Related Tags: The Los Angeles Lakers
With the win, the Timberwolves are 14-6 at home this season, but sit 11th place in the West, now just 2 games back from the Lakers, who have the 8th spot. Minnesota have yet to find their stride this year, and are currently dealing with injuries to two big offensive contributors in Derrick Rose and Robert Covington. As of late, Andrew Wiggins has shown that he can be a consistent scorer, having 28 against the Lakers just four days after scoring a season high 31 against Boston. Minnesota will need this level of offensive contribution if they are to make the playoffs this season.
The Lakers had one of their worst performances of the season, playing without both Kyle Kuzma and LeBron James. No starter was on the floor for more than 25 minutes, and the leading scorer for the Lakers was Lance Stephenson, who had a sluggish 14 points. In their respective points in their careers, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball are expected to be taking these games over, having more responsibility when LeBron and Kuzma aren’t in the line up. These expectations were not met, with Lonzo having ZERO points, while Ingram went to shoot 5 of 16 with 13 points. Not good.
If there was any question on the potential of this Lakers team without LeBron, those are no longer valid. Los Angeles is clearly a team that misses their leader. LeBron hasn’t played since the Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors at Oracle. At the time, it appeared that the Lakers were on the come up, holding a strong position in the west, and playing good basketball that was getting better as the season went on. A day after the game, it was revealed that LeBron had suffered a groin injury that would keep him out for at least a week of action.
Fast forward to the present, and the Lakers have played six games without LeBron, only winning one of the six. LeBron leads the Lakers in scoring, rebounding, and assisting, leaving huge gaps in offensive production for LA. As of now, LeBron has an injury status of OUT. His return is out of the question, and will be re-evaluated in 7 days. This will be bad news for Laker fans, who should be slightly worried. The Lakers are in freefall in the Western Conference standings, but will want LeBron to come back 100% and healthy.