Even short-handed the Lakers are a team that has a lot of fight. They simply don’t know how to give up. With a strong bench and a strong performance from starters, the Lakers can stay in any game. Julius and Deng playing well is always going to be key for the Lakers, their real success comes from strong guard play from Russell, Clarkson, and Williams.
With arguably their most important player out, it was up to Lou and Jordan to carry the load on offense and they did so. Williams was scoring and dishing all game long, but it was Clarkson’s 4th quarter that kept the Lakers in the game brought the lead down all the way to 3.
Julius continues his great play. He rebounded and pushed the ball which really changed the game a lot of times and got shooters and himself great looks. Deng seemed to find his stroke a bit after being almost nonexistent through most of the beginning of the season.
The offense clearly missed D’Angelo as it seemed to be a bit out of sync at times and it was clear to see that going from D’Angelo to Calderon is step down. He did a solid job in his place, but the scoring and passing that the former Buckeye provides every game was clearly absent. A fully healthy Lakers team very well could have beat the Spurs, which is something that the Lakers should clearly be happy about. They were down their lead guard yet they still gave a playoff team a run for their money. Heck if it wasn’t for the Spurs not being able to miss in the 3rd quarter the Lakers might have won. This team really is something else and Lakers fans should be extremely happy that their team is relevant again.
Top 3 players from the game:
Julius Randle: 13 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists
Lou Williams: 24 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
Jordan Clarkson: 20 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists
Already, time to get to the film or else Kawhi Leonard might come out of nowhere and steal my gifs
This was a really cool moment. Kind of a past vs. future matchup in Pau going up against Julius with a post-up. Julius played good defense to get Pau to miss the shot. It really shows how far the Lakers have come since their “super team” that featured Pau.
A lot of the Spurs offense came from outside the paint and here is a good look at why. Both of the Spurs bigs can stretch the floor so it is really hard to guard a pick and roll featuring either of them. Here they run a simple pick and pop with LaMarcus and both Mozzy and Calderon go to the ball. Parker simply drops a pocket pass and Alridge gets a good look at his money mid-range shot.
🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨 Julius Randle jump shot 🚨🚨🚨🚨 Slowly and steadily Julius is improving confidence in his shot. This could very well be the evolution of the next-great power forward we are all witnessing.
The Nick Young hand-off featuring Julius has really been good for the Lakers to create an open shot. Randle may not be the best at setting a good solid screen, but he sure can set this little finicky drag screen that allows a shooter like Swaggy to get a good look.
With Randle, you take the good with the out of control. Here he goes back to his old ways with a really good push, using his quickness to get down the floor quickly, but he goes in the air with a bad angle to shoot from so he gives a bad pass to Moz as a last ditch effort. Needed to make a decision quicker there.
Ingram has been so good defensively despite some concerns about how his frame would handle being posted. Here he faces one of the best players in the league and he gets posted up, but does a good job of staying with him and forcing a kick out since Ingram was all over him. Sadly it ended in a Patty Mills 3.
Here Kawhi faces up again, but this time he is looking to score at he gets to the rim. Ingram is so long that he is able to bother the shot just enough for it to roll out. This is a match-up that most players struggle with, but for the couple of times that it happened, Ingram really shined.
Lou the magician pulled this out of his hat and it led to a sweet dime for a Black dunk. Lou may be usually looking to draw contact, but there is no doubt that he can run a pick and roll if he wants to.
Nifty little probe here by Clarkson that leads to a nice dish to Nance for a dunk. Clarkson may not be playmaking much now that Lou and D’Angelo are playing point guard most of the time, but he can still dish it from time to time.
Julius had a Draymond type play here without the karate kicks. He got the ball off a pick and roll and instead of shooting a highly contested shot, he kicked it out to Deng for the 3 and he hit it. Deng’s shot looked much better this game and that was a major key for the Lakers to hang around.
I should probably rename this article to the Julius Randle film room because this guy is literally half of the film. Here he pushed the ball up again and uses all of that insane speed he has. It needs to a pretty difficult shot attempt that he makes somehow, someway.
Randle the point god? Pretty much. This is all Randle. He uses his handle and a great spin move to get by some players and uses right at the rim. The combination of handles and speed is simply a match-up nightmare for any player not named Blake Griffin or Draymond Green.
Randle pushes the ball really fast. Like almost insanely fast for a player his size. Here he makes a great decision and gives Nick a great look for a step in 3 that he can make with his eyes closes. It seems as if Randle will be on triple-double watch for a lot of games this year. Good for you Julius.
🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨 Another Randle Jumper alert🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨 Lord help the rest of the NBA’s power forwards if this can ever be expand and become more consistent.
Ingram went 1-8 on the game in general, but he still flashed some smart shot creating skills. Here he uses a screen in order to get a mismatch for him to simply rise over the slow closeout that LA used. Brandon had a pretty bad showing from the floor, but he still finds ways to flash that scoring ability.
The Lakers can move the ball too. The one thing that has been most noticeable this year is the amount of extra passes that the Lakers uses to make a good look into a really good look. Luke for COTY.
Randle finally set a solid screen. I knew he could do it. It really helps the defense go towards the guards in order to leave him free and that is exactly what happened here. It led to a Julius Smash.
Steph Curry is on the Lakers???? Since when?????
Tony Parker still out here ripping the hearts out of all the Lakers fans. One dagger at a time.
This was another cool little thing from the game. D’Angelo got in the ear of Randle and gave him some things that he noticed while watching the game from the bench. A thing that should not go under the radar is how much of a leader Russell has become this year. It is his team and he is going to do what is best for the team whether he is on the court or not.