He’s back!!! At least for a half. Anthony Davis was on a minutes restriction (15? 20? didn’t really matter) and only saw some first half action. The second half was left to the Laker Remainders who couldn’t get the stops or hit the shots to beat the Mavs who also saw Porzingis limp off the floor after rolling an ankle. Lakers are putting themselves in a tough sport seeding wise and The King is still a couple weeks away.
- The return of Anthony Davis. The man looked, expectedly, rusty. Coming off the longest injury lay-off of his career Davis struggled to hit shots form everywhere. That’s expected as I’m sure he got practice in and got plenty of shots up but this was his first NBA action since leaving with the scariest calf strain in Laker history since the hamstring debacle versus the Bad Boy Pistons over 30 years ago. Where Davis did make his impact felt was on defense where he showed he might be able to recapture last season’s defensive impact. That’s where we need AD the most. If he can bring that kind of effort and impact for more and more minutes or playoff chances improve a lot, regardless of seeding.
- Kentavious rounding back into playoff form? This has been a pretty decent stretch for KCP. He’s being more aggressive with the ball, diversifying his attack and still playing solid D. While it wasn’t enough last night the month of April has revealed that the forks we were all sticking in Caldwell-Pope for a good chunk of the year might be ready to be washed and put away. the man didn’t look done last night at any rate. The bigger question is can he sustain and even improve on efforts like this? If AD isn’t able to recapture his shooting mojo like he did in last season’s playoffs it’ll fall to guys like KCP to bolster the offense and release the pressure created by our drive and dish offense.
- Talen’s defensive learning process. Last night was a bit of a down game for THT. It’s hard for any player to se their minutes fluctuate like they have for a lot of the guys on the team, harder still for younger players still trying to find their way. Give the Mavs credit, they were ready for his patented drives and forced him into some bad passes. It’s a rare thing these days when THT has more turnovers than assists. Still, despite his atrocious +/- 12 minutes is just too few for Horton-Tucker. The kid needs to play and it’s on the coaching staff to find minutes for him.
- Three point shooting woes. It’s no secret the Lakers a re not an elite shooting team from beyond the arc. Morris off the bench had a donut to the tune of 0-5, only Schroder and KCP made more than 1 (KCP was on fire hitting 6-12) and neither Kuzma or AD hit one to help open the paint up. Off the bench only Caruso and McLemore (both 1-3) were able to connect. We need to do better, although we kept finding KCP which is line with out team ID. When LeBron returns the paint will be well-packed if we can’t hit threes.
- Defending without fouling. Too many free throws for the Mavs, who whine enough to get them… Some of that is superstar Luka treatment which i wouldn’t mind quite so much if LBJ and AD got the same. They don’t. Anyhow, some of that is on us over-reaching and not just playing solid D without trying for impossible steals. Just man up, keep your feet active and hands up. if they make shots over you, that’s OK.
This was a game we could have won if we clean up some issues. For me the big thing is we’re keeping our turnovers low. That’s a huge key to playoff success and something that is a fixable issue. Lakers need to get this one back in the next game against Dallas or we’re going to be putting ourselves in a sticky situation.
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