The Lakers finally got off the schneid Friday night in Washington as they defeated the Wizards 102 – 96, improving their record to 10 – 14. This game highlighted this Laker team’s inconsistency as they let multiple leads slip and had to keep their stars in the game until the game clock hit triple zeroes.
There wasn’t much of an improvement defensively and the offense didn’t look very crisp or efficient either. The majority of the points came on isolation plays or Jodie Meeks 3-pointers, but hey, a win is a win and the Lakers need all the wins they can get at this point. Next up for the Lakers will be the 76ers who will probably be eager to seek revenge on the team that stuck them with the disappointment that is Andrew Bynum. Here are the grades for last night’s victory:
Chris Duhon: C+
Average performance for Duhon as he continues to try and run the offense until Steve Nash returns from injury.
Kobe Bryant: B
Poor shooting night for the Mamba, but Kobe once again led by example as he played through a nagging back and still iced the game with this hustle play. Aside from Coach D’Antoni, I doubt anybody needs Steve Nash to return moreso than Kobe. Who knows how much longer he can sustain playing 40+ minutes per night while carrying the team on offense.
Metta World Peace: B-
Good energy and hustle out of Metta tonight even though he was 0 for 6 from behind the arc. When Metta is aggressive and drives the ball on offense the Lakers seem to get good results instead of having him float around the perimeter and wait to take a 3.
Devin Ebanks: B-
Nice to see Devin get some much needed playing time considering how well he fits into this system. The Lakers desperately need an athletic wing player that can make crisp cuts and finish in transition which is exactly what Devin brings to the table.
Dwight Howard: B+
It’s always perplexing when Dwight doesn’t score at least 20 points in a game. Based on sheer talent alone the man should be able to get his 20 points off put backs and alley oops, but that hasn’t been the case this year. The bigger issue here, though, is why Dwight is shooting the ball a measly 8 times. Instead of seeing Kobe taking a contested jumper late in the shot clock, why not just dump the ball down low to Dwight and let him make something happen regardless of the double team?
Jodie Meeks: A-
When Jodie is hot, he is red hot. Laker Nation can see Jodie’s confidence growing with each game and not only that, but the man hustles and plays hard on the defensive end as well. With all the talk about the Lakers being an old, slow team, it’s nice seeing Jodie pick up the slack on both sides of the floor.
Robert Sacre: B+
Quality minutes from the rookie when he was thrown into action after J. Hill was unable to suit up for the game. Sacre probably won’t play much once Pau and Jordan come back from injury, but he definitely earned some trust from the coaching staff as well as the front office in case something like this happens again.
Darius Morris: B
Darius didn’t play many minutes, but he did what was asked of him in his short amount of playing time. It would be nice if the Lakers were able to go to Darius off the bench for a couple minutes a game to pick up the pace and energy even when the starters are still in the game.