clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Player Grades: Lakers vs. Rockets

Assessing every Lakers player’s performance from the team’s 135-119 loss to the Rockets.

Los Angeles Lakers v Houston Rockets Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

In typical Lakers fashion for this season, one of the most fun games of the season was followed up by a nearly complete no-show on Monday. Save for the fakest of fake comebacks in the fourth quarter, the Lakers put up a thoroughly uninspiring performance.

It’s been the MO of this Lakers team in that they can not string together strong performances. At least once every two weeks, they throw out a game like Monday’s and completely derail any momentum they’ve built.

Houston has become a weird road trip the Lakers can’t find success at either as they’ve now won just two of their last six games away against the Rockets. This season, it’s been a matter of Houston actually playing hard and the Lakers not.

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

Taurean Prince

25 minutes, 5 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 2-6 FG, 1-4 3PT, -18

The starting lineup was bad in ways that Jarred Vanderbilt was not fixing. As often is the case, Prince will be a focal point and while he didn’t play well, no one in that starting lineup looked good. Specifically defensively.

Grade: D

LeBron James

37 minutes, 23 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 9-15 FG, 2-5 3PT, 3-8 FT, -11

LeBron really padded the stats in that fake comeback in the fourth quarter or else it would have been a really rough showing. He played with a little more effort than some guys in the starting lineup but not by a lot.

The bigger concern is him playing 37 minutes and a good chunk of the fourth quarter when the game was lost.

Grade: C

Anthony Davis

29 minutes, 23 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 10-20 FG, 3-3 3PT, 0-1 FT, -10

AD suited up on Monday, but he didn’t look good. It was a deceiving stat line as he looked more than a step slow defensively and, if not for his three 3-pointers, struggled quite a bit offensively, too. The fact he didn’t return in the fourth quarter sure speaks volumes.

The Lakers really can’t afford a losing streak, so having him available against Atlanta will be vital.

Grade: C-

Austin Reaves

30 minutes, 8 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 3-8 FG, 1-3 3PT, 1-2 FT, -11

A really rough showing from Reaves as he struggled on both ends of the floor. It was particularly noticeable in the comeback in the fourth when he came up short, figuratively and literally, in a number of looks in big moments.

Grade: F

D’Angelo Russell

41 minutes, 23 points, 5 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 8-19 FG, 3-12 3PT, 4-5 FT, -19

Live by the audacity of D’Angelo Russell, die by the audacity of D’Angelo Russell. The Lakers did a lot more of the former on Monday as D’Lo really struggled after a hot start. He hit his first four shots of the game and had 12 points in the first quarter, which means he finished 4-15 the rest of the way for 11 points.

Like Reaves, Russell missed more than a few chances late to help get the game close.

Grade: D

Jarred Vanderbilt

7 minutes, 3 points, 1 steal, 1-1 FG, 1-1 FT, -6

Early signs were that this could be another fun Vando game, then he fell for the oldest trick in the book. Just inexcusable, no matter how annoying Dillon Brooks can be.

Grade: F

Max Christie

20 minutes, 7 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 3-6 FG, 1-2 3PT, +0

Another decent showing from Christie, which begs the question of what role Cam Reddish should have when he returns. Christie is younger, the Lakers want him to be part of the future and he’s a restricted free agent coming up. Giving him roughly 15-20 minutes a night feels like it needs to be a given at this point.

Grade: B+

Rui Hachimura

22 minutes, 16 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 4-5 FG, 2-3 3PT, 6-8 FT, +0

Since coming back from injury, this might be Rui’s best showing. He had a couple of questionable plays, none worse than the end of the first quarter when his lackadaisical effort led directly to a fastbreak dunk for Houston.

But he made up for that in the fourth quarter comeback. It’s noteworthy that both he and Christie finished with a zero plus-minus in a game no one else — sans Jaxson Hayes — was better than a -6.

Grade: A-

Christian Wood

10 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 1-6 FG, 0-2 3PT, -9

It was performances like this that got tWood benched the first time around this season. That it came on a night when Hayes was actually good wasn’t great.

I don’t think he should be taken out of the rotation but this was a really awful showing.

Grade: F

Jaxson Hayes

14 minutes, 9 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 4-4 FG, 1-1 FT, +4

Even on a night Hayes did so much good, and he legitimately was good in the team’s comeback, it’s moments like his wholly unnecessary illegal screen on Brooks that stick out. There’s few things he loves more than an illegal screen.

Grade: B

Jalen Hood-Schifino, Maxwell Lewis

Both players played in garbage time, but for a total of 2:13. Not worth a grade, though it was a tough night indirectly for JHS with Cam Whitmore going bonkers.

Darvin Ham

It’s nights like these where people are going to be mad at Darvin Ham and there were things he did that were head-scratchers, but if the Lakers are going to come out with that level of energy and effort defensively, something which Ham can’t really control, then there’s nothing he can do to fix that.

LeBron’s 37 minutes are the head-scratcher. I didn’t understand LeBron starting the fourth and then Ham’s hand was kind of forced as LeBron led the comeback. But the lineup he went to in that comeback attempt was a new one that worked, as did the zone he played that threw the Rockets out of a loop.

Grade: C-

Monday’s inactives: Skylar Mays, Dylan Windler, Colin Castleton, Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish

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