So, we just did this. In a weird scheduling anomaly, the Lakers play the T’Wolves again after just playing them a week ago. In an even weirder anomaly they will play them again next week, but whatever. So, if you’re wondering what I think about the Lakers playing the Wolves, you can read what I wrote on that day. Of course, it’s worth noting, the Lakers did end up winning that game — battling back in the 2nd half to force overtime and riding a career night from Jordan Clarkson.
So, maybe it’s worth remembering that game to give tonight’s contest more context – or maybe this game is on the road rather than at Staples and with it being another 1-game road trip and the start of 3 games in 4 days, combined with the Lakers’ general inconsistency, there’s nothing to take from a good game a week ago. Add in that Brandon Ingram is out for his 3rd straight game with knee tendonitis and who knows what to think?
In any event, this game has the chance to be a fun one. Despite still losing a lot, the Lakers are playing better. In the past 6 games, the Lakers have had extended stretches of good play against the Bucks, Cavs, Wolves, and Wizards. And, yes, they’ve only won one of those games, but I’ll take being competitive in two-thirds of the contests over the opposite any time.
I have specifically liked the play of Russell and Clarkson, both of whom seem to be getting more comfortable playing together and finding ways to complement eachother’s skill sets. I’ve also liked Russell’s attentiveness defensively of late, especially his play against the Wizards. There were several possessions where he did a good job on John Wall in isolation and, overall, was simply more engaged and ready to slide with his man at the point of attack or make the needed rotations on the back end.
If Russell can string together a few games where his defensive effort and engagement mirrors what he displayed against the Wizards, that would be a very nice step forward and something to build on heading into the summer.
Where you can watch: 5pm start time on Spectrum Sportsnet.