The Lakers proved that they’re still a very competitive team despite recent struggles by picking up an impressive 112-105 win over the No. 2 seed OKC Thunder. The defense showed up as the young Thunder struggled to navigate the size and defensive pressure of the Lakers. Laker fans are overjoyed at this result, improving their record to 20-21 this season
Fans called this a much-needed win for the Lakers..
Fans noted how the Lakers’ physicality led by their two star players was too much to overcome for OKC.
Fans pointed out how the Lakers are built like a team that can beat the best on any given night but also lose to the worst.
The energy and aggression with which LA played was refreshing for fans to see.
Fans were still critical of Darvin Ham’s coaching.
Fans were not happy with the decision to play Taurean Prince big minutes after false reports before the game that he had been demoted to the bench.
Fans were not happy to see strong performers like Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt left on the bench in the fourth quarter while Taurean stayed out.
The Lakers were led by a monster night from Anthony Davis, who put up 27 points and 15 rebounds. LeBron James had an all-around impact on the game as well, ending with 25 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Austin Reaves scored 15 while D’Angelo Russell added 14. Rui Hachimura had 12 points off the bench along with Christian Wood who scored 11 points.
The Thunder’s best player was Jalen Williams, who stuck through with the physical Lakers and ended the night with 25 points, six assists, and three steals. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a disappointing game for his lofty standards as an MVP candidate, putting up just 24 points and six assists in the loss.
Will The Lakers Make A Trade To Improve Their Position In The West?
The Lakers have shown they have the Thunder’s number, a team that could realistically be a first-round playoff matchup if the Lakers make it in as a play-in team. But the Lakers are aiming to be a solidified top-six team and may need to make some trades to improve their chances on that front.
Jarred Vanderbilt said before this game that he believes the Lakers don’t need to make a trade and can improve their position internally.
“For sure. With us, it’s just difficult ’cause people are in and out of the lineup due to injury or whatever, so it’s tough. We’re still trying to build that camaraderie but within ourselves. But, that’s part of the season. It’s tough. Like I said, we changed lineups so much, that it’s tough to try to get that consistent continuity. But, I do believe it is capable – we are capable – of doing it internally.”
The Lakers are heavily linked with Dejounte Murray, who looks to be their primary target for the winter. Brian Windhorst ruled out any further interest in acquiring Zach LaVine, so the possibility of the Bulls swingman ending up in LA seems to have died down. Murray is still an ambitious target but the Lakers have deals they can offer.
If they don’t make a deal or do something at the edges to add guard depth or a reliable backup big, the Lakers could still improve enough to be a top-six team. But unlike what Vanderbilt said, it doesn’t seem like this team can become a title contender without personnel changes over the winter.