The Los Angeles Lakers were looking for their third straight win on their homestand against the Toronto Raptors. The Lake Show welcomed back starting guard D’Angelo Russell to the lineup after sitting out with an ankle injury a couple of weeks back.
On paper, this looked like a game the Los Angeles Lakers should win but the Raptors have dominated the series as of late winning 12 of the last 14 matchups. Go figure.
In a game that had sloppy turnovers and stagnant offense, the Los Angeles Lakers finally woke up in the final 12 minutes to beat the Toronto Raptors 122-112.
This win was all about the bench production (Much more on that later!) and timely shots from D’Angelo Russell…
But Darvin Ham’s out coaching of Nick Nurse in a very underrated move concerning Anthony Davis sealed the deal and opened the offensive floodgates. Toronto devised a scheme with double teams and it led to a ton of turnovers. AD goes to the bench and the ball started moving and the roof was blown off the arena.
Don’t look now but the schedule looks favorable for that long winning streak that Lake Show Life has been asking for about three weeks now.
The good of the Los Angeles Lakers win:
Jarred Vanderbilt went OFF in the first half!
Has anyone noticed that the criticisms of Rob Pelinka have vanished? Maybe because he has overhauled this roster with players that just want to star in their roles and are not afraid to shoot the ball in the process. No player illustrates this more than Jarred Vanderbilt. Not only has he emerged as the Lakers’ best perimeter defender (By light years!), but in this game, he was on fire shooting the ball in the first half!
In 14 minutes, Vando scored 14 points (5-5 shooting with two 3-point shots!) with three rebounds. He looked as comfortable on the offensive end as he was on defense, much like the Dallas game when he changed the tempo leading to a comeback win.
Vanderbilt finished with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.
What in the world has gotten into Rui Hachimura?
After numerous games of looking like a tall dude just running up and down the court working on his cardio, Rui Hachimura has turned himself into an offensive threat. Where this came from, who knows other than Rui and the coaching staff?
He was right behind Jarred Vanderbilt gouging the Raptors’ defense with his first-half offensive outburst. Rui had 12 points on 5-7 shooting which picked up the lack of scoring from Anthony Davis in the first half.
Rui finished with 16 points. If he keeps this up, the staff of Lake Show Life will only have his rebounding to criticize.
D’Angelo Russell’s return meant Dennis Schroder went to the bench!
If anyone needed any evidence that these post-game reports trigger Lakers fans, let’s go back to the scalding statement about Schroder’s minutes doled out by Darvin Ham…
"When D’Angelo Russell gets back, if Dennis Schroder is not on that bench, watch some of the roster let go of the rope. Don’t think there aren’t players that are wondering why Dennis quit against Memphis letting that fast break just standing in the backcourt and still getting minutes like everything is everything."
Yes, this writer does like to call out casuals that think these reports aren’t about improvement or the keys to survival in the postseason when the games slow down. Check out these two on Facebook commenting on the Warriors post…
Reggie Williams on Facebook:
"Mannn this whole thing with Schroder needs to stop. Ham is doing a dam good job. Dennis is a pest. Thats why he is playing those minutes. ERRBODY BALLIN RIGHT NOW!! QUIT REACHING WITH THIS WEAK STORY"
Mike Burke on Facebook:
"Reggie Williams right…. Damn stop already!"
This story was so weak that Darvin Ham reached out and changed the point guard in the starting lineup. Why? Well, film doesn’t lie!
After AD blocks the shot an runs the floor, notice how quickly D’Angelo Russell reads the mismatch down low and gets the ball to him immediately. We could bring up that awful entry pass that Dennis Schroder had against Memphis about a week ago or even the lazy entry pass that got stolen in this game, but that would be petty.
The point here is D’Lo knows that AD needs to get the ball when he wants when there is a mismatch. Dennis does not make reads like this without looking for his shot first.
That concept added up to D’Angelo Russell scoring 28 points, dishing 9 assists with 5 rebounds, bringing excitement and hope to Lakers Nation not seen realistically in a couple of years. The Los Angeles Lakers have finally gotten themselves a point guard not named LeBron James to run an offensive set smoothly.
The bad of the Los Angeles Lakers win:
The start of the first quarter and third quarters!
Awful…just awful. In the first quarter, the Lakers fell down 25-10 before both teams broke a sweat. Anthony Davis got his first shot attempt to go (Get this!) at 5:20 on the opening period. The defense was awful and the turnovers were almost immediate Toronto points.
In the third quarter, the Raptors had a 9-0 run to lose their halftime lead before Darvin Ham stopped the bleeding with a timeout. It didn’t do much as the Lakers found themselves on the wrong end of a 17-2 run. The Lake Show hit four shots in the third quarter. This just in…that’s not good.
Somebody must have talked about this guy’s loved ones or something because this guy was flat-out laying waste to the Los Angeles Lakers. he hit his first 11 shots overall. Four free throws and his 3-point attempts for 28 points halfway through the third quarter!
This guy was in a zone and the Lakers had no answer for this one. He finished with 31 points and 5 steals. He was the best player on the floor for the Raptors and it was not even close for three quarters. What do we mean? Keep reading.
Someone on the Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff thought it was a good idea to guard Scottie Barnes one-on-one with a guard!
Sure, if you look at Scottie Barnes’ position in the box score it will say small forward. But the guy is 6’8 with really long arms. When the Lakers switched, either Malik Beasley, Austin Reaves or some other smaller player was behind Scottie Barnes for chair shooting drills.
Scottie Barnes scored 32 points, adding 9 rebounds and 7 assists.
Been ice-cold the last few games, but that doesn’t matter. He’ll get hot again in a minute.
The story of the Los Angeles Lakers win:
The Los Angeles Lakers bench won the game…period!
Yes, the website of Lake Show Life has been all over Dennis Schroder and his point guard play as a starter. There’s a reason why. He’s not a starting point guard for a team trying to get into the postseason. Never has been.
When the Lakers got him from OKC, he was a 6th man playing behind Chris Paul. He is an outstanding spark off the bench. He showed that in this game. But man, he was not alone.
Austin Reaves led the bench mob to a 61-12 edge in this game. Just look at the numbers folks.
- Austin Reaves: 18 points, 5 assists, a block and 2 rebounds.
- Dennis Schroder: 23 points, 7 assists and 4 steals.
- Rui Hachimura: 16 points and 3 rebounds.
- Wenyen Gabriel: 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocks.
This leads to options. Anthony Davis scored 8 points on seven shots and it didn’t matter.
The NBA is on notice. If the Lakers get past the New York Knicks, we are looking at a possible eight-game winning streak, maybe longer.