The Lakers finally built something called momentum on Sunday even without LeBron James by riding Anthony Davis and a strong team effort to a 116-110 win over the Blazers. It wasn’t a comfortable win, but, given that LeBron was out, you could overlook that...if you chose.
Let’s grade the win. Grades are based on expectations for each player. A “B” grade represents the average performance for that player.
38 minutes, 18 points 7 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, 1 block, 7-10 FG, 1-3 3PT, 3-3 FT, +10
The Lakers have had a penchant in recent seasons for finding reclamation projects and turning their careers around. While it is very early in the season, if they are able to do that with Cam Reddish, it’d be their most impressive feat yet.
On Sunday, he did more than just knock down 3-pointers and was one of the team’s driving forces in the first half when there wasn’t a lot going for them. Sixteen of his 18 points came in the first two periods. He’s growing in confidence and it’s showing offensively.
33 minutes, 19 points, 5 rebounds 2 assists, 2 steals, 6-10 FG, 1-3 3PT, 6-6 FT, +17
Since returning from his injury, Rui has looked like the guy who earned the big contract last postseason. He’s shot 19-30 in those three games, grabbed 16 rebounds and has eight steals.
On Sunday, it was his fourth quarter where he scored eight of his 19 points which was his best stretch. He and Davis combined for 17 of the Lakers’ 25 points to close out the win.
41 minutes, 30 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks, 10-20 FG, 0-1 3PT, 10-12 FT, +17
Keep the ‘fro, AD.
He looked much better on Sunday than on Friday when he returned to the lineup. He understood the need to step up with LeBron out and really took grasp of the game in the second half.
Also, remember when head coach Darvin Ham said he wanted AD to shoot six 3-pointers a game? Sunday’s attempt was his first in the last five games.
33 minutes, 11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 5-9 FG, 0-3 3PT, 1-1 FT, +1
Prince gets bumped up a level for his hustle play in the fourth quarter alone. He’s been a consistent presence in a team that has had few consistencies this season.
Honestly, as someone who doesn’t monitor the box score during games, I was surprised by how unimpactful his game looked statistically as it felt he had a strong showing.
32 minutes, 11 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 5-14 FG, 0-3 3PT, 1-2 FT, +4
Nobody struggled shooting the ball on Sunday more than Russell. But what’s been great about D’Lo this season is that, as much as his shot hasn’t fallen, he’s made impacts in other ways.
He spoke about wanting to do that during the preseason and his 11 assists on Sunday exemplify that. It’s not hard to imagine that if this was last season and his shot wasn’t falling like this, it would have been a far uglier game, and potentially a Lakers loss.
28 minutes, 18 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 6-12 FG, 2-4 3PT, 4-4 FT, +3
Kudos to Austin Reaves for taking his “realignment” in stride and not missing a beat. If this is his long-term role, then so be it because he’s been fantastic the last two games.
Against Portland, his impact was felt immediately in the first quarter after he checked in. He knocked down a three, grabbed a defensive board, pushed it up the floor and hit a trailing Reddish for a 3-pointer and a six-point deficit was wiped away in seconds.
15 minutes, 7 points, 1 rebound, 1-4 FG, 0-2 3PT, 5-7 FT, -11
Not a good Christian Wood game on Sunday as he struggled in his limited minutes. The one positive was him getting to the line. As someone who has had a lot of success alongside LeBron this season, you could potentially point to that.
Or, this could just be who Wood is at times with his production fluctuating. The focus should be avoiding these low lows moving forward.
13 minutes, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 0-1 FG
Between his summer and his small flashes in the preseason, it felt like Max Christie could be due heading into this season. It’s still early in the year — and Christie is still just 20 — but it hasn’t been a particularly good start to the regular season so far.
7 minutes, 2 points, 1 assist, 1-4 FG, 0-2 FT
If Prince got added a level for one play, Hayes loses at least one level for blowing a pair of Reaves assists. It hasn’t been a good pair of games since Hayes came back from injury. Hayes and Wood combining for 1 rebound in 22:02 is something that can not happen.
It felt like LeBron sitting paved the way for Reaves to re-enter the lineup and take some of those ball-handling duties, but Ham stuck with Rui and it eventually paid off. He also deserves continued credit for helping Reddish look like a genuine NBA player.
Friday’s DNPs: Maxwell Lewis, Alex Fudge, D’Moi Hodge
Friday’s inactive: Jalen Hood-Schifino, Jarred Vanderbilt, Gabe Vincent, Colin Castleton
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.