I’m going to keep it short and (as) sweet (as possible). Tonight the Lakers play their 4th game in 5 nights. All of those games were/will be played in different cities. From Portland to Los Angeles to Philadelphia and now to Washington, D.C to face the Wizards.
I frame things this way because I expect the Lakers to be worn down in this game. Not just physically, but mentally. All the travel is one thing, but add to it the burden and frustration of losing along with the Kobe announcement and you have a cocktail of burnout waiting to happen. Will it be tonight that it hits?
The Lakers have lost 7 straight games, but it’s not as if the Wizards are blowing the league back with strong play either. Especially in relation to expectations. Some expected them to be in the top 3 teams in the East, but they have stumbled to a 7-8 record which has them 11th in the conference. There are clear reasons to point to — injuries, some roster turnover, guys finding their niche in new roles — but at least part of it is tied to John Wall’s performance. As noted (and David Aldrdige quoted) by our friends at Truth About It in their game preview, Wall’s play is not up to last year’s standards and the entire roster is feeling the effects of that.
Do I think this will matter tonight? No, I don’t. Wall was amazing in a win over the Cavs on Tuesday night, scoring 35 points with 10 assists and 5 steals. Meanwhile, the Lakers guards struggle to defend, the back line defenders (besides Hibbert) offer little resistance, and, as mentioned above, I expect the Lakers to be sluggish overall. This is not a good formula for facing an invigorated Wall.
This does not mean the Lakers have no chance. And, at some point, the team is very likely to have a game where they break through, shoot well, get a few timely defensive stops, and pull out a win. Tonight would be as good a night as any to make this happen. After all, the Wizards did travel from Cleveland last night while the Lakers only came from Philly. There is a chance they will be as tired or more than the visiting team. Or maybe I’m reaching. We shall see.
Where you can watch: 4pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM Los Angeles.
For the Lakers to win they need to… Who im kidding? They are going to lose!!!If we get blown out by a 0-18 team we are going to crushed tonight in a back to back on the road agaisnt a team that handle the Cavs their first home loss, still i be watching, must be a glutton for punishment. :/
* 2015 – 2016 Lakers featuring Kobe Bryant reminds me more and more of Custard’s Last Stand….or is it Groundhog Day?
*This years team, at 2-15 has THE WORST start in franchise history thru 17 games.
*Players come and go, as do coaches and GM’s. My biggest fear for this franchise…Jeanie and Jim Buss NEVER leave.
Leading 34-22 and Kobe is playing within the offense and passing, what’s this bizarro world? UNBELIEVABLE…
Fast start by the Lakers — up double digits. Fingers crossed they don’t run out of gas in the 2nd half like they did last night.
So… Does this mean the Wizards are worse than the Sixers? I’m confused.
The Lakers are shooting well tonight thus far, no lag apparent.
Up by 15 !
But then it’s early and we all know how it goes.
Madsen seems to be taking a more active role,…hmm
Good lord ….just when I was getting used to the possibility of Ben Simmons in a Lakers uniform…
This without a doubt has been the best played half all season and it’s not even close…
Annnd back down to Earth…
Nice half by the Lakers, Byron Scott needs to get them ready for the second half and avoid the slow start.
LOL @ nick young. Circus comments have glued him to the bench. Never go against the mamba and his minion coach.
Kobe is still shooting every time he touches the ball, which is often, as the rookies all do defer to the legend.
The good, or bad news, is that his shot is on point tonight.
Great half all things considered. So let’s see what Byron does in the second half. Kobe shooting well so far. Fans got what they wanted. Let’s get a win!
If Godzella played basketball he would be Metta.
Sufian i was going to say the same thing. Poor nick
So Young got benched by the regime huh…
Wild sequence ends with a Kobe 3
Bass got himself a nice game 10 and 5. Randle with 17 rebounds…
These late 4th qtr minutes are key for Russell’s development, and where is he?
On the pine.
That’s the 2nd time Nick spoke up against Kobe. My respect for that man is growing.
JR monster on boards.
Kobe 8 for 23 better but still too many shots.
But its his world
It’s been ages since I broke this out but:
Stop! Kobe time!
Damn there are so many Kobe fans.
That was vintage 4th quarter Kobe wow, and about Russell, well Lou Williams have 7 steals tonight holy cow, sometimes it happens, he is been playing in the 4th a lot lately tonight it didn’t happen but there are 64 games to go. LAKERS WIN!!!
Uh oh,..we can forget Kobe ever passing again.
Watching a rerun of a 2008 game aganist Washington tonight. Kobe was good but how come Jordan was playing for Nats?
A good win…even if it does prolong Scott’s tenure.
Kobe Rules !
That was a vintage Kobe game, Fern. Great to see and to see some positives from the young guys. A win on a back-to-back night – nice work!
