The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns Thursday, but keep their place at the top of the Western Conference tank race.
As many tank enthusiasts well know, the Lakers have to land in the top 3 of the lottery in order to keep their pick from the Philadelphia 76ers this upcoming draft.
With many teams ready to join the tank train, the Lakers losing as many games as possible should be a priority.Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, and perhaps Markelle Fultz will be available for the Lakers to grab in the upcoming draft, which is why they should be prepared to lose more games than the Suns going forward.
After losing 8 in a row before the win at Phoenix, Los Angeles was well on its way to try and keep their pick.
They traded Lou Williams to the Rockets for a first-rounder, and completely shut down Mozgov and Deng, who surprisingly made them a tad bit better on defence.
But who needs defence now? There’s 17 games left in a losing season and the young core is running and gunning.
At Phoenix, the Lakers gave up 110 points and scored 122 themselves, so defence was scarce throughout the tankathon that was the match.
However, beating the Suns helps L.A improve to 20 wins for the season, and this was an important win for the Lakers in terms of player development.
D’Angelo Russell tallied 28 points, going seven of nine from three-point land. The 21-year-old point guard continues to be red-hot after the All-Star break.
Brandon Ingram finished with 14 points and six rebounds, but he raddled the rim with a huge poster on Alex Len in the third quarter, while Ivica Zubac matched Ingram in points with 14, as he had a good display playing down low in the post.
While on the other side, Devin Booker scored 26 points, as he’s continued to be great throughout his sophomore season.
Nevertheless, the Lakers will be hoping they continue to stay behind the Brooklyn Nets in the race for the grand tank prize, and ultimately keep their 2017 draft pick.