The Utah Jazz came into the Staples Center on Sunday night and bullied the Lakers all night long. They outscored the Lakers 54 – 34 in the paint and played with so much more energy than the home team.
With Pau and Nash still out with injuries, these losses the Lakers are suffering make it much more difficult for the team to be patient with their two injured stars. At times these Lakers play with no fight until they have dug themselves a hole too deep to escape from and make the game somewhat close.
That being said, this team is getting better. Laker Nation doesn’t want to hear about Coach D having no training camp, no Nash, no Blake, no Pau, but these things are reality and have had an adverse affect on this squad. Four game road trip coming up next and we will see if the Lakers have improved since their last roadie. Regardless, here are the grades from the L:
Darius Morris: D
Quiet game for Darius as Chris Duhon and Jodie Meeks have seen more playing time due to their superior 3 point shooting.
Kobe Bryant: B
Nice scoring output from the Mamba, but 0 rebounds for the entire game? When Dwight rotates to help on defense, his man is constantly getting easy rebounds and put backs. This is not all on Kobe, but when you have no rebounds for the entire game, you’re not giving maximum effort on both ends of the floor.
Metta World Peace: C+
Similar to Kobe, Metta had no rebounds for the game as well. Metta’s role on this team is to hit outside shots, play hard-nosed defense, and play with a high amount of energy on both ends of the floor. Zero rebounds does not equate to hustle and energy.
Antawn Jamison: C
Antawn could not handle any of the Utah big men tonight and therefore did not get much playing time. He was also off rhythm with his offense as he went 1 for 6 from the field. Antawn lacks the playmaking that Pau brings to the court; hopefully Laker Nation will embrace and appreciate the Spaniard when he finally comes back.
Dwight Howard: B+
Dwight is upset and he has good reason to be. Why should Dwight rotate off his man and try to block a shot when his man almost always gets the offensive rebound or an easy put back? Defense comes down to effort and trust; Dwight is getting healthier and the effort is there, but the trust in his teammates has yet to take shape.
Chris Duhon: B+
Solid game from Duhon after getting torched on Friday night by Russell Westbrook. If CD can get 11 assists in this system, just imagine the type of numbers Nash will put up when he gets back onto the court. Duhon is a great 3 point shooter and should have the same green light that Jodie Meeks has when his defender double teams Dwight down low.
Jodie Meeks: B
Nice shooting and energy on the defensive end from Meeks. Still, Laker Nation would much rather see Jodie catch and shoot than handle the ball on pick-and-rolls.
Jordan Hill: A-
By far the best player on the court for the Lakers tonight as J. Hill brought the energy and heart as usual. I never thought Jordan could get outmuscled, but Enes Kanter manhandled Jordan down in the paint. Still, Jordan did all he could to help the Lakers win through his hustle.