Saturday, January 29 2022

After blowing a 19-point lead and losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Lakers had another spineless loss to the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday.

LeBron James is out for the week with an abdominal strain, so Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook needed to carry the load; they could not.

L.A. ruled out Davis with a stomach illness after seven first-quarter minutes, but Portland had already started running away with the game at that point; that exemplified how horrible L.A. played.

Portland outscored L.A. 36-14 after one quarter, but the Lakers slowed the pace and ran more stable half-court sets in the second and won the quarter, 22-15.

However, the Lakers came out of halftime with no energy, leading to an 18-4 run for Portland that put the lead well over 30, effectively sealing the outcome by the fourth quarter. L.A. won the quarter 28-12, but a comeback wasn’t possible.

Here’s how the Lakers graded individually:

Russell Westbrook: F

The Lakers needed Westbrook to be efficient and composed and duel Damian Lillard to have a chance. Westbrook completely failed. In 29 minutes, he put up eight points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and six turnovers on 1-of-14 shooting.

He had airballs, clanked shots off the side iron of the rim, misplaced passes and just did not live up to the standard the Lakers need from him.

Avery Bradley: D

Avery Bradley stayed above an F because he had some early shots in the first quarter that helped L.A. rival Portland’s pace. Other than that, nothing much went his way.

Kent Bazemore: D-minus

The same analysis for Bradley essentially applies to Kent Bazemore. He only played 19 minutes on the night and couldn’t alter the game with his defensive abilities.

Anthony Davis: N/A

Davis doesn’t earn a grade because his night was cut short. But in that time, he shot 1-of-5 from the floor, so the minutes weren’t pretty. The Lakers will need him healthy against the Charlotte Hornets Monday.

DeAndre Jordan: F

The Trail Blazers read DeAndre Jordan like a book. His lobs were usually always covered, which is why Westbrook didn’t collect as many assists as he can usually get. Portland also easily exploited Jordan in the pick-and-roll game between one of Lillard and CJ McCollum pairing with Jusuf Nurkic.

Carmelo Anthony: C

Whenever Carmelo Anthony played, the Lakers just gave him the ball and hoped he would catch fire to help L.A. stay in the game; it wasn’t so simple. He shot 4-of-14 on the night and missed all four of his triples for 12 points, but he logged two blocks.

The inefficiency was largely due to the Lakers forcing the issue with getting him the ball on isolations instead of keeping the rock swinging.

Wayne Ellington: D-minus

Wayne Ellington couldn’t change the game with his shooting either. He shot 2-of-7 from deep for eight points in 25 minutes, but it was his second game back from injury.

Austin Reaves: C-minus

Austin Reaves didn’t have success from inside the arc, but he shot 2-of-5 from deep to finish with 10 points, six rebounds and three assists. However, asking him to guard Lillard and company is too much to ask.

Malik Monk: C-minus

Malik Monk had his success when the game was essentially in the bag for Portland, but he still managed to hit his shots and penetrate the defense. Monk went 3-of-7 from deep with four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block.

Dwight Howard: D

Dwight Howard tried to force the issue way too much, especially on pick-and-roll scenarios. Sometimes he made his clunky footwork pay off, but it wasn’t pretty. But he had a 5-of-6 clip from the free-throw line that helps his grade.

Rajon Rondo: F

Rajon Rondo made bad decisions on both ends of the floor. He shot 1-of-6 overall in 13 minutes, which is all you need to know for how he played.

Sekou Doumbouya: A

This should be a N/A because Sekou Doumbouya, a two-way player, played just eight minutes in the first quarter, but he made some head-turning plays. He finished with 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting, four rebounds and two steals in that time frame, possibly earning a deeper look in the future with all the length missing in the frontcourt for L.A.

Jay Huff: N/A

Jay Huff, the second two-way player, played the same minutes as Doumbouya. It was also his first appearance for L.A., but he needs more minutes to integrate his size and spacing ability. There could be something there for L.A. to unlock.



Source: Yahoo Sports


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