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Lakers News: Malik Monk Shines Again, Lakers Defense Struggles

Lakers lost 117-105 to the Phoenix Suns

In the Lakers loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday evening, there were a lot of glaring disappointments. There were some bright spots to be sure, but the issues were bigger than the sunshine. Sorry for the pun.

'Melo In Yellow

It won't show up on ESPN because Carmelo Anthony's numbers were not remarkable. The numbers would belie how good Anthony looked. He bullied in the post, he still had quickness off the dribble, and he showed how easily one of the best scorers in NBA history can still get a bucket. Just like Uncle Drew said in that Pepsi ad, "I get buckets." Coach Frank Vogel sang Anthony's praises.

“We brought him here for a reason. He’s attacking the right match-ups. He’s going to have the green light. He’s going to help us in that regard, too. Obviously, he’ll be a floor-spacer as well when the ball’s in Russ and LeBron’s hands, a lot. That’s what we love about Melo is he’s got that versatility.”

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Malik Monk 

Malik Monk continued to make his case as the best under-the-radar offseason pickup for the Lakers. Monk with a team-high 18 points on 7-11 shooting and 4-7 from deep. He has been good in both Laker preseason games.

Defense and Legs

The Lakers defense was...bad. The boys in purple and gold consistently missed rotations and oftentimes looked lost. DeAndre Jordan's early preseason returns are concerning. His legs don't have the jump that they did when he was young of course. Nobody expects that. He was absolutely torched by JaVale McGee who looked like the second coming of Kareem when Jordan was defending him. He could not quite finish at the rim the way he once did, and he just looked flat. Jordan is at the twilight end of his career, so nobody is expecting lob city part deux, but as the third big man behind Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard, the Lakers are going to have to rely on some heavy minutes from Jordan. It was only the second preseason game, so hopefully, he's just getting his legs back.

Final Thoughts

The Lakers struggled with their outside shooting and interior rebounding, but with the main players and starters, those numbers shouldn't always be so lopsided. LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, those guys can rebound and shoot a little. It's a foolish thing to over-evaluate preseason games, but every NBA observer will always do it. 

The Lakers take on the Warriors on Friday night at 7 PST.