The Los Angeles Lakers were able to overcome a sluggish start and pull out a solid win against the Indiana Pacers in their first game of the second half of the 2020-21 season.
The Lakers were shorthanded again as they were without Marc Gasol, but also lost Alex Caruso to a head injury in the middle of the game. However, Los Angeles stepped up defensively in the second half as they limited Indiana to 46 points. The Lakers were down by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter but managed to go on a massive 22-4 that put them ahead and they never looked back after.
Kyle Kuzma led the team in scoring with 24 points, while Montrezl Harrell pitched in with 17 points of his own. LeBron James had a relatively quiet night, finishing with only 18 points but did dish out 10 assists.
Los Angeles has been doing their best to make due as Anthony Davis continues to nurse a calf strain that will keep him out at least a couple of more weeks. James noted that the roster will need to keep playing together in order to keep racking up wins.
“Collective group,” James said. “It’s a collective effort in the frontcourt starting with D.J, Trezz coming off the bench. Myself, Kuz it’s a collective group. Put our hardhats on in absence of Marc [Gasol] and A.D. and play bigger than our size. It’s going to be a collective group for all of us.”
The Lakers have understandably struggled in Davis’ absence as he is a focal point on the offensive end while being their anchor defensively. While the Lakers do have a talented roster, there is not one player that can replicate Davis’ impact so James is right in saying that everyone will need to step up until the star big man is able to return.
With James, the Lakers can never be ruled out of a game, but adding some help either via trade or the buyout market would not be a bad idea either. James is confident the current roster is more than enough to win, but a shot in the arm from a new player also could not hurt.
James believes Harrell is acclimating to Lakers
Harrell has been a bright spot for the Lakers during the 2020-21 season as he has provided consistent scoring and energy off the bench. His production is more impressive when you consider that he has not gotten much time to practice and learn his new teammates. James made sure to emphasize that after the win against the Pacers.
“We’ve got to realize this is only like game 37 Trezz has been with us. It’s a brand new system, it’s a brand new team. He’s learning us. He played so many games with the [Los Angeles] Clippers and he kind of knew the system in and out with those guys for years.
“He’s getting better and better every single game. We’re just going to continue to need his energy and effort on both ends of the floor.”
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