Time is running out on the season for the Los Angeles Lakers as they were back at home taking on the Dallas Mavericks after a terrible loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. The lack of effort and defense motivated Lakers coach Darvin Ham to call out his team for the second time this season for poor play.
"“I said it before games, after games, non-game days — energy, effort and urgency, and I thought coming out of the gates, that was non-existent. I didn’t see a lot of that, but I saw it on their part (the Rockets). … Regardless of what their record is, they came to play. We felt them. They made us feel them in terms of them attacking the paint, then getting hits, them getting offensive rebounds, getting themselves extra possessions. We should’ve been the ones playing with that type of edge.”"
While most media outlets say, these games are must-win affairs, let the Lake Show Life website say why. See, this game dictates the season series for the two teams. Would anyone really be able to predict the outcome of this one? Umm…no, and if anyone did, based on this season, they would be lying.
- On Christmas Day, the Lakers ran off to a lead, only for the Dallas Mavericks to light the Lakers up with 51 points in the third quarter for a blowout!
- Then there was the last matchup against these two teams when the Mavs led by 27 points in the first half only for the Lakers to find money in Jarred Vanderbilt and steal a win!
- Sadly, this was also the game in that LeBron James got injured hence no one has seen him on the hardwood for a while.
The Los Angeles Lakers went back to the tried and true method of getting their opponent in the penalty early in the final quarter and running past them. After falling down double digits in the third quarter, the Lake Show roared ahead with a 30-19 explosion in the final 11:59.
Virtually the same play when Tyrese Haliburton found an open teammate for the Pacers, Kyrie Irving found Maxi Kleiber to put the Lakers’ postseason in jeopardy.
The Lakers have 11 games left. Six on the road (One against the Clippers…technically!) and five at home. Excuses like some had in the comments about AD sitting out against Houston are no longer permitted.
The good of the Los Angeles Lakers loss:
This game was the perfect matchup for the Los Angeles Lakers!
The Dallas Mavericks had two characteristics that should have had the Lakers drooling. One, the Mavs are a terrible defensive team. Their plan is to shoot 3-pointers all night while Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic (When he returns!) drop 35 points or more a night. The Los Angeles Lakers coming into this game had the upper hand with Anthony Davis returning to the lineup. The Lake Show was bigger, stronger, and more athletic. No problem right?
Anthony Davis was in beast mode early!
The Los Angeles Lakers were on fire offensively because of the dominance in the paint by AD. He scored 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He was slowed with two fouls but he set the foundation early which is what the Lakers need.
AD had his 33rd double-double in 45 games with a stat line of 26 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists. What about that foul at the end of the game? Keep reading, we’ll get to that.
Austin Reaves…is just so much fun to watch man…
This is how good this guy is playing, if the rest of the players played the game like this guy, the Lakers could make a serious run in the playoffs. Seriously. He is so efficient and just reads the game and makes the play consistently unlike some of his other teammates (Yes, Malik Beasley and Dennis Schroder…we are talking about you!).
Even the shots that don’t count look good!
But look at his mannerisms. He doesn’t get too high or too low. He knows that the Lakers need to stack wins and he is doing his part to help.
Reaves finished with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. His only issue these days are the missed free throws.
Whether LeBron James comes back this season or not, Wenyen Gabriel needs to be in the rotation. He is one of the only players on this roster that plays hard and doesn’t chase stats for the box score. When AD was in and out of the game with foul trouble, Wenyen kept right on punishing the Mavs front line with offensive rebounding and low post scoring.
He finished with 9 points 11 rebounds (8 offensive!), 2 assists and 2 steals.
His look at the end of the game told the story. He didn’t deserve this. He chased Kyrie Irving all over the floor and did his job. His teammates let him down.
The bad of the Los Angeles Lakers loss:
Well, there’s a nasty rumor out there that Kyrie Irving is really good at basketball!
Sure, we could talk about the very inconsistent defense (Okay, considering the urgency of the situation, BAD!) of the Lakers, but Kyrie Irving is a joy to watch sometimes when his game gets untracked early.
Foul trouble kept Irving from having a huge night (AD had the same issues!), but he put in work.
Kyrie finished with 38 points and 6 assists.
3-point shooting comparisons…
This game from beyond the arc looks like a bad regression back to the 2-10 start for the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Dallas Mavericks: 16-34
- Los Angeles Lakers: 5-20
A combination of poor point guard play waiting to long to get into the offense, ball sticking and turnovers will do this every time.
On defense? It’s the story of the season folks if the Lakers decide to put in effort to make the play-in tournament.
The story of the Los Angeles Lakers loss:
The perimeter defense of the Los Angeles Lakers is killing the Lakers’ postseason chances and they have been exposed!
This is not just about Anthony Davis, who set up this opportunity with a horrible foul on Maxi Kleiber for three free throws and falling asleep again for the game-winner. This is on the Lakers wings and guards period not named Austin Reaves and Jarred Vanderbilt.
The Lakers lost this game because the Mavericks just devised a scheme to bring AD out of the paint opening up lanes in the paint for easy baskets.
If the Dallas big men don’t hit the open shots, the Lakers run them out of the building. This time they hit them.
This doesn’t matter if the smaller defenders sell out and play hard on the defensive end to throw the rhythm off for the opposing guards and wings. This is the Lakers’ biggest issue. This team was winning when they had the top net defense in the NBA after the trade deadline.
Well…they aren’t anymore.