Vintage Kobe helps to lead the Lakers to the win with 31 points along with Julius Randle’s 15 points and 19 rebounds, some clutch FT down the stretch by Clarkson and a nice game by Williams with 12 points and 7 steals.
Good summary. You saved me the trouble.
Randle 15 points 19 rebounds, he is going to be such a beast once everything comes together, Russell played ok had 4 steals didn’t play in the 4th but Lou Williams was picking pockets left and right im ok with it TONIGHT , Mr Consistent Clarkson had his 18, they are going to be so good…
What a difference a day makes! Nice to see some positives out of all the Lakers.
Wow! There’s another Sal on the forum who wants us to get Ben Simmons. Nice to meet ya, pal!
Great game by Young. Not what bad play all night.
Trade deadline renamed Trade Nickline.
It must be December!!!!!!!!!
What a difference a day makes!
Where has this Lakers team been all year?
A couple of guesses about what happened…
1) In the wake of the Kobe Bryant Farewell Tour and Shooting Exhibition in Philadelphia the night before, the rest of the team and the coaching staff told him to knock it off. In exchange, the rest of the team promised to work harder to make Kobe’s life (and shots on offense) easier.
2) Nick Young was “suspended” for one game for crossing the line in his public comments. His “clown show” utterances were clearly directed at Kobe and while they were accurate and pertinent, they aren’t the sort of thing a player is supposed to say to the press.
If the Lakers can bring this kind of effort on a consistent basis, I can live with the results. I know they don’t have the talent to make the playoffs, but seeing them compete and improve is still worth watching.
Best game (by far) of the year. Not sure what the impetus was but at least it provides glimpses of what’s possible. Let’s hope that Kobe got the nonsensical shooting out of his system last night. At least until his final Staples appearance. Even though this win takes us in the wrong direction relative to keeping our #1 pick, I will take it.
Ben Simmons Alert – in a game tonight against N Flirida State – 43 points (15/20 from the field, 13/15 at the line), 14 boards, 7 dimes & 5 steals. First major conference player in 20 years to post a line of 40 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals.
How did the “kids” do tonight against the Wizards? I’m glad you asked:
15 pts. (7-15 shooting), 19 rebounds (7 offensive boards), 1 assist, 2 steals
18 pts. (6-14 shooting), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals and 6-6 FTs late in the 4th Q.
13 pts. (6-14 shooting), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals
OVERALL: 46 points, 27 rebounds, 5 assists, 9 steals.
The future doesn’t look so bleak. Does it? (Imagine if we didn’t have them.)
How about Randle tonight?!?! He seems to be controlling his recklessness without losing his aggression. Interesting article in SI about Derrick Favors development as a player in his six years in the league, which could be a path for Randle. If he improves his mid-range shot, he’ll really be hard to handle.
david h says
darius: you summed it up best prior to the game:
at some point, the team is very likely to have a game where they break through, shoot well, get a few timely defensive stops, and pull out a win. Tonight would be as good a night as any to make this happen.
some people just have a gift. I say in the holiday spirit, just keep on giving.
The morning after:
I’m still feeling a bit of that glow after the win last night, yet the logical side of me wonders if this was a breakthrough, or a fluke.
I’m not concerned about our kids, they all have been pretty solid for the most part, and I can see them forming into a dangerous trio or quad.
No, I wonder if Kobe has shaken off some rust, and, for the most part, will be a gracefully aged momba, or if he’s just stuffed enough coins into the slot machine to get his payout, and now we go another 10 games of the brick mason.
Another more likely possibility: we see this vintage Kobe, just enough to lose our top 3 pick?
George Best says
Ben Simmons is so good I would be fine with the Lakers losing every game remaining if we could get him.
Darius: “Tonight would be as good a night as any to make this happen.” Yessir!
Bummed I missed this game; stoked over the outcome. Young’uns ballin’, Kobe shooting well + a classic closeout. And when the Wiz crept close late, the Lakers kept it together to pocket the W.
This is good stuff, and given the scarcity of these precious victorious moments, I for one am gonna revel in it; at least until the next tilt.
If I was to go all giddy up in here, I might even start musing that maybe, just maybe, the Lakers’ playing level last night is reflective of the new mean this team is capable of maintaining…as opposed to a mere aberrant blip on the map, with regression imminent.
Wouldn’t it be cool if we could beat every team in the West at least once? Is Steph Curry’s wife expecting a child sometime this season?
T. Rogers says
Someone please tell Brandon Bass to make some not so veiled negative comments about Kobe to the press. If that’s what is getting players benched then we can’t let the valuable information go to waste!
Just kidding, sort of.
Good game for our guys. I don’t know what went right. But whatever it was I hope to see more of it.
Who were the power forwards on wizards, jared dudley and ryan hollins?
Oh i forgot kris humphries
If kobe has found his stroke and starts to adverage 25 pts a night do you think he will change his mind on retirement