The Lakers won every pre-season game, ending with a 114-113 win over the Phoenix Suns. Ofcourse, this is only the pre-season and it’s typically a time for coaches to experiment with different line-ups and get role players minutes in the rotation while their stars start to ease into the season again. Having said that, there’s a lot to be excited about.
This game started out very ugly with the Lakers going down big early on in the first quarter, trailing by as many as 21 points while committing turnovers frequently. The Lakers struggled defensively with Gasol in the drop coverage. Anthony Davis said, “Coach got on our defensive intensity at the half”, and so followed adjustments to the scheme that helped them crawl out of the deficit. One of the defensive adjustments was to put Gasol up on the perimeter and pull him out of the drop coverage. Matthews came in to replace Kuzma, and Anthony Davis put on a shooting clinic as he drained three point shots left and right.
The depth of the Lakers bench was also on display tonight. One such example of this was Quinn Cook coming up with key shots in the fourth quarter, which included the game winning coast-to-coast drive that put the Lakers up 114-113.
While there is a lot to be excited about based on what the Lakers have shown, the games start to count on 12/22 as the Lakers open up the season against the Clippers. On to title defense.