Lakers Trending Up, Trending Down: NBA Season Week 20
Game Recap: Short-handed Lakers Can’t Keep Up With Jazz
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers played three games last week against the Charlotte Hornets, Boston Celtics, and the New Orleans Hornets. The worst was a 115-95 drubbing at the hands of the Celtics on Friday night. In the other two games the Lakers had chances to win both but just could not get a stop when they needed it most.

As the season gets closer to coming to an end the young players will get extensive playing time to show that they belong on the team moving forward.

Here is what is trending up and trending down with the Lakers this week.

Trending Up:

D’Angelo Russell

Despite a couple of careless passes Russell continues to play well offensively. Against the Pelicans on Sunday night he finished with 16 points and seven assists. As of right now the Lakers will only be as good as Russell is, so it’s very important for him to perform well on a nightly basis.

He currently leads the Lakers in scoring and assists per game. If the Lakers want to have any sort of success for the rest of the season he needs to continue to play well.

Tarik Black

Black continues to play well in a starting role. He provides energy and toughness that makes it difficult for the opposition to match. He is currently averaging 5.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and is a good fit alongside Julius Randle because he is willing to do the dirty work. The majority of points he gets are from hustle and hard work.

He sets a great example on the type of energy that needs to be played with every night. It’s extremely important for him to show the coaching staff that he belongs to stay with the team in the future.

Trending Down:

Turnovers

The Lakers struggled with turnovers last week. Against the Pelicans they committed an astounding 25 turnovers. They simply become careless with the basketball sometimes. When they do turn the ball over it makes it extremely difficult for them to get any sort of rhythm on the offensive end.

Moving forward they need to be more careful of taking care of the ball because if they do not the losses may soon begin to take a toll on the team’s confidence, if it has not already.

Brandon Ingram

Besides his 16-point outing against the Pelicans Ingram struggled in the two other games. He finished with zero points in the Celtics game and had only eight points against the Hornets. He continues to struggle with his jump shot and his inconsistent play has made it difficult for him to find any sort of rhythm and confidence on offense.

Hopefully he can find his groove before the season ends so that he enters the offseason with some sort of momentum that he can build upon. The good thing is that he is young and he has more than enough time to mature and get better.

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