clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Players Grades: Lakers vs. Mavs

Assessing every Lakers player’s performance from the team’s 127-125 loss to the Mavs.

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

The Lakers returned back to simple regular season play on Tuesday with an exciting, if not also slightly annoying, loss to the Mavericks. Despite no Kyrie Irving, Dallas shot 21-43 from the 3-point line to overcome a pair of strong outings from LeBron James and Anthony Davis to earn the win.

In a game that saw a number of unusually good performances from Dallas — looking at you Dante Exum and Grant Williams — be the difference, it’s hard to have big-picture takeaways. Still, a loss is a loss and the Lakers need to string together non-In-Season Tournament wins.

Let’s grade the win. As always, grades are based on expectations for each player. A “B” grade represents the average performance for that player.

Cam Reddish

22 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 2-4 FG, -10

One of the worst performances from Reddish in a while. He’s been consistently good for a while now, so it’s not too bad for him to have an off night. It just hurt in a winnable game decided by two points.

Reddish had two turnovers and three fouls, had a number of mistakes that have been uncharacteristic of him this season and generally looked out of sorts. Ideally, it’s a one-off bad night and he bounces back in San Antonio.

Grade: D

LeBron James

40 minutes, 33 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block, 14-27 FG, 3-8 3PT, 2-3 FT, -4

The setting might have been different, but LeBron wasn’t any less impressive in the return to the regular season on Tuesday. He and AD were particularly good in the third quarter. LeBron even padded his stats a bit at the end with a meaningless 3-pointer, too.

It just hurts to see LeBron expend so much energy in a loss. Forty minutes isn’t good even in a win but when the Lakers drop that game, it feels like a double whammy.

Grade: A-

Anthony Davis

37 minutes, 37 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks, 15-21 FG, 1-2 3PT, 6-10, +0

Someone tell me real quick, is averaging a point per minute good? AD heard all the unrealistic “Well if he just played like this all the time...” comments after he dropped FORTY POINTS AND 20 REBOUNDS and said “Bet” on Tuesday.

It wasn’t quite 40-20 but 37-11 is more than enough to get the job done on most nights. The concern now, obviously, is his health moving forward as he tweaked his groin again.

Grade: A+

Taurean Prince

37 minutes, 15 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 5-6 FG, 5-6 3PT, +5

Don’t look now, but Prince is really starting to round into form. In his last two regular-season games, he’s shooting 10-14 from the 3-point line. Since Nov. 27, a span of six games, he’s shooting 18-30 from the 3-point line.

It couldn’t have come at a better time either as his spot in the starting lineup was coming under serious fire.

Grade: A-

D’Angelo Russell

25 minutes, 7 points, 7 assists, 2 rebounds, 3-9 FG, 1-4 3PT, -6

A ho-hum D’Lo game in which he really struggled to make an impact. His seven assists are nice, but it never really felt like he was involved in this game.

He’s done a good job of finding ways to be impactful when shots aren’t falling, but Tuesday was not one of those instances.

Grade: C

Jaxson Hayes

13 minutes, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 0-1 FG, -1

The 13 minutes from Hayes is the most he’s had in a game — excluding garbage time minutes — since the win over Cleveland in late Nov. when the Lakers had eight healthy bodies. I know it’s a point I belabor, but it’s just really hard to grasp someone as athletic and tall as Hayes playing 13 minutes and grabbing four rebounds.

Really, it just felt like he was running around

Grade: D

Austin Reaves

32 minutes, 22 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 7-14 FG, 4-7 3PT, 4-5 FT, +4

Like the other two stars on this team, there was no drop-off for Reaves. He was really good off the bench and, honestly, he has a rapidly-growing Sixth Man of the Year candidacy growing.

It’s also just really tough to get 92 points from your Big Three and lose the game.

Grade: A-

Rui Hachimura

29 minutes, 7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 3-9 FG, 1-2 3PT, -3

Rui is in a weird spot right now. Statistically, he isn’t having a bad season. In fact, he’s having basically a career-best year in terms of efficiency shooting the ball.

But it doesn’t feel like he has a role yet. The multiple stops and starts from injuries might have hampered him from finding that yet as has the incoming and outgoing of role players.

There’s a really talented player in there having a really good season. If they can find the right spots to use him, it could be a huge boost for this team.

Grade: C-

Max Christie

6 minutes, 1 assist, +5

No much of a run for Christie tonight, so there won’t be a grade for him. One observation I had on Tuesday and in some recent showings is some hesitation he’s had in shooting on spot-up opportunities. Perhaps it’s some skittishness from struggling to shoot this season or maybe it’s easier said than done to shoot the ball with someone running at you, but he’s turned down a couple of open shots for aimless drives, which might coincide with his low minutes tonight.

Darvin Ham

This is the type of game that is a bit of a litmus test on your basketball knowledge. You can look at the box score or even watch the game and see the open 3-pointers and get upset at Darvin Ham, but that’s not how this works.

Ham and LeBron both discussed postgame that the Lakers had a gameplan that involved leaving guys open in order to slow down Luka Doncic. And Luke had 33 points on 28 shots, which you would generally take.

But this is the NBA and you can’t stop everything. To slow down Luka, you have to make sacrifices somewhere else. Dante Exum, who on the season had made just eight 3-pointers coming into Tuesday’s game, was the obvious choice.

There are certain things you have to live within the NBA. If you lose a game by two points because Exum, who had one other game in his NBA career where he hit at least five 3-pointers, doubled his season tally on long-range efforts, then you tip your hat and move on.

It wasn’t a bad game plan. Sometimes guys just burn you.

Grade: B

Friday’s DNPs: Christian Wood

Friday’s inactives: Jalen Hood-Schifino, D’Moi Hodge, Maxwell Lewis, Alex Fudge, Colin Castleton

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Silver Screen & Roll Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Los Angeles Lakers news from Silver Screen & Roll