3 Takeaways from Lakers’ Dominant Offensive Night

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Chicago Bulls 141-132 Thursday night in what proved to be an offensive clinic for the Purple and Gold.

Four of five Laker starters recorded 20+ points in this one, with three more chipping in double-digit scoring performances as well.

Sitting at .500, let’s take a look at our three key takeaways from this victory ahead of the Lakers’ upcoming road trip.

Vando Vortex

Jarred Vanderbilt scored a Lakers career-high 17 points last night off the bench, on 8/11 shooting to go along with five rebounds. Vanderbilt notched 13 in the first half, an unusually high number fueled by pushing the ball in the transition for fastbreak points.

He also went 1/1 from beyond the arc, something that the LakeShow would love to become consistent for him. 

At 4.4, Vanderbilt averages fewer points on the year than practically every rotational player. While we shouldn’t expect nights like these every game, if Vanderbilt can make an offensive contribution in any capacity, he will continue to serve as a viable two-way threat off the bench for the Lakers down the stretch.

Look for the Lakers to get Vanderbilt more high-quality shots and get involved on the offensive end.

3-Point Showcase

At 36.6% on the year, the Lakers are middle of the pack when it comes to shooting the three-ball. Thursday night, however, LA was on a different planet from three.

At 64.5% (20/31), they shot ridiculously high from the three-point line. Six of seven Lakers that attempted a three-shot over 50% in that category. 

D’Angelo Russell continued his hot shooting streak, going 8/13 from three, en route to his sixth 20+ point performance in a row at 29 points. He’s now shooting 42.2% on the year in that category, with no signs of slowing down.

If Russell can continue to shoot the ball the way he has, it will open up the court for other guys to find open three-point opportunities for themselves. 

Rebounding and Defense

While the Lakers did handle the Bulls in this victory, they still played mediocre defensively and were lackluster in the rebounding category. The Lakers were outrebounded 39-30, something that rarely results in Laker victories, and gave up 132 points on 53.4% shooting.

LA cannot rely on unsustainably high offensive production to pull out victories, especially against poor shooting teams. Look for the Lakers to buckle down defensively in order to win ahead of their upcoming road stretch.

Ultimately, the Lakers were impressive on the offensive end, with practically the whole rotation getting in on the action; however, the poor rebounding and defense we witnessed Thursday night could cost them close games if they are unprepared.

The Lakers will get ready to face the down-trending Warriors on Saturday night as part of their rivalry week matchup. With new momentum, expect Los Angeles to come out tomorrow with tenacity.

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