The Los Angeles Lakers looked to gain momentum from the Portland Trail Blazers beatdown on Friday with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves without their superstar, Karl Anthony Towns, who is currently in the NBA Health and Safety protocols.
The Los Angeles Lakers went STRICTLY small ball placing LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony at center with enough success to outlast the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-103. The win gives the Lake Show a two-game winning streak with the Sacramento Kings coming to town on Tuesday.
The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:
Malik Monk is that cat the Los Angeles Lakers will love this season but may have to say goodbye to…
Lake Show Life has made it clear that Malik Monk was one of the better pickups over the summer. Even though the Russell Westbrook and DeAndre Jordan signings will be criticized by some (Okay…a whole bunch!) people but Rob Pelinka deserves a ton of credit for getting a very athletic young scorer into the fold for the minimum.
Malik Monk finished with 22 points (8-14 shooting!) in 33 minutes.
For all of the fans that criticized David Fizdale for his record while Frank Vogel was out, it is clear that you haven’t been watching the games. It was Fizdale and fellow assistant coach, Phil Handy that gave him more freedom on the court instead of focusing on his defensive weaknesses on the court. Monk was struggling early in the season due to Vogel’s rotations and quick hooks when he missed a rotation on defense.
Malik Monk is making millions of dollars with each game he plays. The Lakers will have to pony up some money if they want to keep him. He’s that electric and he is coming into his own.
Now that he has confidence in his game, Lik’ Lik’ is gaining some chemistry playing with a certain superstar the Lakers have on their roster…
LeBron James is destroying the NBA analytically and with the eye test!
Enjoy the ride Los Angeles Lakers fans because this might be the last time that LeBron James plays at this sustained level of brilliance with high efficiency. For the month of December, he leads the entire NBA in points scored and has dominated all of the individual stats leading the Lakers in multiple categories over the season. Sure everyone will look at the 30 point games coming into this one…
But it’s bigger than that. He has made sacrifices (How much he’s willing will be discussed later!) by moving from primary ball-handler to center to open up the offense. In this game, sure he got his numbers but it was his defense and leadership in crunch time that helped the Lakers get over the hump.
LeBron finished with 26 points (7-15 shooting!), 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and a block. What’s more important is that he has only one turnover in the last two games. With Russell Westbrook’s point guard play (Much more on that later!), this is what is slowly turning the Lakers’ fortunes around.
Bottom line…Carmelo Anthony and Avery Bradley bailed the Lakers out with timely baskets in crunch time!
Both players scored 14 points in this game but to understand the importance of how these two played when it counted one had to watch the game and not the box scores.
Melo for some reason loves the Crypto.com arena lights because he plays target practice under them. His four-point play (Video here) highlighted yet another fourth-quarter explosion with timely shots when the team needed them. He added another 3 point shot making Naz Reid fly by so badly that the Timberwolves had to sit him down because of matchup problems. This is the third game this season Carmelo has had timely shooting to help the Lakers avoid disaster.
The Los Angeles Lakers had better find some of that money that they opened up in the Rajon Rondo trade to sign Avery Bradley and guarantee his money. Sure he hit a huge shot at the end of the shot clock in the fourth quarter, but his timely defense getting steal after steal late got this Lakers team the win.
Message to Rob Pelinka…Go ahead and mess with this guy’s money if you want because the Golden State Warriors will sign him guaranteed if you mess this up. If they do, there is no chance the Lakers beat them in the playoffs.