Since the Lakers play again today, I’m going to keep this brief with a few bullet points. Know, though, that the Lakers beat the Knicks 100-92 on Wednesday night, righting the ship after that bad loss in Boston. The win was not “impressive” but it counts in the standings the same as if it were, so I’ll take it.
I’ll quickly add, too, that in my preview for the game I wrote that I hoped Anthony Davis would find his rhythm vs. New York and that he did. AD hit half his 14 shots and all his 13 FT’s to score 28 points in 30 minutes. Before the game it was reported that the medical team lifted AD’s minutes restriction but advised that Vogel “be smart about it” and that “30 minutes” was good number to stay around. Win-win on that front, then as Davis hit that mark exactly and played well overall, showing aggression offensively — though mostly on jumpers.
A win is a win, but with the Lakers back at it tonight in Brooklyn, there’s no time to savor things too much. And now, a few notes…
- The Knicks may have only scored 92 points, but I did not particularly like the Lakers defensive effort. Their back line rotations were not sharp and, especially early in the game, their perimeter ones weren’t either. The Lakers seemed content knowing they’d be able to score on the other end too, which led to a more back and forth game than I’d prefer.
- That said, there were stretches where the Lakers defense was especially good. Right at the start of the 4th quarter, the Lakers went on a 7-0 run to push their lead to 13 points by tightening up defensively to force turnovers and get out in the open court. They did quickly fall back into some rough habits, but that one burst really was all they needed to build a cushion the Knicks couldn’t come back from.
- On a night where not a lot of Lakers shot the ball well, KCP’s 5-10 shooting for 13 points was pretty important. Add in that he hit 3 of his 7 attempts from behind the arc while grabbing 4 rebounds and dishing a couple of assists and it was a pretty well rounded night.
- I’d say LeBron played this game at about 70% speed most of the night. Besides a few defensive closeouts and a couple of exertion plays offensively, he mostly went through the motions of organizing the team’s offense and taking some of the open shots the Knicks surrendered in the hopes of him not attacking the paint. Bron mostly obliged and…still had 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists while hitting 9 of his 16 shots from the floor. This is a below average LeBron night, but 95% of the NBA would love to hit these thresholds for the season. Just goes to show how good this guy really is.
- This really wasn’t a good game and, honestly, I could probably write about 5 bullet points on stuff I did not like (from Rondo’s point of attack defense to Bradley and Green’s shooting struggles and much more), but I’m going to save it. Needless to say, I’d like the Lakers to play better than they did and this level of play won’t get it done tonight in Brooklyn and especially not on Saturday in Philly.
That’s it for this one. We’ll have a game preview up later today.