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The Lakers competed the entire 48 minutes and nearly defeated the top team in the Western Conference Tuesday night. However, some late game defensive mental lapses and offensive execution issues led to a tough two point loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Considering that this team nearly won by running a freestyle offense and defense shows how important talent really is in the NBA and also how loaded this Lakers team is. With Coach D’Antoni bringing his offensive “genius” to the team, we should see a juggernaut Lakers team by the All-Star break. Regardless, here are the grades for last night’s game:


Darius Morris: C

Considering he’s a sophomore and 3rd string PG, we should temper our expectations with young Darius, but he did push the ball effectively down the court and had ZERO turnovers, only Lakers players that can boast about that last night. Going 1-4 from the charity stripe will not help this young guard get much playing time though


Kobe Bryant: A-

Really wanted to give Kobe the solid A, but that defensive lapse on Danny Green’s game winner basically cost us the game. However, Kobe had another solid night dishing out 8 dimes and shooting a very efficient 12-19 for 28 points. Kobe has a real pulse on this Lakers team and has yet to force anything like he used to in years past


Metta World Peace: B-

While he didn’t have a great offensive night, Metta did help in limiting Tony Parker’s penetration down the stretch with some nice defense. His jumper has improved and he is bound to have better looks under D’Antoni’s system. The Staples would’ve gone nuts if he hit that final 3 he took


Pau Gasol: B

An average game for Pau. This team needs him to be more assertive on the offensive end and stop settling for the long jumpers like he has. His game should pick up on the offensive end once D’Antoni’s system is implemented and Nash returns to the lineup.


Dwight Howard: B+

Great night on the boards for Dwight, but he really needs to cut down on the turnovers. He is constantly getting stripped of the ball on his moves towards the basket, but that may be due to a lack of explosiveness which will slowly come back. He played good defense on Duncan and also altered some shots when he rotated over from the weak side. Credit the Spurs’ big men, Duncan and Splitter, for their constant pressure on Dwight and not letting him dominate the offensive glass as he usually does

Jordan Hill: B+

Stat sheet won’t show it, but Jordan Hill was everywhere tonight, as usual. His defense and offensive rebounds helped the Lakers stay in this game when the starters were resting. Jordan and Dwight on the front line will be our best defensive lineup and will cause havoc all year for opponents. Not to mention, both big men are not yet fully healthy


Chris Duhon: C+

I’d like to see Chris Duhon start Friday’s game over Morris if Steve Blake is unable to go. He’s a decent shooter and did have his best year under Mike D’Antoni in New York. He should be better once he gets into better shape and becomes more familiar with his teammates.


Antawn Jamison: C

Still haven’t seen Jamison aggressive during a game all season. I’d rather see Antawn go 0-9 and try to make something happen off the bench than have him go 2-4 and settle for the 3’s. Still, the effort has been there so you can’t knock him too hard


Jodie Meeks: F

Poor Jodie can’t seem to do anything right so far. He is short on all of his shots and seems to turn the ball over every time he drives into the lane. This bench will go as far as Jodie’s jumper carries it. He has the potential to be a game changing shooter, but he MUST regain his confidence