I guess you can only have so much fire in one state. While seemingly all of Southern California was covered by smoke and fire, the Lakers seemed to have none. It was one of the most lackluster performances I have seen in quite some time.
Not only were the Lakers careless with the ball, leading to 20 turnovers, but they were outhustled and overpowered on the inside. The Jazz got 20 offensive rebounds leading to 50 total boards. Defensively, the Lakers rotated poorly and gave up a lot of easy buckets. Offensively, they were careless, forced shots (Cook, Kobe, Sasha), and couldn’t run the break effectively.
The game was summed up by a Lakers 4 on 2 fast break led by Kobe which resulted in an out of control turnover and an uncontested dunk on the other end for the Jazz. No hustle, nothing. While it will be hard to talk about the 3 best Lakers, I will do my best:
Top 3 Laker performers:
1) Andrew Bynum in 24 minutes put up 8 points, 8 rebounds, and had 3 blocks. He also saved Cook from an embarrassing lob pass that hit the backboard. Bynum was one of the few Lakers with energy and protected the paint for the Lakers.
2) Jordan Farmar continued his great preseason. His 7 assists and finishes on the break were some of the Lakers bright points.
3) Javaris Crittenton played only 13 minutes, but in those 13 minutes he went 5-5 including some impressive work around the basket. Critt does need to work on his defense, as he had trouble staying in front of Jazz guards.
Lakers Smush of the Day (Note: STD denotes the Laker that played the poorest):
I have so many options today for the STD. Vlad shot 1-7, Kobe shot 4-16, Cook was 2-8, Sasha was 2-8. And the winner is…Kobe. I hate giving it to Kobe, but he was forcing up shots all night. He kept trying to draw fouls instead of settling for good shots. Kobe’s 4-16 might have not been that bad if he got some assists. However, Kobe only had 2 assists to go with his 4 turnovers. Good thing it’s preseason!
Key play of the game: Lakers turn the ball over. Jazz dunk 2 seconds later.
What to look for next game: Look for nothing. The game was canceled due to the fires. However, Friday night vs the Kings should be a fun one. You can catch it on KCAL or TNT at 7 pm.