Despite holding the best record in the Western Conference more than midway through the 2019-20 NBA season, there are still some question marks regarding the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers boast arguably the league’s most potent All-Star duo in LeBron James and Anthony Davis as the two have blitzed the competition on a nightly basis. James has assumed the role of playmaker while Davis currently leads the team in scoring.
Even with two elite talents, Los Angeles struggles to stay competitive or hold leads when James is off the floor. However, the Lakers earned a blowout 116-86 win over the Golden State Warriors, an encouraging sign given that James missed the contest due to a groin injury.
Davis credited the entire team for the way they were able to make up for James’ absence, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Everyone. Everyone played a great game tonight. Do came in and led the pack. AC came in and led the second unit. AB came in and made shots, did what he did on both ends of the floor. KC, Dwight came in, JaVale played great. Everyone played great. Came in and tried to fill the shoes of a guy who come in and do at all. Bron, when he’s out, it’s taking away a lot of things that we do, so it’s on all of us to fill those voids and I think we did that tonight.”
Davis led the way in scoring for the Lakers as he had 23 points to go along with two steals and two blocks, while Kyle Kuzma came off the bench and chipped in 18 points of his own. The rest of the roster all effectively filled their roles on both ends, hitting shots when they had open looks and playing defense as they were able to turn the Warriors over 27 times on the night.
Golden State is clearly in a rebuild as they have missed their All-Star players and have a roster made up of fringe NBA players, but to see Los Angeles dominate a game they should have is still encouraging given they have often taken their foot off the gas pedal when going up big.
It is hard to take too much away given the Warriors poor record, but the Lakers should feel better about the idea that they are capable of rising to occasions when called upon. For now, the purple and gold need to focus as they next face off against the upstart Memphis Grizzlies.