It's certainly a season for the record books, isn't it?
The Lakers were trounced by the Timberwolves Friday night, losing in Minnesota by their largest margin of defeat ever. Let's look at some of the gargantuan numbers the Wolves put up:
- 143 points: Most in Timberwolves franchise history
- 23 points: The previous largest margin of victory for the Wolves over the Lakers
- 74 points: Amount scored by the Timberwolves in the first half
- 67.1%: Minnesota's FG%
- 44.4%: Minnesota's 3P%
- 23: LA's rebounding deficit
- 40 to 15: Minnesota's free throw advantage
...and those are just some choice cuts. This Lakers team has had some truly horrific losses this season, but this had to be amongst the most complete dominations on almost all basketball fronts. There really wasn't any way the Timberwolves didn't completely destroy LA, beating them up defensively and especially offensively. All-Star Kevin Love led the attack, hitting a triple-double with 22/10/10, and was supported by a 26-point effort from Nikola Pekovic. Truth be told, besides Love, no one player had an astounding statistical night. It was truly a team effort drubbing.
For the Lakers, it was a very rare night where the team didn't show maximum effort, especially on defense. They were lackadaisical getting back on defensive possessions, failed to close out on shooters and gave up foolish fouls on jump shooters. The Timberwolves outscored the Lakers despite shooting 26 less field goal attempts, which in part is thanks to a 40 to 15 free throw disparity. It very well may have been the team's poorest defensive effort all season, which is saying a lot considering the depths at which the team has previously sunk.
Essentially, the Lakers just made horrid decisions all night long to a Minnesota offense that can really light it up given no defensive impediment. LA looked partly disinterested and partly gassed, which maybe speaks to the natural emotional state of any team ridden with so many injuries and everyone playing heavy minutes.
On a nicer note, Steve Nash made a surprising return to the court, playing 15 minutes, dishing 6 assists and scoring 4 points. He looked like himself at select moments, but is clearly still struggling with all of his injuries. Considering how many bodies the Lakers are missing, it's odd to think that the Lakers could actually use contributions from a broken down Steve Nash. However, with Pau Gasol out for an undetermined amount of time and Jordan Farmar trying to shake a groin strain, perhaps LA needs a few minutes here and there from Nash.
This is what a team that's over 20 games under .500 is supposed to look like in late March. Even in a losing season, Lakers fans have been somewhat spoiled with the type of effort and energy the team has played with, even with no chance of the playoffs in sight. This loss against the T-Wolves was a rare instance of this team looking completely disengaged with the game at hand.
Welcome to how the other half lives, Lakers fans. It sucks.
--Follow this author @TheGreatMambino