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State Of Lakers In The Bubble

Game 4

The Lakers achieved a goal that was set

in training camp. That was accomplished

Monday Night win against the Jazz which

secured the 1st seed in the Western

Conference. The Thunder coming in as

the 6th seed but still jousting to move up

and avoid going down. The game would

turn into a 1 sided affair and it wasn’t the

team that was the favorite. The Thunder

shocked the Lakers with a resounding

105-86 win.

The 1st quarter was another slow start for

the Lakers once again shots weren’t

falling and shot selection was very

questionable. The Thunder were able to

take advantage in the middle of the

quarter outscoring the Lakers 16-8 to

close the quarter taking 26-18 lead into

the 2nd quarter.

The Lakers woes would continue in the

2nd quarter with Anthony Davis struggling

and Lebron coasting the Lakers came out

with a small run but Chris Paul and Danilo

Gallanari combined for 18 points in the 1st

half pacing the Thunder with a full team

effort that very crisp throughout the 1st

half.

AD struggled to get in a groove he had 9

points at the half but that would be his

total for the rest of the game as well also

he was hindered by 3 fouls that led him to

the bench midway through the 2nd

quarter.

Lebron finished the half with 10 points in

the half but seemed as if he could’ve

scored more with the way he was able to

get to the rim with such ease but missed

plenty of close shots. The Thunder would

take a 52-45 lead going into halftime.

The 3rd quarter was where it fell apart for

the Lakers in this game. The Thunder

moved the ball precisely and kept scoring

also making a living at the Free Throw

line. The Lakers would continue to

struggle and be down by 20 at one point

of the quarter. The Thunder would take a

big lead of 81-66 into the final Quarter.

The Thunder proved to be too much in the

final quarter with AD in foul trouble and

struggling to score made it tough on the

Lakers to good solid run. Lebron would

finish as the Lakers top scorer with 19

points and would snatch 11 rebounds.

Chris Paul would lead all scorers with 21

points to help the Thunder improve to 2-1

in the bubble.

My 2 Cents

The Lakers took the night off. The energy and effort were lacking. This is no surprise with a back to back looming against the Houston Rockets who have 2 of the most lethal scorers to ever play the game. The Lakers seem to be a team that is a bit bored and there mindset has been playoffs since the bubble started but they know they needed to win early to secure the top seed. That’s done now so the motivation has wained a bit.

The Lakers lost the rebound battle for the

3rd straight game that didn’t occur during

the season but with Dwight Howard sitting

out it may have played a factor in this

game.

His defensive presence was sorely missed

as he is the anchor for that 2nd rotation

and in crucial situations of games. The

Lakers also committed an absurd amount

of fouls that led to the Thunder shooting

almost 90% from the charity stripe.

The Lakers missed 10 Free Throws which

was another factor you can throw in on

this loss as well. The Lakers had another

poor shooting night 35.8% from the field

and 13.8% from the 3 point line. This

needs to be fixed sooner rather than later.

The bright spot for the Lakers was the

bench who had 38 points in total and

outscored the starters for the 2nd time in

the last 3 games. Dion Waiters had 14

points and Kyle Kuzma had 10 points to

lead the way both are screaming for more

playing time with their play over the last

few games. Coach Vogel will have to

make that adjustment.

Quinn Cook brought some good energy in

His spot minutes which I feel needs to be

increased due to inconsistent play of the

Lakers starting backcourt. Quinn has

championship experience from his time

with the Warriors and plays well with the

Lakers top players hopefully this get

recognized soon and he gets more

minutes.

Stay calm “Laker Nation” I saw many

armchair coaches upset with the

performance. This is a tough situation to

play in. If you don’t get going early or if

you get stagnant at crucial spots in the

game you lose. The Lakers have already

accomplished their regular season

mission.

Staying sharp is key to the playoff run but

being healthy is the most important

element to get to the “Golden Ball”.

The Lakers needed the reality check that

games are tougher as the league in the

bubble moves along.

The Lakers look to bounce back tonight

against the Rockets who have had some

thrilling games to start their bubble

journey. This game means more to the

Rockets but don’t expect the Lakers to lay

down.

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