to 12 points by the half.
How dominant was he with his on-the-ball defense? He stole the ball from Kemba Walker at half court and took it the other way. Oh, by the way, he even scored 7 points to go with 5 rebounds and 2 steals which was big during the Lakers’ huge run.
He finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals. Folks the Knicks guards and Julius Randle could not execute a dribble one on one against this guy!
The Lakers flat out did not quit when the sky was falling!
The Los Angeles Lakers could have easily let go of the rope and allowed the excuses of Lakers Nation to take over…
- LeBron James was suspended…
- Anthony Davis was under the weather…
- The old standby…the Lakers are still fine because it’s early. They are built for the playoffs.
Instead, the Lakers went crazy on the Knicks with a 15-2 run to close out the first half and then kept the momentum rolling scoring five straight points to force an immediate New York timeout. The Lakers had an extended run of 25-4 to eventually tie the game! For the second time in as many games, random players decided to step up and compete before eventually, the entire team started to get with the program.
Lake Show Life mentioned this after the Detroit game and will repeat it in this report. If the players wanted Frank Vogel fired, this was the time to quit. They didn’t. Vogel is still not the coach for this championship run, but the players haven’t left him hanging.
Carmelo’s welcome back to Madison Square Garden…