Mike Brown is cracking up somewhere. The Los Angeles Lakers, of countless bold preseason predictions, fell to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, 100-94 Tuesday night. The loss brings their record down to 9-13, while Cleveland’s shoots up to 5-17.
First off, the Lakers. They are clearly hurting with depth, considering their top two point guards and starting power forward are missing extended time. And all of the new personnel brought in deserves a grace period that, being the Lakers, they just aren’t getting with the media.
But at the end of the day, D’Antoni is proving why he couldn’t hold on to his job with the Knicks. The Lakers, like New York of yesteryear, are a one trick pony, living and dying off of fast, transition buckets. If they can’t use speed to outscore their opponent they sure as hell aren’t doing it in half-court sets.
Cleveland, even while letting Kobe go off for his highest point total of the season (42 points on an excellent 16-28 shooting), managed to slow the tempo enough to wear the Lakers down. And when it mattered most, Kyrie Irving, back from an 11-game absence, showed why he was talking his sh*t against Kobe this past summer, netting 28 points and 11 assists. Everything about his performance was smooth, proving that the future for Kyrie is closing in faster than any of us anticipated Let’s just hope he can stay healthy.