Home > Uncategorized > Lakers Take Away a Great Win in Texas on The Road between 2 Losses

Lakers Take Away a Great Win in Texas on The Road between 2 Losses

That The Los Angeles Lakers could be so humiliated on Tuesday at Dallas by The Mavericks it seemed so much more – and I do mean “highly unlikely!” for all the reasons Lakers fans can think of –  that they would stand a chance against The Rockets Thursday night in Houston, but surging out to a 64-50 halftime lead was a spectacular achievement! The Lakers bench outscored their opponent 54-23, and somehow they came up with a 47-44 rebounding advantage too! I thought The Rockets were  on the verge of greatness with the addition to their roster of Dwight Howard over the summer? Of course, I thought that way the previous year about The Lakers when Dwight Howard auditioned for Los Angeles!

Once again, The Lakers starting roster was tweaked to give Nick Young an opportunity to reassert himself and he made the most of his opportunity! A gritty drive by Young for a basket late in the 1st Half to put The Lakers up 12 after converting the and-1 was huge, especially since Pau Gasol was off all night long. Steve Blake got hit in the face early in the contest, and rebounded from that with a 3-in-a-row performance beyond the arc! But his best work was on defense, until he made the most important shot of the night – the game winner, off a screen from Steve Nash that left him wide open! That 3-pointer put The Lakers back up 99-98 for the win with 1.7 seconds, and stellar defense by The Lakers frustrated The Rockets from getting the inbound pass they wanted at the finish.

All night long, Dwight Howard was a non-factor. Maybe the funniest part about that was all of the missed free throws by The Rockets, not just Dwight Howard – in the 2nd quarter. Late in the 4th Quarter, apparently Mike D’Antoni decided to go for the Hack-a-Dwight technique, since it worked against The Lakers so effectively last year. Too funny. In the end, the amazing play of James Harden to score at will in the 2nd Half just wasn’t enough to offset his lack of ability to play defense effectively. But there were many factors for The Lakers winning this game – even though they scored only 35 points in the 2nd Half. Jodie Meeks was huge, off the bench. So was Jordan Hill, again.

Lakers win! Lakers win! It was a hard fought victory on the road. Like Tony Parker said after The San Antonio Spurs pulled out a late heroics victory at Staples Center against The Lakers recently: Any win on the road is sweet. I’ll take it.

And then the next night, in New Orleans, against The Pelicans (?) – previously The Hornets – The Lakers got another poor performance from Pau Gasol against a stronger Center than Dwight Howard: That’s right, Anthony Davis is a much better Center than Dwight Howard, and he is only in his sophomore season! Not that free throw shooting is the criteria by which a NBA Center is measured, but he can shoot them for a high percentage and more! His rebounding, defense & scoring were superb! But it was his sheer athleticism that was so impressive – head & shoulders played better than anybody else on the court Friday night, although Anthony Morrow was also a key contributor for New Orleans – off the bench.

The Lakers bench was, again, a key component to the possibility of pulling out a win; but, Steve Nash restricted from playing in back-to-back games seemed to create a lack of concentration, focus, leadership when we needed The Lakers to exhibit it most: they played poorly to end the 1st Half, allowing a tie game to become a Pelicans 7 point lead. Worse, with the game still up for grabs, The Lakers couldn’t score in the final 5 minutes of the game… until it was garbage time. Oh well.

Hopefully The Lakers came away with some understanding of how this squad can play better, and the coaching staff will have a better idea of how to fill out a starting lineup and exploit mismatches – instead of creating them. The Lakers lack leadership, especially with the poor play, or the underperforming of Pau Gasol. Until Kobe Bryant makes it back onto the court what “we the fans” just witnessed on the road may be the most we can hope for – which is lesser talent rising to the occasion (this year), instead of top tier talent finding a way to lose (last season). This season is all about “the possibilities.” Somehow that’s refreshing after a frustrating season of “high expectations” that ended on  a sour note.

Go, Lakers!

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