Lakers lose (again) as Russell Westbrook proves to be team’s best player

Nov 7, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) dunks the ball against the Utah Jazz in the first quarter at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 7, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) dunks the ball against the Utah Jazz in the first quarter at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers are becoming that slow-sinking ship that is close to hitting that iceberg for a total collapse. After winning two straight games last week, the Lakers gave them both back with two listless performances against the Utah Jazz on Friday when the defense disappeared for 130 points and on Sunday when the offense just collapsed under the weight of Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Lakers were without LeBron James, who was held out due to injury. Now let social media tell us about the conspiracy theory that he’s probably embarrassed for this press conference…

The rapper Takeoff of the group Migos was gunned down recently. The issue is that LeBron told his Miami Heat teammates that this group was going to be the next big thing in 2010. Their first album was in 2011… stop laughing folks.

But in all seriousness, he has been suffering with a sore foot and there is no way he’s fully recovered from the non-COVID illness fully.

The Los Angeles Lakers are starting to bottom out with yet another anemic defensive performance in their quick rematch against the Utah Jazz. While the Jazz took over the top spot in the Western Conference (Danny Ainge is MAD!!!!) with a 139-116 victory over the Lake No-Show.

We could stop the analysis on this team by this accurate explanation from former Laker, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope…LeBron has checked out and the rest of the team is going to follow him. Just like last year…

"“Just watching the games, it just looks like there’s no basketball over there,” Caldwell-Pope told ESPN. “It’s just playing pickup. It’s hard to watch sometimes. So from me to him, just get the team together, and I just want to see that spark in him again. I don’t think I see that spark in Bron. So, hopefully, he can get it back.”"

Does anybody know how many points it will take to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Outside of Pau Gasol’s jersey retirement, that’s all this franchise has to offer for the future.

The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:

(In ESPN’s 30 for 30 voice!): What if I told you that Russell Westbrook has been the Lakers’ best player since the Portland game?

Man Russ is balling. Ever since he went to the bench, his consistency is through the roof and is the best on the team and that includes LeBron James and Anthony Davis. With LeBron out of the lineup, Russ took over the playmaking duties and is creating his own narrative.

Maybe his struggles are not on his end. Maybe a combination of Frank Vogel’s incompetence and LeBron’s tendency to slow the pace to a 1960’s Bob Cousy rhythm in the halfcourt is the issue.

In 16 minutes in the first half, this guy scored 18 points (6-9 shooting!) with 4 assists. Oh, he seems to be hitting 3 point shots too!

It’s a real joy to see a player overcome adversity, especially when the franchise blamed him for issues that were nowhere near his fault. The best part of the first half was when he was accepting coaching from assistant coach, Phil Handy. The trust is slowly coming back with Russ and you can see it in his play.

He finished with 22 points. Yes, the Lake Show Life writer is saying it…GET RUSS SOME HELP!

Anthony Davis destroyed the Utah Jazz in the first half…like again! 

AD scored 19 points on 9-12 shooting in the first half. Even better, he worked Lauri Markannen so bad that the Jazz player that dominated in L.A. struggled big time on the offensive end trying to stop AD on defense. But does this really matter at this point? Who cares if AD does all of this if he doesn’t even look at the basket in the second half?

For the record, AD finished with 29 points and Markannen got loose and outscored him in the second half.

Oh my goodness… Lakers guards besides Russell Westbrook scored some points? 

This is getting to be a vibe of dark criticism, but the scoring from the starting backcourt has been atrocious. Considering that the guards can’t stop the opponents’ guards from scoring (more on that in a second!), you would think they could contribute something on the offensive end.

Kendrick Nunn actually hit a couple of shots after a stretch of four scoreless games in seven outings. Austin Reaves scored 9 points in the first half by getting to the line. In other words, these two actually remember the rim color is orange.

Kendrick gave himself something to build on with 18 points on 7-11 shooting. The rest of the guards? Checking notes…that’s it.

The game ended…

Look at the score again.

The bad from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:

The first-quarter defense… second-quarter defense…you know where this is going right?

Jordan Clarkson took full advantage of the fact that Lakers guards can’t guard the Rocky statue in Philadelphia to the tune of 15 points in the first quarter. The rest of the defense wasn’t that great either as the Jazz scored 42 points. In the first 24 minutes, the Lakers gave up a season-high 76 points which eclipsed the original season-high of 75 a few days ago.

The third-quarter defense…

If it wasn’t for an 8-0 run spearheaded by Kendrick Nunn, this game would have been a complete butt-whipping by this time. But The Lakers have to find a clue on how to stop NBA teams after the halftime break. The Jazz ran up 39 points in this 12-minute frame.

Imagine letting your opponent shoot lights out and outrebound you on a basketball court…

Man, this team stinks…bad!

The story from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:

A picture as they say…what? A thousand words?

Let’s go back to the last Jazz post-game report, shall we?

"Talen Horton-Tucker was traded to the Utah Jazz in the offseason for Patrick Beverley. Ronald Agers was a champion for THT throughout his career in Lakers purple and gold. One look at how out of shape Horton-Tucker was in this game showed that Rob Pelinka made yet another good decision. Wow! THT has started on his Oliver Miller diet and he does not look good."

Comments like these always bring out Lakers casuals with the gumption to defend…this mess!

Well…this is the story of how bad the defense was…cue the tape!

Yes THT is still out of shape and had 15 points in 19 minutes. The look on his face after the dunk with every one of his teammates tells the story. But AD says teams are still afraid of the Lakers…