The Los Angeles Lakers got their first win on the Grammy road trip, beating Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks 121-107 at Madison Square Garden. Here are the highs and lows from the game.
Luke Walton rolled out a new starting five against his former head coach Phil Jackson and the New York Knick. Looking at just the score, it’s safe to say the lineup worked just fine. But even blowout wins still have positives and negatives; highs and lows. So for the first tine here at Lake Show Life, we’re going to give you the highs and lows from Monday night’s game. Enjoy.
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Feb 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) laughs as he talks to Los Angeles Lakers small forward Metta World Peace (37) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The New Look Lakers: Luke Walton opted to go full Baby Lakers Monday night, with the exception of Nick Young, who we all know is young at heart. Judging by the score it worked out pretty well. Rookie Brandon Ingram put up 14 points and 7 rebounds in his 15th start for the Purple and Gold, while Julius Randle added 14 points of his own. Meanwhile, Tarik Black, who also got the starting nod tonight, was one point away from a double-double. Overall, players 25 and under put up 73 of the Lakers 121 points. It was a great showing for the young bucks.
The Larry/Zubac frontcourt: Now that Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are no longer on speaking terms, Larry Nance Jr. and Ivica Zubac are in the conversation for best bromance in the NBA. Luckily, their off-court chemistry hasn’t been too bad either. On Monday, they combined for 20 points, 17 rebounds and one death.
Metta World Peace: Madison Square Garden started a “We Want Metta” chant and Luke Walton wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to get his former teammate on the floor. Metta’s two points were probably the most memorable two points of the night.
MVP chants for Metta World Peace in Madison Square Garden.
Feb 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Lakers small forward Luol Deng (9) drives against New York Knicks small forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas (91) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Lou Williams: While he finished with a team-high 22 points, Lou Williams was a problem on the court for the Lakers. With Brandon Ingram moving to the bench, Luke Walton decided Jordan Clarkson would be the primary ball handler off the bench. For the most part, that was a smart decision by Walton, however, it made Lou’s shot selection look that much worse.
Typically, when Lou brings the ball up the court, it masks the fact that the ball doesn’t move much after the fact. When he’s playing off the ball though, it’s clear how much he disrupts the flow of the offense. When his shots are falling, it’s not a huge problem, but when they start clanking off the rim it can be frustrating.
Luol Deng: Luol Deng gets a pass tonight because of his new role with the second unit. Kinda. Deng finished the game with 7 points on 1-for-6 shooting from the field. While I liked the defense he brought to a second unit that desperately needed it on the wing, he has to be a reliable option for when Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson’s shots aren’t falling. He was not that Monday night.
D’Angelo Russell: After a string of really promising games, D’Angelo Russell fell back to earth Monday night. He finished the game with 4 points, 6 assists and 2 rebounds. Coming into this game, he was one of the few players averaging at least 19 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds. The other two guys? LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.
It’s not completely Russell’s fault, though. Despite being up big late in the game, Walton decided to rest Russell in the fourth quarter. He finished the game playing just over 19 minutes. For context, Luol Deng 24 minutes. Let’s hope this isn’t a trend going forward.