Lakers Remind Wizards Why They're the Wizards

How nice to enjoy a game with so little drama. No leads blown, no injuries. No buzzer-beaters or bizarre whistles to complain about or defend. Just a straightforward beatdown of an overmatched opponent. Exactly what the Lakers and we needed in this, the winter of our semi-discontent.

With their 115-103 stompage of the Washington Wizards tonight, the Lakers are halfway through their road trip, having won a pair and dropped a pair. Powering the victory was a sleek, efficient offense and an invigorating performance from the bench. Aside from the second quarter, the defense wasn't much to admire. Not that it mattered. From early in the game the Lakers had the look of a team that knew it could call its own number.

The Wiz are a crap team, but they have a couple guys who can score. For one quarter at least, that kept them in the game. Both they and the Lakers were sniping in the first as they traded unchallenged looks. Kobe Bryant began the night in facilitation mode. Sometimes he passed himself into turnovers, but he did a top-notch job of getting both the bigs and the outside shooters into a flow.

In the second the Lake Show turned up the volume on D. Credit the bench: Shannon Brown and Sasha Vujacic were alert and active while Lamar Odom worked the glass. They held Washington to 0.63 PPP (points per possession) for the quarter, and although the defense was pretty awful for the rest of the night, that burst of energy was all the Lakers would need.

The offense was killer from beginning to end. Nearly every possession the Lakers looked like a team with a plan, whether it was setting up Pau Gasol on the blocks or swinging it around the arc for an open three. The Lakers took a lot of treys tonight, almost 30% of their FGAs, but they were in the flow of the offense, the expected products of thoughtful ball movement. There was very little that was crazy or forced.

On the night the Laker attack was amazingly steady. Check out their PPP by quarter.

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Game

Laker Points Per Possession

1.30

1.25

1.29

1.27

1.28

Dope! The Wizards had no real hope. In both the third and fourth quarters they cut the lead to 10, but they couldn't string together nearly enough stops to make it a contest.

The Lakers are now 34-11, half a game (plus a tiebreaker) behind Cleveland. They fly to Indianapolis tonight to face the Pacers tomorrow. After the stats table below, enjoy a nooooice compilation of Shannon's Tuesday night dunks.

 

Poss.

TO%

FTA/
FGA

FT%

3FGA/FGA

2PT%

3PT%

EFG

TS%

OReb Rate

DReb Rate

PPP

L.A.

90

10

0.29

82

0.29

66

41

65

68

12

67

1.28

Wash.

88

15

0.17

71

0.24

56

35

55

57

33

88

1.17



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