Lakers Weekly Recap: What Went Right, What Went Wrong As LeBron James Shines
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ winning streak reached four games when they defeated a quality Portland Trail Blazers team for the second time this season. The good vibrations dissipated when they were blown out in their next game by the mediocre Orlando Magic.

The Lakers then turned it around again and finished the week with a road win over the Miami Heat. This past week was all about LeBron James, who scored 44 and 51 points, respectively, in the two wins.

He was a one-man gang offensively, as no one else consistently contributed all that much. This was another week in which defense was the key, as the Lakers won when they locked in on defense and lost when they did not.

A significant development was the injury to Rajon Rondo, who broke his hand against the Trail Blazers and is expected to be out four to five weeks. The coaching staff is trying to cover his absence with a combination of different players, and at times the team played without a point guard at all, which was possible because much of the time the offense consisted of giving the ball to James and getting out of his way.

Here is a summary of what went right and what went wrong this past week.

What Went Right

The Lakers finished the week tied for seventh place in the Western Conference standings, the first time in a long time that the team is legitimately in the playoff hunt.

The 124-117 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center to start the week was one of the season’s highlights. Any victory against the Trail Blazers, the second seed in the Western Conference right now, is rare in recent years. Two wins against Portland in one season was practically unthinkable until now.

It was a memorable night for James on two levels. First, he finished with an astounding stat line of 44 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists, just missing a rare 40-point triple double when Brandon Ingram took a pass from James but air-balled a three-point shot to end the game.

James also passed Wilt Chamberlain to become the fifth leading scorer in NBA history, finishing the night with 31,425 total points.

James’ woes at the free throw line have been well documented this year, but on this game he made 15-of-17 from the charity stripe. He has also been criticized for his defense, or lack thereof, but against Portland he had three blocks and turned in his best overall defensive performance of the year.

James may have been unstoppable, but he received support in the form of 20 points from JaVale McGee, 17 points from Ingram, and 13 points from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

After the awful loss in Orlando, the team bounced back to win the next game in Miami. It was all about James, who was looking to score rather than facilitate and thus had only three assists. He had 51 points on 19-of-31 shooting, making 6-of-8 shots from three-point range. It was the 12th time in his career that James has scored 50 or more points.

The Lakers held the Heat to only 97 points, the second time this season when an opponent scored fewer than 100 points against them.

Pope was the second-highest scorer against the Heat with 19 points, although most of it came from the free throw line as he was only 4-for-11 from the field. After a very rough start to the season, Caldwell-Pope has adjusted to coming off the bench and is starting to resemble the player he was last year: He throws up a lot of shots and sometimes he is hot and they fall in.

Aside from James, no one else on the team shot efficiently again Miami except Kyle Kuzma, who played only 21 minutes (and not at all in the fourth quarter) but finished with 15 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field.

Another solid contributor was Tyson Chandler, who had 12 rebounds. The Lakers are 5-1 since Chandler was signed earlier this month.

What Went Wrong

The low point the past week came in the form of a 130-117 loss to the Magic, a game which was far worse than the final score suggests. The Lakers seemingly have not won a game in Orlando since defeating the Dwight Howard-led Magic in the NBA finals nearly a decade ago.

That is only a slight exaggeration, as victories in Orlando have been as rare as victories in Portland. Orlando has indeed been the site of some of the ugliest Lakers losses in recent years.

The Lakers had three days to prepare for the game but it did no good. They were playing for the first time without Rondo, but that does not account for the almost non-existent energy after the first quarter and total breakdown of the defense.

The Lakers had improved recently on the defensive end, holding opponents to 104 points per game during their four-game winning streak. All the horrors of the early-season losses came rushing back against the Magic, as the Lakers perimeter defense was shredded and McGee and Chandler played perhaps their poorest games of the year.

Reflective of how ineffective the Lakers’ centers were this night, the leading scorer in the game was Nikola Vucevic, who doubled his season average with 36 points on 15-for-23 shooting from the floor. He also grabbed 13 rebounds, and was unstoppable the entire game.

Josh Hart, who is considered one of the team’s best defenders, was by his own admission destroyed by the Magic’s backcourt combination of D.J. Augustin and Evan Fournier, who scored 22 and 15 points, respectfully, finishing at the rim over and over again on easy layups.

Fellow guards Lonzo Ball, Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson, were equally ineffective trying to stop any of the Magic guards, both their starters and their reserves.

Speaking of Ball, he was expected to step up in Rondo’s absence but played one of his worst games of the season against the Magic, finishing with zero points on 0-for-5 shooting and 0-of-3 from three point range in 28 minutes.

He scored only two points the next night on 1-for-6 shooting from the floor in the win over the Heat. Ball did not play much at all in the fourth quarters during the week.

Speaking of poor performances, Kuzma just finished what was arguably the worst week of his career. He scored a mere 7 points in the win over Portland on 3-of-8 shooting; 8 points on 3-for-10 shooting in the loss to the Magic.

He also had five turnovers against the Magic. Although he did better against the Heat, for one of the few times in recent memory he did not play at all in the fourth quarter and is really struggling.

Kuzma played solid defense on the high-flying Aaron Gordon of the Magic, holding him to a mere 13 points, and he finished with two blocks. But the sophisticated offensive game which enabled him to set Lakers rookie records last season and become one of the league’s biggest surprises has all but abandoned him so far this season.

