The Los Angeles Lakers surge past the Houston Rockets for a 119-108 victory at the Staples Center Sunday evening.
The Lakers have won four of their last five games since the firing of Mike Brown. They are 4-1 under interim head coach Bernie Bickerstaff (who will be retained under Mike D’Antoni’s regime), and technically 2-0 since D’Antoni was officially introduced as the Lakers new head coach.What we’ve learned so far under D’Antoni’s system is that more offense is good all the time, and all the time more offense is good. The Lakers have increased their point total from nearly a 100 points per game to 116.5 points per game since the new offense has been installed.
Sunday night’s game was a microcosm of how everyone, from analysts, to pundits, to Laker Nation envisioned the new-look Lakeshow would play once their chemistry was able to develop, as well as them playing in the right scheme that fits this roster. The Black Mamba had a triple double of 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in 35 minutes of action. Superman II had 28 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks and dominated the paint on both ends of the court. Pau Gasol scored 17 points, while Metta World Peace chipped in with 15 points (most of which came in a third quarter surge). Second year point guard, Darius Morris, had a career high night of 12 points and 5 assists (numbers he will eventually clip as career highs), and played a solid floor game.
The starters have seemed to flourish in D’Antoni’s system, while the bench is still trying to figure out their “bench mob swagger”, mainly Antwan Jamison and Jodie Meeks. D’Antoni’s style of play was made for these two players, and hopefully they will figure it out sooner rather than later.
Jim Buss has to be feeling a little more easy with the outcomes of the first two games under D’Antoni, but then again they were victories against two low level teams. The elephant in the room that has to be talked about, and will continuously get talked about to a certain level of ad nauseam is the defense. I understand that the Lakers have individuals that play great defense, but eventually their team defense will have to get better if they plan on maximizing their full potential. But I digress for now, because everyone in Laker Nation seems to be all smiles, for the moment that is.
Up on the slate this week for the Lakeshow are back-to-back games against the Brooklyn Nets (at home), and the Sacramento Kings (on the road) starting Tuesday. Then they play another another back -to-back against the Memphis Grizzlies and the Dallas Mavericks (both on the road), which takes place on Friday and Saturday. The Lakers seem to be heading in the right direction, and must continue their winning ways to not only catch up to the Pacific Division leading Los Angeles Clippers, but also the elite teams in the Western Conference. As of right now, Laker Nation can put away their panic button, because order has been restored in Lakerland by an unwanted coach who just might know what he is doing.
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Written by Arthur Kai