The Lakers, from beating to beating

Three games out in a row and only 11 seconds behind for some Lakers who rule the NBA without forcing and break records on the road.


While the hierarchies of the NBA are outlined and redrawn in a season very complicated by the pandemic and the express preparation that preceded it, and with the transfer of James Harden still scorching the current situation of the League, the Lakers are a champion with a huge pint of favorite to repeat. Huge: in OKC they took the hammer again (99-128) and have closed a three-game road trip away with only 11 seconds behind on the scoreboard and a +64 total. After laminating the Rockets twice, they crushed a Thunder without Al Horford and with their constant youth movement (Dort, Bazley, Roby, Pokusevski, a Gilgeous-Alexander this time surpassed…). Again there was no match. Again the Lakers came out like planes (+24 in the first half before a mini reaction from their rival) and again they had too many minutes of relaxation in the second, in which the advantage reached 31 points with LeBron James and Anthony Davis already on the bench.

LeBron already played less than ever last season (34.6 minutes per night) and is now dropping that average even further (32.3). That didn't stop him from crushing the Thunder: 26 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and the final slap in the third quarter, in which he scored 9 points in just over a minute, 3 + 1 included. Comfortable from the line of three (5/8 this time) and in front of an attack full of possibilities, LeBron rules the games with hardly any sweat and takes long stretches of rest. An optimal situation to which is added the rest also of Davis, who did not play so little since his rookie year (now 32.5 minutes per night) and that scares in defense and contributes in attack (18 + 7 this time they see 25 minutes ) without giving any sensation of clenching the teeth.

It was the Lakers' seventh away win in seven games this season, a franchise record. He came before an opponent who, on the other side of the coin, has not won at home (0-5), surprising no matter how much, without an audience, the borders between home and visitor are blurred: “We played away with a bunker mentality , everything that is happening unites us even more, it is strange to play like this and many times you have to generate your own energy ”, says LeBron, happy in a team that, without getting messy, is the best in the League, 10-3 after having started 2-2. That in recent games he has raised (just enough) revolutions in defense and that he has all the pieces in their exact place. From the increasingly established Caldwell-Pope (53.6% in triples in the season), to the secondary ones (Morris, Caruso, Kuzma ...) of which you already know what you will get when you need it, the new young sensation (Horton-Tucker ) and, of course, the newcomers (also with Matthews out): contribution from Marc Gasol (3 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 4 blocks ...), energy from Harrell (21 + 6 in 25 minutes) and excellent sensations of Schröder (14 + 5 + 5). A champion who enjoys on the track, scares the rivals and, for now, stays out of the ups and downs and scares of the pandemic. Very sweet moment.

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