There are multiple components that make up a Thanksgiving meal: turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, cornbread and plenty more. Now, in order to enjoy that meal, all those foods have to be made to complete the table.
As anyone who has ever hosted Thanksgiving is well aware, that process can be very stressful. It takes a lot of patience. You’ve got to make sure that you get all the ingredients right, because missing a key one can really effect the future of what you’re making. Sometimes the outcome is what you expected and is superb, other times it can underwhelm, which is why sometimes instead of creating your own food, it’s just best to go after
the player, err, I mean thanksgiving food, that you know for sure is great elsewhere, and possibly, better than anything you could’ve made. This is basically what the Lakers did with Anthony Davis, and for that, we are thankful.
This is a very special Thanksgiving for many Lakers fans, because they haven’t had a Thanksgiving like this since 2008. What do I mean by that? Well, the last time the Lakers had a record of 16-2 was way back in 2008. When the Lakers are on top of the NBA, Thanksgiving is just more enjoyable. As a result, Lakers fans have a lot to be thankful for right now.
For starters, the Lakers have two of the best players in the NBA in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. That still is mind-blowing. Here’s their two averages through 18 games:
LeBron James: 25.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 11.0 assists and 1.3 steals.
Anthony Davis: 26.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.8 blocks.
That’s worth being thankful for, whether you’re gathering around for turkey or Taco Tuesday on a Thursday.
Think about this, the Lakers have two players averaging 25 points or more per game. Only one other team currently has two players doing that (the Minnesota Timberwolves). The last time the Lakers had two players averaging at least 25 points per game was in 2002-03: Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Both LeBron and Davis are dominating in different categories. LeBron is currently leading the NBA in assists per game, whereas Davis is leading the NBA in blocks per game.
They’ve also been a big reason as to why the team’s chemistry has clicked so early.
Danny Green on how the Lakers have developed their chemistry so early (via @SpectrumSN)— Ali B (@ali_behpoornia) November 26, 2019
"It starts with our two leaders. From on and off the court, they've developed an atmosphere that's comfortable for everybody to be themselves and to feel like they can express themselves."
Another thing Lakers fans should be thankful for is the team’s play on both ends of the court. The Lakers rank eighth in the league in defensive rating, allowing just 103.3 points per game. They are also leading the league in blocks per game (7.4).
The last time the Lakers averaged at least 7.5 blocks per game or more was during the 1973-34(!) season. Davis (2.8), Dwight Howard (1.4) and JaVale McGee (1.2) have played a major role in that. The Lakers have additionally held opponents to 33.3% on their 3-point attempts, tied for 6th in the league. Credit to that has to go to Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. They’ve done a great job of not only chasing 3-point shooters, but making it tough for them to get free.
And while the Lakers’ offense struggled to start the season, as of late has really picked up, another reason to be thankful. They currently rank sixth in the NBA in offensive rating, scoring 111.2 points per 100 possession. Of course, the bulk of that is due to LeBron and Davis. They account 46.3% of the teams scoring, but players like Kyle Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope have really stepped up on that end as well.
In the last 10 games, Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope have shot the highest 3-point percentage on the team (of anyone taking at least one attempt per game). Kuzma has shot 47.8% on 4.6 attempts per game, while Caldwell-Pope has shot 51.5% on 3.3 attempts per game.
I also think it’s important to be thankful for the job Frank Vogel has done as the Lakers head coach. Since the day he was hired, Vogel has been a constant professional and has shown that he has adapted to how the NBA has changed. Danny Green pointed out recently how the team has quickly developed chemistry because of their two superstars, but it’s also due to Vogel and the coaching staff, as LeBron noted a few weeks ago:
“They’ve played a huge part of that. They’ve just held us accountable from day one. They want us to share the ball and be great offensively as a team.”
Not only has LeBron pointed out how important Vogel, but even Rajon Rondo, who has had no shortage of coaches during his time in the NBA, recently talked about how impressed he is with Vogel:
“I came in with an open mind listening to what he has to say and his philosophies, and I couldn’t agree with him more – 100 percent. What I love most about him is how he teaches in the film room.
“He calls guys out. He teaches the right way, with constructive criticism. And like I said, the guys are so receptive. So then you go out on the court, and we go over it, and next thing you know it shows up in the game. It’s the repetition of what he does in that room, and how it translates to the court, which is big. I haven’t seen a group of guys (like this) who gravitate to a coach who’s brand new, with a new system and a lot of first-year guys coming together. We’ve all bought in.”
There’s multiple other things I could go on and on about as reasons Lakers fans have to be thankful, but today is Thanksgiving, and you all should go enjoy your day however you’re planning on spending it.
However, before you go and enjoy your favorite foods on Thanksgiving, I thought you might enjoy knowing what Jared Dudley and Quinn Cook told me their favorite Thanksgiving foods are at a recent “Season of Giving” charity event the team hosted a few weeks ago:
- Jared Dudley: “Mac & cheese for sure. My wife makes one of the best sweet potato soufflé. I’ve (also) been on the fried turkey of late the past couple of years before my father-in-law burnt it.”
- Quinn Cook: “Ham and Yams.”
Whatever your favorite dish is, enjoy the holiday everyone, and go Lakers!