The Lakers have a HUGE game coming up tonight against the Grizzlies, and a poor performance Saturday night makes this a must win. The fact of the matter is that the Lakers looked uninterested in an easy game against the Pels, and couldn’t turn up the intensity when New Orleans proved not to be a pushover.
This is frankly a game that the Lakers can not lose if they are hoping to contend for the 7 seed. The Grizzlies are currently 14th in the West. There is far too much on the line for the game, but that’s what we thought about the New Orleans game as well. In a 128-115 loss, the Lakers showed their inconsistency yet again as the Pelicans seemed in control for much of the game. The bench had another poor showing, scoring just 24 points on 10/22 shooting. I have not seen anyone on the bench who can light a spark, and that will likely harm the Lakers as they continue on with their playoff push.
Brandon Ingram has been a big bright spot over the past few games, and he’ll look to continue that against Memphis tonight. Possibly the worst part about this loss is that NO was without their best player. Anthony Davis was sidelined Saturday with a shoulder injury, and the Lakers did not take this seriously.
At this point I’m not sure if the Lakers just don’t want to play defense or if they physically can’t. 128 to a non playoff team without their best player is shameful and problematic. LeBron may not be able to play defense at the same level as 10 years ago, or even before his injury, but he MUST get the young core to step up. He must set the standard for the team and remind them that he’s still the best player in the league. He can carry on offense, but there must be some effort on D from everyone else.
Looking ahead to tonight, I think the Lakers win by double digits and am expecting a 30 point triple-double from LeBron. Lord knows that LA needs that type of statline if there’s a chance to win, even if it is against a struggling Grizzlies team…