LeBron James was a late scratch for this game, as he opted to rest, joining Trevor Ariza (ankle surgery), Malik Monk (strained groin), and Talen Horton-Tucker (thumb) on the sidelines. The Lakers dropped their fourth consecutive preseason game in another blowout lost of 123-94.
While Anthony Davis and the main starters were still playing hard in the first half, the Lakers wiped off a 10-point deficit with a 13-2 run in the second quarter to take a 41-40 lead. This alley-oop dunk by Anthony Davis was the one that capped this nice run.
Russell Westbrook Looked Better, But Still Has Work to Do
The Brodie started the game off similar to how Friday’s game went. Although his play did look a bit better than Friday’s game, the timing with his teammates still isn’t quite there. He shot 3 of 12 from the field, racking up 9 turnovers in 26 minutes. There was a bit of an injury scare, as he ran into JaVale McGee on a screen, and seemed to injure his shoulder, but he later returned to the game in the second quarter, so it does not seem to be too serious.
Small Forwards Picked Up the Production
With Trevor Ariza sidelined for the foreseeable future and LeBron James resting, Kent Bazemore and Carmelo Anthony picked up the production for tonight’s game. Bazemore showed his defensive prowess as he ripped four steals, and added eight points. Anthony converted 5 of 7 threes for 17 points on 12 shots.
Spacing Looked Better This Game
The fluidity of the offense looked much smoother as the spacing was much better. This is due to LeBron James being out of the lineup, which allowed Westbrook to get to the paint at will. Wayne Ellington and Kent Bazemore started for the team that gave the offense more of a perimeter threat, which opened up the lanes easier for Westbrook.
As of now, the only starting lineup where spacing would be best suited is if Anthony Davis plays the five, with LeBron at the four, Westbrook at point, and two shooters to round up the starters. Starting either DeAndre Jordan or Dwight Howard would prevent the Lakers from having any sense of spacing, so this will be worth monitoring as we progress through the season.