First Time Since Showtime: 9 Lakers Score Double Figures
In a feat of across-the-roster offense that hadn’t been seen from this franchise in 31 years, nine Lakers scored in double figures during Monday’s rout over Atlanta.
Per Elias Sports, the Lakers hadn’t had so many double-digit scorers since the Showtime days, when Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Byron Scott, A.C. Green, Michael Cooper, Kurt Rambis, Billy Thompson and Adrian Branch accomplish that back at the Forum on Jan. 7, 1987.
Here’s how each member of the Feb. 26, 2018 squad stepped up to contribute to the victory.
Brandon Ingram (21 points, 10 rebonds, six assists, three blocks)
By most measures, Ingram was the most important player on the floor, stuffing his stat sheet in only 29 minutes of game time.
Ingram singlehandedly picked his team up in the third quarter when Atlanta threatened to chip into L.A.’s lead. He began attacking the basket at will (see below), scoring 15 points in one period on 7-of-9 shooting.
The 6-foot-9 sophomore continues to be a revelation as the team’s starting point guard, handing out six assists (including five on 3-pointers) and hitting six shots out of pick-and-rolls.
Ingram has made huge strides when it comes to attacking defenses off screens, either getting an open look for himself or kicking out to an open shooter.
Plus, he put his length to good use by contesting 13 shots on the defensive end, coming up with a handful of blocks and grabbing two of his own misses before putting them right back in.
Brandon Ingram is pick-and-rolling the Hawks to death.— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) February 27, 2018
6 of his 9 buckets and 2 of his 5 assists have come in P&Rs.
B.I.’s got 18 pts, 9 reb, 5 ast & 3 blk in 27 min. pic.twitter.com/1lgLfUkPKp
Julius Randle (19 points, 10 rebounds)
Another game, another showcase of Randle bullying the other team’s frontcourt.
Randle, who shot 8-of-13 from the field, continued to thrive on post-ups — an area of weakness for him over the past two years.
This time out, he got himself three buckets and two assists out of the post, while mixing in some scoring in transition, out of pick-and-rolls and on cuts.
Randle also set four screen assists and did work on the glass. Not only did he reach his double-double (including four offensive boards), Randle also recorded 15 box outs. (For comparison, league leader Steven Adams averages 11.3.)
Lonzo Ball (13 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals)
Ball has made an immediate impact in both of his first two games back from a leg injury that cost him a month on the court.
As expected, the Lakers were in their highest gear with Ball in the game, as he continuously pushed the ball up the floor, creating fast-break opportunities and half-court mismatches.
Lonzo also continued his steaming 3-point shooting, knocking down all three of his looks from deep. Atlanta simply didn’t respect his shot enough, giving way too much space to a player that has now hit 41.9 percent on 3’s in his last 13 games.
When the Hawks finally did close out on Ball’s shot, he made them pay with his playmaking, feeding Randle for an and-1 bucket at the end of the third quarter.
Isaiah Thomas (13 points, five assists)
Thomas may not have the explosion of his MVP-caliber campaign of last season, but he still has enough juice to fuel the Lakers’ second unit.
Thomas may be L.A.’s best player when it comes to bending a defense and drawing multiple defenders, as he picked up his assists exclusively off pick-and-rolls and iso drives.
A 5-foot-9 playmaker who can attack switches and sneakily set screens, Thomas has provided a fun wrinkle to the Lakers’ offense.
Then there are possessions like this one, when Thomas goes into quarterback mode and looks off the defender by acting like he’ll hit the corner shooter before sending it down low for the dunk. Veteran stuff.
Isaiah Thomas is bringing some playmaking punch to the second unit.— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) February 27, 2018
Gives the Atlanta help defender the "quarterback looking off the safety" treatment by feigning like he's going to pass to Kuz in the corner.
Opens the window for Zu's easy slam.
: https://t.co/hSXASIxb1B pic.twitter.com/PUB6WPMQDk
Josh Hart (14 points)
Hart lives at the hoop and outside the arc, but rarely in the middle. This game fit that mold precisely.
He knocked down three triples (all with a hand in his face) and attacked the teeth of the defense for a couple of driving, and-1 layups.
The second one is most impressive, as he punishes Kent Bazmore for trying to pick him up at mid-court before picking up some steam and finishing through contact from the rim protector.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (10 points, 14 rebounds)
Of all the players to reach double figures, Caldwell-Pope had the hardest time of it, going just 4-of-12 from the field.
But while KCP — who had shot 60.3 percent in his previous six contests — finally fell out of his ridiculous shooting groove, he still managed to positively impact the team.
He played solid defense and hauled in a career-high 14 rebounds. Caldwell-Pope’s best board came early on, as he boxes out John Collins, grabs the ball and immediately sprints ahead, gifting Randle an easy hoop against an unsettled defense.
Brook Lopez (11 points)
Like with Ball, Atlanta gave Lopez too much room to shoot, as the stretch center connected from deep three times.
The craftiest of those three triples came via Thomas who screened a player 15 inches taller than himself in order to free Lopez for this trey.
Plenty of clean looks in this one for Brook Lopez, who has three 3-pointers.— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) February 27, 2018
This one’s a gem, as he sets a screen for IT and then sneaks out to the arc.
Isaiah (5’9”) makes sure Lopez gets an open shot by putting his own screen on Dedmon (7’0”). pic.twitter.com/0I62SoZiH6
Kyle Kuzma (10 points)
Kuzma continues to be stuck in a slump, shooting just 3-of-10 from the field and bringing his field goal percentage down to 37.3 percent over his last 13 games.
He did, however, knock down three 3-pointers, as the Lakers got him good looks on a pair of pick-and-pops and this set play around a screen.
Ivica Zubac (10 points)
A spot in the rotation opened up when Larry Nance Jr. was traded, and Zubac has absolutely taken advantage.
Zubac shot 4-of-6 in Atlanta, boosting his four-game clip to a whopping 20-of-25 from the field. He also flashed versatility, making each bucket in a different way: post-up, pick-and-roll, tip-in and mid-range jumper.