LeBron James had to carry the Lakers to victory last night against the Memphis Grizzlies. James who led the Lakers in points, rebounds, and assists finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists. Even with those incredible numbers it seemed like he had an off night. The Lakers were short handed without Alex Caruso so the other Lakers guards played more minutes but they did not really score, lets break down the stats.
Talen Horten–Tucker played 22 minutes and only had 4 points, Dennis Schroder played basically the entire game with 36 minutes and only had 12 points. Wesley Matthews played thirty minutes and only had four points. Kyle Kuzma, who is expected to step his game up this year played 30 minutes and only had five freaking points. That is unacceptable Kyle. Kuzma is getting paid way too much to be this bad. The horrible guard performance is why the Lakers almost lost last night to a young Memphis team who is very hungry, but had no business being in the game against the defending Champions at the end of the fourth quarter. The Lakers got lucky last night, the Memphis Grizzlies ran out of time and for Laker Nation it was a good thing too because LeBron had just about ran out of gas.
Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol combined are almost as good as Dwight Howard was last year who had a combined total last night of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Who is going to step up this year for the Lakers and over achieve? So far this season it appears the Lakers new guards and post players have become considerably worse than last years Championship team. What does that mean? Well, that means LeBron is going to have to put the Lakers on his back all year, which means more weight on those legs to get back and play defense. More miles on that old 2003 model which is already close to reaching that one million mile mark on the odometer. I sure pray LeBron does not blow a carburetor or something. Because if the Lakers over work him until he breaks down, it will be the same story as it was two years ago with the Lakers when LeBron hurt himself trying to do too much and the Lakers did not even make the playoffs that year. Anthony Davis is a great player, he had a good game last night with 26 points and 10 rebounds, but what can he do to get better this year? Crash the boards more, perhaps. Basketball is a team game and no one can win a Championship on their own. But if any one player has proven that they basically could win a Championship on the worst team it is LeBron James. Maybe this Memphis team is better than I think they are or besides LeBron, this Lakers team stinks.
Other than AD and James who steps up this year?
You have to tip your hat to the San Antonio Spurs with their win against Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers. Make Kawhi eat crow. Coach Pop left a solid foundation for the Spurs to build on and they still play team ball. If the Lakers guards step up and stop playing like they are some scrubs in church league, the Lakers should destroy the Spurs. But if Kyle Kuzma has five points again, and Marc Gasol and Harrell only have 12 points, the Lakers will probably lose, because the Spurs are a better team than the Grizz. The Spurs last night had six players with five or more rebounds last night in their win against the Clippers, if the Laker Big Men can box out, the Lakers will win.