L A Lakers Nation.
Trevor lain here for lakers nation dot com Your home for everything Lakers Today we're talking about three things that we learned from the Lakers win over the Charlotte Hornets.
That makes two in a row.
Saw some really exciting things from the purple and gold in this game.
Yeah, it was a little bit of a battle threw up, but then they pulled away the second, and particularly the fourth quarter.
We're going to talk about why we're gonna talk about what it all comes down to.
What, what matters? Moving forward for the Lakers first.
Quick shout out to our sponsor up time.
How energy should feel.
Guys, go pick some up finding that 7 11 GNC in amazon dot com.
All right, so this game, the Lakers ultimately prevail.
1 20 Tow 101 That's what you like to see the Lakers getting the blowout win.
But here's the big takeaways and the 1st 1 A little bit of a shocker.
The new fan favorite in Los Angeles, Dwight Howard.
How is this happened? It was just a few weeks ago.
It feels like that Dwight Howard was public Enemy number one in L. A.
Well, okay, maybe behind Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
But Dwight Howard was reviled in Los Angeles.
And here he is in a Lakers uniform, getting cheered, getting a standing ovation at Staples Center.
Amazing things that Dwight Howard is going through.
You gotta love a comeback story, I guess, in this game.
Absolutely in incredible stuff from him.
Perfect from the field.
10 boards, four blocks, 16 points on the night.
Let's say this Dwight has been getting better and better and better.
We knew when he first reported to the Lakers after the unfortunate injury to DeMarcus Cousins.
We know the Lakers went with Dwight Howard over guys like Joe ****, Noah and Marcin Gortat.
Because Dwight was in such great shape, they thought that he was ready to contribute right away.
And what we saw right out of the gate was a Dwight Howard that looked a little bit rusty.
He looked like, yeah, he physically was in great shape, but at 33 years old, he would look like he was lacking some of the birds.
Some of the explosiveness that we're used to seeing from them, which is to be expected, and he just looked like he wasn't quite in in basketball condition.
I mean, don't get me wrong, great shape, but just wasn't used to that.
Running up and down the floor on the basketball court and over the last few games, it seems like he's been knocking that rust off game by game by game.
He's just getting better.
He looks more comfortable out there.
He's making bigger plays.
He's getting up higher.
When he's grabbing rebounds, he's dunking the ball.
He's blocking shots.
Had a number of dunks of blocks tonight, where he would just fly, swatting the ball.
This looked like the Dwight Howard from 56 years ago.
So I I didn't think we would see that guy again.
So we have to ask the question now.
Does Dwight Howard usurp the starting role from JaVale McGee? Javale has not look good for the past few games.
In fact, since the regular season started, JaVale hasn't been all that great.
He was really good during the preseason, but not so much recently.
So what point does Frank Vogel potentially consider moving Dwight into a larger role with the starting lineup.
We already saw him get the lion's share.
The minutes here tonight at the center position.
23 minutes for Dwight Howard compared to just 16 for Javale McGee.
Look, we know that every game Anthony Davis is gonna go off, LeBron James is gonna go off. Those guys are superstars.
They do what they do.
But the Lakers always need 1/3 guy, and maybe that will eventually be Kyle Kuzma.
But on this night, it was Dwight Howard.
And this is right in line with the progression that we've seen in his game from Day one.
So great things from him.
Hopefully, we see more good things to come, and it's gonna be interesting to see how things play out, moving forward with whether or not Dwight eventually moves into that starting lineup or if they just stick with the chemistry that he's built with the bench, unit and and roll from there.
So that's one thing that we need to take away from.
This is that Dwight Howard is playing himself into a bigger role.
Regardless of whether he's coming off the bench or not, it feels like more minutes air coming.
The other thing that we need to talk about here, Number two on our list of three things that we learned from this game, the Lakers defense.
It has a chance to be elite.
The Lakers defense could be extremely, extremely special, and the reason that we can see that is because they were able to put the clamps on the Charlotte Hornets.
The Charlotte Hornets are not expected to be one of the best teams in the league or anything like that, in fact, expected to miss the playoffs in the lovely Eastern Conference.
Yet the Charlotte Hornets, heading into the game with the Lakers, were number one in the N B A in three point percentage.
Now I know I know.
Tiny sample size.
We could throw it out the window.
A regression was coming.
Maybe it wasn't all the Lakers defense, but you know what? They were doing a nice job getting out to shooters.
They struggled a little bit in the first quarter with that, even the first half, they were given up some open looks.
They weren't all that sharp, but when it came time to win the game, the Lakers put the clamps on, they were able to lock down on the Charlotte Hornets.
Now again, it's a week Hornets team, not a great.
It's not like they just put the clamps on the Clippers.
And they just put the clamps on any of these top teams in the N B A.
The Philadelphia 76 years or anybody like that.
But still, they held the Hornets to just 39 points in the second half.
That solid will certainly take that and moving forward.
This Lakers team, I think, can rely on their defense, especially when they go small, were like and what we see out of that unit, especially when they put Alex Caruso out there on the floor along with saying Avery Bradley a **** green.
Andthen Davis, LeBron James.
You put these guys out there, they can really make an impact defensively.
And it's not just a five man group.
There's a lot of guys out there that can be plus defenders for your Los Angeles Lakers about Danny Greene had a great defensive game, even though he only shot two of 10 from the field and Anthony Davis is everywhere.
This guy is ridiculous.
Just watch him on on each defensive possession.
Three blocks and as steel on the night, plus 14 big rebounds.
Truly incredible stuff from him.
This Lakers team.
The ceiling is so, so high on the defensive end, so exciting things there.
That is something that can help them out a ton when the season gets tough.
When we get to the dog days of January and February, if they have a consistently strong defense, that's gonna keep them in games that we saw them lose last season.
Final thought for the day.
The third thing that we learned is Oh, man, Frank Vogel, Lakers head coach.
He has a problem now.
It's a good problem, but a problem nonetheless.
He has, Ah, lot of guards on this team, and a lot of that are deserving of minutes.
Nobody's really playing themselves out of minutes.
Heck, even KCP, who was the most reviled player on the Lakers.
There were torches being lighted and pitchforks being sharpened every time he took the floor.
During those 1st 2 games, he was horrendous.
He had a solid outing against the Charlotte Hornets, put up 10 points, so good night from him.
Frank Vogel has more guards that can contribute that.
He's got minutes to give to those guards.
You're looking at guys like Alex Caruso.
Quinn Cook had himself a nice night.
Yeah, he was shaking in some moments, but Quinn Cook put up eight assists, 12 points, two of four from three and five of nine shooting overall.
That's a solid performance out of him.
Troy Daniels has had some big games.
In fact, he was one of these spark plugs in the last game that the Lakers played against the Utah Jazz.
So they've got all of these players that are demanding minutes that airplane well enough to get minutes.
Let's not forget around, have not enough players and too many minutes to give out.
But still, it's going to be important to see how he handles that situation and how he doles out the minutes moving forward once the team is completely healthy.
Gonna be a big test for him, and it says for the Lakers and their team chemistry, because ultimately, not everybody is going to get to play.
All right, guys, so that's gonna wrap things up for today.
Look the Lakers to game winning streak.
They are two and one on the season at this point, heading into a fairly soft portion of schedule.
Hopefully, right now, we're going to see them work out all the kinks in there.
I'm coming up Tuesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies will be there for all the action and then going live again after the game.
So come join us for that one.
My name's Trevor Lane.
You can follow me on Twitter at Trevor Underscore Lane until next time I see you.