After another disheartening loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday night, the Lakers headed to Orlando. In the last game of the road trip, the team hoped to show some spunk after their recent woes. There have been reports of the youth coming in late at night to get more shots up in an attempt to fix some of the issues, but nothing has appeared to help.
After getting 19 point leads in both of the previous two losses (only to lose the game in the final minutes), the Lakers did not get fare so well to start out tonight’s contest. Instead, the Lakers saw themselves down 16 (30-14) to end the first quarter.
Notably from the first quarter, at one point, the Lakers had fewer points (5) than the Magic had blocks (8).
One could say that the second quarter was a bit better for LA due to more scoring for the Lakers, who put up 26 in the quarter. The problem was, Orlando scored 27. The Magic ended the half with a 57-40 lead.
The Lakers might have finally caught on to what Coach Walton wanted after halftime. Within the first five minutes of the third quarter, the Lakers cut the deficit to eight (64-56). The run was spearheaded by the play of D’Angelo Russell, as well as the great defensive play by Nick Young. (Editor’s note: We still might never get used to seeing this.)
Unfortunately, the Lakers comeback was thwarted. Before the fourth quarter, the Magic increased their lead back to 17 (86-69).
The game finished with a final score of 109-90. Despite the comeback attempt, the Lakers continue their recent slide and head back to Los Angeles carrying a less than admirable record of 11-22.
– The outburst of blocked shots was interesting in my opinion. Part of it is just simply due to Orlando’s insane length in the front court. I had to ask myself if this was partly due to the Lakers being too predictable. That may have just been me, but it felt like this was the case.
– With very few positives coming to mind, seeing Ivica Zubac finally getting some minutes was nice. It was almost as if head coach Luke Walton read Colten’s piece from last night.
– I have been trying to rack my brain on what the issue is for the Lakers. They are looking abysmal. Youth is part of it, and I will continue to preach patience, but there just appears to be something else wrong. Hopefully a nice long home streak and some days off to practice will help the team get back on track. The Lakers have played more games than any other team this year, so maybe the snowball effect is just climaxing. Hopefully.
– My final note is that we barely got to see hopeful future Laker Mario Hezonja. I may die on that hill of hoping for Mario to LA, but Orlando sure is killing his trade value.
The Lakers’ next game is on Christmas Day (12/25) versus the Los Angeles Clippers at 7:30 p.m. PST.