Lakers explode to defeat the Boston Celtics: The good, bad and story

Dec 7, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; The Staples Center marquee sign prior to the NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 7, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; The Staples Center marquee sign prior to the NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be the enigma of the NBA after losing to their cross-the-hall rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers Friday night 119-115. Even though the NBA season is over a quarter of the way done, it seems the narrative has changed so many times with fingers being pointed that the staff of Lake Show Life can’t even keep up.

  • Remember when the media basically booked their hotels in Los Angeles and Brooklyn for a Lakers vs. Nets NBA Finals after the Russell Westbrook trade?
  • Then a winless preseason brought out excuses about the team needing  time to gel.
  • Then Russell Westbrook’s uneven play along with his turnover issues drew the ire of Lakers Nation to the point that they wanted him traded?
  • Then it was the defense…then the injuries…then DeAndre Jordan…then…well you get the point. 

Well, the storyline before this game was all about Frank Vogel, who is facing some speculation on if his job will be around by the time we all scream “Happy New Year!” to bring in 2022.

LeBron James made his first official statement about Vogel’s status this week by giving a vote of confidence for his coach via ESPN.

"“I think criticism comes with the job, you know?” James said after practice on Monday. “Frank is a strong-minded guy. He has a great coaching staff. And we as his players have to do a better job of going out and producing on the floor. We’re a team and an organization that don’t mind some adversity, that don’t mind people saying things about us, obviously, because it comes with the territory.”"

Lake Show Life has been clamoring for a coaching change since the second game of the season so the rest of the crowd is just arriving to the party. There must be something to these narratives if Charles Barkley started the TNT broadcast with this rant.

Well, this writer is a huge fan of Charles Barkley, (Check the Twitter page!) but media folks can disagree with their heroes. Sure AD is not playing as well as he should, but eventually, the coach has to either

  • A) Light a fire under him by benching him for a player that is contributing at the time or…
  • B) Put together a scheme to put him in a place to succeed.

There was a disagreement in this philosophy but there is a co-signed agreement on his other opinion soon to be discussed later.

The Los Angeles Lakers played one of their more complete games of the season avenging a bad loss to the Celtics by beating them 117-102 to get the season split. These teams have split the season series for the last four seasons.

The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:

LeBron James was extremely efficient scoring for the Los Angeles Lakers. 

With Jayson Tatum starting the game red hot (More on that later!), the Lakers needed someone to step up and give some scoring punch or they would get blown out much like the second half of the previous matchup. Well, that player was guess who…LeBron James.

LeBron paced the Lake Show with 18 points in the first half to stem the tide when Tatum was rolling. When the Lakers needed points, he didn’t hover around the 3 point line but attacked the basket and led one of the best team performances with points in the paint.

He finished with 30 points (13-19 shooting!), 5 assists and 4 rebounds.

The Los Angeles Lakers got their revenge on the Boston Celtics in third-quarter dominance! 

To put this point in perspective, the Celtics ran past the Lakers in the second half in Boston outscoring them a whopping 70-47 to blow them out of the building. Man in this game, the Lakers let the Celtics know that they didn’t forget. They were all over them in the third quarter. The Lakers made sure every shot was difficult and got their fast break going as a result.

Need visual proof?

One thing the Los Angeles Lakers have cleaned up is the sloppy, listless play coming out of the locker room for the second half. They were easily in the conversation as one of the worst third-quarter teams in the NBA. In this game, they had a lead going into the second half and made sure that Boston had no chance of a comeback by going on a huge run to extend the lead. The Lake Show outscored Boston 31-20 in the third quarter.

Russell Westbrook came alive in the second half.

Maybe this is planned? One time is an accident, two times is a coincidence and more times than that is a trend. Westbrook is getting a niche for exploding in the second half of games by getting aggressive and attacking the rim. This is an extreme difference from earlier this season when he floated on the perimeter firing up jump shots.

This second-half version of Russell Westbrook is what the Lakers fans signed up for and what Rob Pelinka was thinking when he gambled the rest of the decade to get him in the first place.

Russ played one of his better two-way games of the season finishing with 24 points (9-16 shooting!), 11 assists and 3 rebounds.