The game started quickly on both ends, and with Austin Reaves gets the start since Russell Westbrook is dealing with a hamstring injury, the team has shot better and scored more. The team shot better overall, 40% from the field, but the three-point shooting continued to be poor, going 2-for-9 in the first. Another shocking statistic was LeBron going scoreless in the first and only having one field goal attempt in the closing seconds of the quarter.
In the second, LeBron began to take control offensively. He scored 7 of the team’s first 13 points to start the quarter. On the other hand, Joker started in the second with nice passes, some hard shots against Anthony Davis, and Denver dominated the boards 29-23, but given how badly the Lakers lost the battle of the boards a six-rebound gap is an improvement. The Lakers kept fighting and ended the quarter with a 13-3 run. The closing minute was a nice sequence for the purple and gold. It started with an AD lob, a steal, a Lonnie Walker layup, and another steal, followed by an Anthony Davis layup making the game even at 54 going into halftime.
The Lakers have lost every third quarter this season. Wednesday was no exception. The Nuggets dominated the paint and outscored the Lakers 32-17 in the half. On the road against a Western Conference favorite, that won’t do it. Near the eight-minute mark, we got our most recent injury from Anthony Davis when he jumped to contest a shot and took a forearm to Joker’s back. This injury is not a surprise, as AD has had low problems since pre season. Fortunately he was able to come back and looked healthy, given the circumstances.
In the fourth, the Lakers never really got going or closed the gap enough. Matt Ryan hit a jumper to cut the lead to seven, and after that, it was all Nuggets. The only other highlight from the Lakers in the fourth was a spirited Darvin Ham getting T’d up in frustration with the decision. The Lakers kept things competitive as long as they could, but in the end, the Nuggets are just the better team.
Relative to expectations, LW4 was #LakeShow best player And I’m not sure it’s close.
– Aaron Larsuel (@AaronLarsuel) October 27, 2022
Lonnie Walker IV is good at basketball. In this early season, he has career highs in points, rebounds and assists. A lot goes wrong for the Lake Show in this early start of the season, but Walker performed above and beyond all expectations, anyone could realistically have of him.
While Walker was spectacular, the rest of the supporting cast was lacking. Where is Kendrick Nunn’s production? 9 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist is not enough with Russ out. Patrick Beverley was also pedestrian, with 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Yes, Pat Bev is more about the ex-factor, like putting pressure on ball handlers and doing the little things, but I didn’t see any of those impact plays on screen on Wednesday, and I’ve seen less and less of it. this season. The reality is that this team has to play a near-perfect game to win the West, and the Lakers don’t stand a chance with subpar players.
The bad news is only four teams in NBA history have gone 0-4 and made the playoffs. The good news is Russell Westbrook was on two of those teams: the 2020-21 Washington Wizards and the 2018-19 Oklahoma City Thunder. Let’s see if Russ can add the 2022-23 Los Angeles Lakers to this strange statistic. I mean, why not?