Opponents may be catching onto the fact that he has lost confidence in his outside shot, and they are no longer reacting to his fakes and are waiting for him to drive to the rim where they are cutting him off

The Lakers should be worried about Ingram, who thus far has shown no signs of becoming the kind of “second option” the team was expecting from him this year. At least he is remaining aggressive and putting up decent if unspectacular numbers, but it is not enough.

After decent games against Portland and Orlando, he finished with only 13 points on 6-for-15 from the floor against the Heat, although he made a key three-point shot in the fourth quarter as Miami was making a run.

James is incredible, but aside from his contributions, it appears the Lakers will have to win by committee this year as they do not have a clear, consistent Nos. 2 or 3 options.

What they do have is a group of pretty good players, and on any given night one of them will have to step up and do enough to support James that the Lakers are able to win. Whether this model is sustainable for an entire season remains to be seen.

10 of the most panoramic night skies on Earth

latest research by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (atmosphere) Observatory in the Elqui Valley of northern Chile Andean mountains was designated the first crucial Dark Sky Sanctuary by the intercontinental Dark Sky Association (IDA), A non profit group based in Tuscon, Arizona in the united states.

The night sky has inspired our art and literary mastery since early civilisation. Being cut off from that source by light pollution is to be deprived of something required to our humanity

Dark skies are more rare: As the human population becomes more and more urbanised, Man made lights obscure our view of the celebrities and other celestial features.

Two thirds of adult population today live under light polluted skies, Not dark enough to understand the Milky Way, relates Babak Tafreshi, Director found on earth at Night (TWAN), an international organisation that curates and exhibits astrophotographs.

City skies today are actually empty of stars. Watching the spectacular arch of the Milky Way rising over the horizon sounds like a scene of science fiction to many kids and teens raised in urban areas. Being cut off from that source by light pollution is to be deprived of something imperative to our humanity. Some experts express light pollution can disrupt the navigational ability of animals including turtles, Fish and seeing stars.

The best views of stars and other celestial features need a sky that is both dark and clear.

This results in remoteness from artificial lights and good weather, Although natural light can at times obscure a view of the stars: Won see many stars in a good full moon night, Nor in a summer night of high latitude regions while polar twilight prevents total darkness, states Tafreshi.

Barentine says that arid environments offer among the best dark and clear skies, But comes with: Shouldn neglect the skies wherever they happen to live. On any clear night there much to see at night sky, Even for city residents. of the planet most astonishing night skies are over places that are very remote and hard to reach, While other sites are astrotourism hotspots capturing national parks and observatories.

Here are 10 of the highest quality places on Earth for a view of the night sky at its most magnificent.

1. currently the Sahara

View picture of The Sahara Desert in Egypt (rating: Novarc graphics / Alamy)

extending for 3,500,000 sq stretches (9,000,000 sq km) Equating 10% of the african continent the Sahara is the world largest hot desert. This critical, Hot and dry environment and the remoteness from civilisation of the desert interior make for one of the most spectacular views of the stars on Earth.

2. Namibia

View picture of (credit history: Bildagentur online/McPhoto Ingo Schulz or Alamy)

Namibia houses a growing industry in astrotourism, With the Namib Desert’s extremely dry weather and pristine skies perfect for the activity. The desert, One of the world oldest and largest, Features a quantity of farms says Tafreshi. Landscape is ideal for stargazing. looking around you can see a 360 degree panorama of the horizon. The weak Quarter, Arabian Peninsula

View picture of The “vacant Quarter” inside of Arabian Peninsula (credit: period fotostock / Alamy)

The Empty Quarter in the south eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula are probably the largest continuous deserts in the world, Covering an area around 250,000 sq ranges (650,000 sq kilometer). As its name show, The desert is almost empty individuals who.

4. Atacama sweet, Chile

View image of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (financial information: Stuart thomson / Alamy)

pristine night skies hang above most areas of the Atacama Desert, says Tafreshi. the whole new world most arid desert, located in Chile and small parts of Peru, Bolivia and simply Argentina, Is also home to several substantial observatories. Beats a dark sky places by being high and dry and clear for so many nights per year. Walking on the desert within the scattered rocks and boulders on the pale red dust feels like being on Mars but under the Earth sky. los angeles Palma, Canary destinations

View image of (credit: Babak Tafreshi / modern technology Photo Library)

The volcanic of the islands of La Palma is, Part of [url=]girls in spanish[/url] Spain Canary Islands archipelago is a popular destination with astrotourists for its remarkably clear skies. In 2002 the actual whole island was named a UNESCO (us Educational, Scientific and Cultural connection) Biosphere arrange.

6. Himalayas

View image of Moonrise throughout the Himalayas (compliment: Visal Chattopadhyay or Alamy)

The clear skies of high hiking treks and Himalayan villages are among the entrepreneurial world best, [url=]spanish ladies[/url] based on Tafreshi. The Himalayan mountain range in Asia is society we live in highest, And carries Mount Everest, Which at a minimum of 29,035ft (8,850m) Above sea level is the tallest mountain on this planet.

7. Volcanoes of gorgeous hawaii

View image of Kilauea volcano, hawaii islands, With the Milky Way above (credit histories: bent Light USA / Alamy).

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