Los Angeles Lakers make Atlanta quit with the return of LeBron James

Jan 6, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) controls the ball against Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) during the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 6, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) controls the ball against Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) during the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers have rescued their play-in tournament chances with three straight wins stretching out to four victories in their last five contests. LeBron James has been the catalyst in the winning streak with back-to-back 40-point performances against the Charlotte Hornets and the Atlanta Hawks, the Lakers’ Friday night matchup.

Then his teammates beat the Miami Heat while he was out with a non-COVID illness.

Look, the Los Angeles Lakers are no blueprint for running a championship team these days, but understand there are teams out there that are much worse! A perfect example is the Atlanta Hawks, who have a roster just looking at their watches and calendars, waiting for their coach to be fired. Has this website criticized the Lakers for a multitude of things? Yep, but the one thing the Lake Show does is compete and play hard.

The Atlanta Hawks showed the other end of the spectrum. You thought they were terrible last week; this is grounds for an investigation!

In the first half it looked like the Los Angeles Lakers found five guys from L.A. Fitness and gave them Atlanta Hawks jerseys. Then in the second half, it looked more like NBA players that are employed by the NBA showed up in an easy 130-114 Lake Show victory. The Lakers now have won four straight games and even though this is nice, it allows Rob Pelinka time to flood the roster with 10-day players.

But winning is winning. Enjoy the fun because the next East coast road trip is brutal!

The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:  

The Los Angeles Lakers played an Atlanta Hawks team setting their coach up to be fired!

There was no report from Lake Show Life the night that LeBron James decided to show off in front of his wife and Mom on his birthday to the tune of 47 points (It’s really nice that a man is crazy about his woman and his momma!), but it didn’t take much to see that the Atlanta Hawks front office and coaching situation make Rob Pelinka look like Jerry West and Darvin Ham look like Phil Jackson. The Hawks are a mitigated disaster!

  • First, they reassign former President of Basketball Operations, Travis Schlenk, to an adviser role and replaced him with Landry Fields.
  • Then they fired three executives the very next week. 
  • Then Nate McMillan had to answer questions about rumors concerning retiring midseason!
  • Then the Hawks blew a 15-point first-half lead and lost the game!
  • Look LeBron’s scoring explosion had him so excited that when he scored over THREE Hawks and drew the foul, he was screaming that he was a dawg. If he’s a dawg, folks the Hawks are from Westminister or they are the University of Georgia!  They sponsored a LeBron James layup line!

Bottom line, if there was an illustrated 4K example of players trying to get a coach fired, this is it. The second Trae Young stayed home after his dustup with Nate McMillian, the match was lit for this franchise explosion. It’s not if Nate McMillan will leave but when. Man, this game showed the Hawks players will not try until there is another coach.

LeBron James looked smooth in the realm of the offense!

It would have been simple for LeBron to come out and try to duplicate the scoring outburst on birthday night. Looking at the Atlanta Hawks’ defensive efforts, he could have scored 60. But he used the blowout to save energy for the long season.

He finished with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists. See during the Showtime era, the superstars would blow out opponents and rest in the final 12 minutes. Watching LeBron playing the long game while producing enough to make sure the game didn’t get away is what he and the Lakers need right now!

Thank God for Kendrick Nunn and Max Christie! 

This post-game report was going to be rewritten based on the slippage in the third quarter, but Max Christie and Kendrick Nunn hit timely shots to avoid yet another irritating Lakers third quarter.

  • Kendrick Nunn: Season-high 23 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
  • Max Christie: 8 points, a rebound and 3 assists.  

Introducing the starting center for the Los Angeles Lakers…THOMAS BRYANT!

And to think there were so many Lakers fans and media types that really thought the trade for Myles Turner was necessary. Thomas Bryant just dominated in the paint to the tune of 19 points, 13 rebounds with a steal and a block. The only thing he needs to do is not hang on the rim so much. Referees like Scott Foster are around and will hand out techs.

Russell Westbrook and Dennis Schroder brought their old OKC magic to this game!

These two have a good relationship going back to their days in Oklahoma City. It was really good to see how their combined efforts led to a total team win in this game.

  • Russell Westbrook: 18 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists.
  • Dennis Schroder: 21 points, 2 rebounds and one assist.

Man…it was so good to hear Atlanta Hawks announcer Bob Rathburn again!

As a person that has spent half of his life in media over so many jobs and platforms, colleagues, even though you don’t know them to have an amount of investment in your career because it’s a small world. A while back, Bob Rathburn had a medical emergency ON AIR during an Atlanta Hawks game.

This almost never happens and when it does it will affect you. Everyone can relate to this point after watching the Monday Night Football game when potential disaster happened with Buffalo Bills player Demar Hamlin being raced to the hospital earlier this week.

Continued prayers to everyone involved with the journey to get Demar Hamlin back to full health and special prayers to the heavens getting Bob Rathburn back at the announcers’ table calling games.

The bad from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:

Are you serious? 

This is not an Atlanta Hawks website! They deserve all the criticism for the lack of effort and bad play. God bless the writers of Soaring Down South. They have to cover this debacle up close and personal!

The story from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:

Remember games like these if the NBA has a work stoppage!

This is not an indictment on the Los Angeles Lakers. They need wins and you don’t start investigations when you find money on the ground. You pick it up and put it in your pocket. This is about the growing number of players and teams that are bringing dysfunction to the business model that is the NBA.

  • James Harden literally quit in his last game in a Rockets uniform…AGAINST THE LAKERS! Then he went to Brooklyn and quit!
  • Ben Simmons with his drama in Philly before being traded to Brooklyn!
  • Kevin Durant demanding a trade in the offseason before his max deal even went into effect!
  • Kyrie Irving…even though he is balling did no one any favors with his drama!

Now it’s Trae Young, who is well on his way to getting his second coach fired in his short career (Lloyd Pierce being the other!) while having nothing to hang his hat on since that deep playoff run a couple of years ago.

Why is this important? The CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) is up for negotiations. The owners are not going to stand for this behavior from the players. Load management was one thing, but this is worse. If there are more performances like the one the Atlanta Hawks put on tonight, the owners WILL put a “pay for play” clause in the negotiation for future contracts. The players will say no and there will be a lockout.

When the staff of Lake Show Life calls out players for not playing or playing hard, it’s business and never personal. Think we’re playing?

Wait until this summer. The negotiations start up again the day AFTER the trade deadline.