The New Orleans Pelicans (4-7) fall for their second straight game at Staples Center, this time to the Los Angeles Lakers (11-3) 112-95. After leading throughout the first half of the game by as much as 15, the Pelicans crumbled in the second. The Lakers took the lead immediately to start the 3rd quarter and never looked back, gaining as much as a 25 point lead. Blowing them out more or less. The Pelicans got Zion Williamson and Eric Bledsoe back, played solid to start, and for a time looked like they were going to continue the Lakers’ home-court troubles, but ultimately failed to do so. All thanks to a near triple double from the King.
STAR OF THE GAME
Once again it goes to the King, LeBron James. At some point this season I think I may just start to give the award to someone else just for the sake of it. Much like the MVP voters do year after year when it comes to voting for Lebron. Even though he totally deserves it every season, they grow weary of constantly giving it to him and decide to go with someone else. But for now, when he deserves it, I’ll give it to him. He did in this game for sure. Even though he got into some uncharacteristic foul trouble in the first half by picking up 3, he still finished the game with his very characteristic Lebron near triple double numbers with 21 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, a steal and no more fouls. He does this night in and night out, so we’ve come to just expect it from him. We should not take him for granted though, because without him this team, even with Anthony Davis, would fall off the face of the Earth.
The main concern I would have after this game would be cleaning up the defense boards. They allowed 10 offensive rebounds, and 15 second chance points. Double digit offensive rebounds is just too many. They need to be making more of a concerted effort as a team to be boxing out and gang rebounding. There is no reason at his size that AD should not be averaging double digit rebounds, and up until this point he has not done so. Yes, he is averaging 8 at the moment, but we all know that he should be getting more. He gets drafted high in fantasy leagues every year for his consistently gaudy numbers. This should be an easy issue to fix given the personnel of the team. Rebounding is an effort stat, so they just need to focus more on doing so.
Kyle Kuzma and his double double. For the second straight game Kuzma gathered double digit rebounds and led the team and game with 13, to go with his 11 points off the bench. Lately it looks as though he is turning into an actual rebounder, and not just a guy who gets them when they come his away. He is treating every shot like it is going to be a miss, boxing out well, and going after the ball hard. Hopefully his effort on the boards proves to be infectious to the rest of the Lakers, and as a whole they can become a better rebounding team overall. Kuzma looks like things are starting to slow down for him, and like he is finally letting the game come to him. He is really starting to mature as a player.
Monday, January 18th v Golden State Warriors
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