Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors: Grading Lakers' Performance
LA dropped to 2-4 in the preseason with a 115-89 loss to Golden State in Shanghai.
Head coach Mike D'Antoni did some experimenting early but wound up resting his starters late. The Warriors again used that opportunity to pull away.
Pau Gasol posted 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and he was the only double-digit scorer for the Lakers. Nick Young and Jordan Farmar contributed nine points each. Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 25 points.
Everyone looked healthy, and there were no major setbacks in the Lakers' sixth preseason game. They return to America and the Staples Center on Oct. 22.
Let's hit the Bleacher Report Classroom to see how the Lakers graded out in their China finale.
Point Guard: Steve Nash
Steve Nash had a lighter day in Shanghai, as he is still working back to 100 percent health.
The Lakers' starting point guard played just 15 minutes but looked to be moving well. This makes two straight games where he has seemed relatively unhampered. Obviously the speed isn't going to be there at age 39, but Nash's play has been promising.
He finished with four points, three assists and two rebounds. Those assists went to Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman and Nick Young for a three. So, he appears to be distributing to LA's main contributors right now.
The 15 minutes should be standard, as D'Antoni can't risk losing Nash for the start of the regular season.
Final Grade: B
Shooting Guard: Steve Blake
With Steve Nash limited to 15 minutes, Steve Blake took on a point guard-like role with the Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai.
He saw 25 minutes, tallying five points on 2-of-4 shooting with 1-of-2 threes. What was more impressive, though, was his 6:1 assist-to-turnover ratio through three quarters. He gave away three more turnovers in garbage time.
Blake racked up six assists, including four on four straight Lakers baskets in the third quarter. Three of those went to Pau Gasol, with Blake aiding his big man on a pair of jumpers and a dunk.
Blake's start was more as a second point guard than a typical shooting guard. However, if D'Antoni will fill his starting lineup with the best available players, Blake needs to look for his shot more.
When Nash is playing full games, Blake will need to shoot.
Final Grade: B
Small Forward: Nick Young
No other player is enjoying this trip through China more than Nick Young.
The fans have adored him, and he has played well for the most part. His typical streakiness showed itself in this game against the Golden State Warriors, though. He finished 4-of-10 with a few particularly cold streaks.
Defensively, he was also suspect. He missed a couple of assignments and allowed Draymond Green to take advantage of him being out of position more than once.
Young contributed nine points, but he hit just one three and did little else of note on either end.
Final Grade: C+
Power Forward: Shawne Williams
D'Antoni wanted to experiment with a small-ball starting lineup in Shanghai, so he started Shawne Williams and shifted Chris Kaman to the bench.
The head coach didn't take long to change his mind, as he replaced Williams after just five minutes. Kaman entered and got the majority of the minutes alongside Pau Gasol in the frontcourt.
Williams hit 1-of-3 shots during his first shift, with the one being a three. That was basically all he did, though. The 27-year-old scored just three points on 1-of-5 shooting and grabbed a pair of rebounds. He didn't see the court after just over nine minutes of action.
Final Grade: D
Center: Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol shifted into a slightly different role with Chris Kaman starting on the bench.
Playing with the undersized Shawne Williams to start, Gasol had more responsibilities in the paint dealing with Andrew Bogut and David Lee. Somewhat fortunately for Gasol, Bogut left with an injury after a couple of minutes.
However, Lee gashed the Lakers early again. The Golden State Warriors power forward posted six points in the first five minutes of play, including a pair of free throws after drawing a Gasol foul.
Offensively, Gasol was again the star for Los Angeles. He scored six in the first quarter, finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds to go along with four assists and a 6-of-6 mark from the free-throw line.
He worked well with both Nash and Kaman when all three played together, and his assists came on creative kickouts, some for open threes.
Final Grade: B+
Sixth Man: Jodie Meeks
It is tough to gauge who is the actual sixth man in a game like this one, but early on it seemed to be Jodie Meeks.
Though he wound up with just 17 minutes, he did his job off the bench. He is there to provide the infamous "3-and-D" for the Lakers.
Meeks hit a pair of his four three-point attempts, including one on the ensuing possession of a steal he made. He finished just 3-of-8 from the field and did little else of note.
However, when he was on the floor, he bolstered the perimeter defense. If he embraces that role, he can be a real contributor for the Lakers in the regular season.
Final Grade: B-
The bench was featured toward the end of this game. In particular, Chris Kaman, Jordan Farmar and Jordan Hill stood out.
Kaman was the first man off the bench, entering quickly for Shawne Williams. Kaman had an immediate impact, grabbing boards and hitting a couple of layups. He finished his 18 minutes with eight points and six rebounds.
Farmar was the leader of the bench squad that saw a ton of time late, when D'Antoni rested his starters. He played 23 minutes and was 4-of-9 for nine points. He also picked up four assists and four steals but surrendered four turnovers.
It was tough to find Hill out there, but his day was solid, not flashy. He gobbled up eight rebounds in 17 minutes, taking charge defensively when the second unit was on the floor. He added four points.
Elsewhere, Wesley Johnson hit a three and grabbed five rebounds, while Elias Harris and Xavier Henry posted six points each.
Final Grade: B