Having just played the day before and missing two starters, the Los Angeles Lakers were the clear underdogs when facing the 10-6 healthy and rested Chicago Bulls. The Lakers won 96-90.
The Lakers currently are tied for the eight seed in the Western Conference, having played one of the toughest NBA schedules so far. ESPN and other sports outlets had the Lakers as the worst team in the Western Conference before the season started. Yet here the Lakers are competing for a playoff spot.
On paper, the Lakers do not look like a very strong team. In fact statistics would agree, as the Lakers have a negative point differential. This means that they on average score less than other teams. Despite that, Lakers are sitting on a 10-10 record. The reason is that statistics never tell the whole truth. The differential statistic is inflated by the Lakers’ 43-point loss to a Warriors team that was looking for revenge.
For those who actually watch Lakers game, it is clear that this team has talent and is being led by a good coach for the first time since Phil Jackson. Luke Walton is not afraid to take risks, and for the most part they have worked out well. Moving Jordan Clarkson to the bench was a bold move, but it paid off. The Lakers arguably have the best bench in the league, and a lot of their success can be attributed to the bench play.
Wednesday’s win over the favored Chicago Bulls team goes to show that the Lakers are legit. They continue to find ways to win, and they continue to prove the doubters and naysayers wrong.