Since the the Los Angeles Lakers restarted their season in Orlando, they’ve struggled to get consistent production from their starters and their game against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday was no exception. While a spirited performance from the Lakers’ bench unit kept them in the game, they ultimately came up short and lost to the Pacers 116-111, extending their losing streak to three games.
It’s no secret that the Lakers have had a hard time getting their 3-point attempts to fall, which has led to them starting games slowly offensively. That was the case on Saturday too, but they got a nice lift from Quinn Cook, who scored 13 points in the first half. Cook ended the night with 21 points on 8-14 shooting from the field, including 5-9 shooting from 3-point range.
LeBron James was also engaged on offense, scoring 31 points in addition to the 8 rebounds and 7 assists he contributed. Unfortunately, Anthony Davis wasn’t nearly as hot and scored just 8 points on 3-14 shooting from the field. Additionally, Davis was a -20 in the box score.
Davis’ forgettable night, in combination with TJ Warren going full Tracy McGrady, was enough for the Pacers to sweep their regular season series against the Lakers 2-0. But seriously, the NBA needs to make a Bubble MVP award and give it to TJ Warren.
If we were to look at the bright side, though, the rotations that Frank Vogel used on Saturday aren’t the rotations that we’re going to see in the postseason (or at least they shouldn’t be), and nobody looked like they were trying particularly hard. That’s not to say there’s nothing to worry about, but the Lakers definitely looked like the best team on the floor when they were engaged. I guess we might not get a full 48 minutes of engaged basketball until the playoffs start.
The Lakers’ next game will be against the Denver Nuggets, who won a thrilling double overtime game against the Utah Jazz on Saturday. Hopefully the Nuggets have a few tired legs, and the Lakers have a pair of fresh ones in Danny Green.