First Impressions: Lakers Prevail in NBA Bubble Debut

Perimeter defense leaves some to be desired

The loss of Avery Bradley was definitely felt by the Lakers Thursday.

Offensively, Danny Green, Alex Caruso, Waiters and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope did enough to pick up the slack. But the Clippers shot 44% from three on 36 attempts, even with a poor shooting night from Landry Shamet.

The group of guards had trouble switching and staying on top of the Clippers’ pick-and-pop’s and high-ball screens, leading to several open shots for Paul George and Shamet (even if Shamet missed all five of his threes, most were wide-open).

The Clippers guards also seemingly drove to the lane with ease, even Shamet who usually is a catch-and-shoot type of player. With the exception of Caruso, who was his usual “defensively scrappy” self, the Lakers guards are going to have to pick up Avery Bradley’s slack, and Thursday wasn’t a great start.

So there you have it. The Lakers’ return gets off to a strong start, and the scary thing is, it was somewhat sloppy. With better offensive play from LeBron and stronger defense in the backcourt, there’s no limit to what this team can do. This of course is far from LA’s only test, as the Lakers will take on the defending champion Toronto Raptors on Saturday.

See you back at after Saturday’s game for more reaction.

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