Remember that scene in “Whiplash” where J.K. Simmons’ character keeps slapping Miles Teller’s character because he’s not playing at his tempo? That kind of summarizes what happened between the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz on Monday and, unfortunately, the Lakers were Teller’s character.
With Mike Conley, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert back in the lineup, the Lakers couldn’t keep the game as close as they did on Saturday and were blown out 111-97. Monday marked the first time since 2019 that the Lakers have lost multiple games to the Jazz in a single season. The Lakers went unbeaten in the three games they played against Jazz last season.
Anyone that was expecting Andre Drummond to his best Anthony Davis impression against Rudy Gobert on Monday was severely let down, as Gobert tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds while Drummond ended his night with 8 points and 8 rebounds. Drummond also posted a plus-minus of -15, which was tied for the third-lowest on the team. Dennis Schröder also posted a plus-minus of -15.
Suffice to say, it wasn’t Drummond’s finest night in a Lakers uniform, but if it’s any consolation, most starting centers have a tough time against Gobert, who’s a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. It’s also a little unfair to single out Drummond because of how bad everyone (except for Talen Horton-Tucker, who scored 24 points off of the bench) was.
Still, when you’re outscored by 20 points in the paint, the first person you look to is your starting center and, as Frank Vogel has made clear since his arrival, that’s Drummond.
The Lakers will try and keep the next game from getting away from them when they take on the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center on Thursday. It hasn’t been confirmed that Davis will make his return then, but there’s been enough noise around that date to assume that he’ll likely be active, albeit on a minutes restriction.