The Warriors came back and beat the Lakers late in the game last night by exploiting the Lakers only weakness, the Laker big men cannot play defense. It is obvious by now that the Lakers are missing the defensive presence of Dwight Howard this season. Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell and Anthony Davis are not getting it done on defense. The lack of a consistent defensive presence in the paint could come back to haunt the Lakers this postseason, if the Laker big men do not learn to move their feet in the paint.
The Lakers started the game off strong and looked like defending champs against this incredible Warriors team, led by Steph Curry who finished the game with 26 points. Curry scored most of his points in the second half because he was shut down by Dennis Schroder, who at times looks like a young Rajon Rondo. Those are big shoes to fill however, and Schroder disappeared defensively against the Warriors trying to guard Steph Curry. Guarding the greatest shooter of all time is easier said than done, so I will cut Schroder some slack. However, I cannot cut any slack for Marc Gasol, Anthony Davis and Montrezl Harrell. The Lakers big men looked slow and weak against this Warriors team, even without Klay Thompson the Warriors beat the Lakers. When Klay gets back the Lakers should be very concerned.
Led by Schroder, the Lakers were on cruise control in the first half up by as much as 19, by the start of the fourth quarter the Lakers were up by 14, there is no way the Warriors should have been allowed to even make the game close, let alone win, but they did. Why? How? The Lakers big men cannot play defense. Marc Gasol played sixteen minutes and had only one rebound. Montrezl Harrell did have eight rebounds but he played twenty eight minutes, he needs to be more productive on the glass. Anthony Davis, he had an incredible game on the boards snagging seventeen rebounds, but he only had seventeen points and he played basically the entire game.
One must tip your hat to the Warriors because defensively they shut down LeBron James and Anthony Davis. James and Davis played basically the entire game and both of them were held to under twenty points. That is not going to cut it for the Lakers, but even with James and Davis getting shut down, the Lakers were still up 14at the start of the fourth, but the fourth quarter is when Draymond Green and the Warriors shine the brightest. Green only had seven points but they were a huge seven points. His layup in the paint late in the fourth quarter gave the Warriors their first lead of the game. Green basically was allowed to do whatever he pleased against the Lakers; no one on the Lakers can guard Draymond Green. He was allowed to dribble the ball all game into the paint, and Green is almost always looking to pass the ball out to an open shooter for three, unless he has an open lane to the rim. Watching the Lakers fall apart and unravel on defense was very concerning, no lead is safe against the Warriors.
Kelly Oubre Jr. was the star of the game, he was a big reason why the Warriors came back, finishing with 23 points. We cannot forget about Andrew Wiggins, who finished with 18 points, simply put the Warriors are stacked even without Klay Thompson. I know it is early in the season and I hope that the Lakers can get it together. This game should not have even been close. The Lakers took their foot off of the Warriors’ throat and the Warriors fought back and won. The Warriors are champions, they are hungry and they want to win it all again. I wish the Lakers wanted to win as bad as the Warriors do.