The Los Angeles Lakers only had two games last week against the Portland Trail Blazers and the Utah Jazz. They lost both games and currently sit at a record of 16-34. Injuries have decimated the chemistry of the team so far and therefore resulted in mediocre play for most of the season.
Let’s take a look at what is trending up and trending down for the Lakers.
Williams single-handedly kept the Lakers in each of their games last week. Against the Blazers he scored 31 points on 10-of-20 shooting from the field and against the Jazz he finished with 20 points. He continues to be the most consistent scorer on the team.
Without the production of Williams this season, who knows where the Lakers would be. As players return from injury, a heavy offensive burden will be lifted off the shoulders of Williams. Hopefully he can continue his scoring because the Lakers need any help they can get.
Zubac has been a pleasant surprise for the Lakers this season. He has performed really well in the minutes he has been given. In both games last week he finished with double-doubles. Luke Walton has kept him in late games instead of starting center, Timofey Mozgov, who has been struggling.
If Zubac can continue the way he’s been playing, Walton might have no choice but to start him moving forward. As he gets older he will become stronger and smarter, which will make him difficult to defend.
For the most part Clarkson has played well, but recently he has often settled for low-percentage shots and has a seemingly hard time taking care of the ball. Against the Jazz he finished with three turnovers. As one of the primary ball handlers on the team, he cannot be giving the ball away that much.
His play at the beginning of the season was great because he wasn’t really thinking much, he was playing freely. Hopefully he can return to that form sooner rather than later.
Deng’s offense has been absent as of late. He only had 10 points combined in both games last week. Besides a few good offensive games earlier in the season, he has not provided much for the Lakers on the floor. If he continues to struggle, Walton might have to think of alternative options moving forward.
The Lakers cannot afford to not put their best lineup to begin games and Deng, so far, has not lived up to his accustomed play. Maybe by getting him closer to the basket he can find easier ways to score.