By Joseph Cervantes
The Los Angeles Lakers were off to a tremendous start this season, but they have slowed their pace down after losing four consecutive games in a row. Fortunately, they still have the top record in the Western Conference with a record of 24-7.
The Lakers’ Christmas Day showdown against the Clippers lived up to the hype, but unfortunately, their offense slipped in the 4th quarter after scoring only three points over the course of the final four minutes and 58 seconds of this game.
Should the Lakers be worried?
Yes, the Lakers need to find a way to contain Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi scored a game-high 35 points while scoring 11 of his points in the 4th quarter. The Lakers have no elite defensive small forwards. They need to somehow get Andre Iguodala and eventually fills that role or they need to trade for a defender.
The Lakers put Kentavious Caldwell-Pop on Leonard, then switched to Danny Green, then switched to Avery Bradley, but no one figured out how to stop him. If the Lakers want a chance at beating the Clippers then they must find a solution on guarding Kawhi Leonard.
Kyle Kuzma seemed to get out his shooting slump. Kyle Kuzma filled the role of the third scorer against the Clippers finishing with 25 points, but he couldn’t make a shot during the 4th quarter. The Lakers scored only three points in total during the last four minutes and 58 seconds. The defense Leonard and George play on James prevents him from running the offense on how he wants to.
If the Lakers want a chance to compete for a championship in June, they are going to need another scoring guard. If these are the rosters that both teams bring into the playoffs, the Clippers will obviously have the advantage. The Lakers need to make some trades to fix their flaws and weaknesses if they want to reach the finals.
These two teams have two more regular-season games left against one another, but a playoff series between the two would be one of the best in NBA history.