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News Every Day |

Players Grades: Lakers vs. Nets

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Brooklyn Nets
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Grading every Lakers player’s performance from the team’s 116-104 win over the Nets.

It really bears stressing to not take moments like Sunday’s fourth quarter for granted when it comes to LeBron James. Lakers fans may have grown accustomed to his scoring outbursts, but it’s truly remarkable to see LeBron do what he’s doing.

Do not take LeBron James for granted.

There was a lot to like about that performance. That first quarter was one of the best quarters the team has played this season. Naturally, there was some letoff from them the rest of the way, but ultimately, the game never really got close, and the starters didn’t even need to finish the final minutes.

So, let’s grade the win. As always, grades are based on expectations for each player. A “B” grade represents the average performance for that player.

Rui Hachimura

37 minutes, 20 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 8-12 FG, 1-4 3PT, 3-4 FT, +9

In the first 4.5 years of his career, Rui Hachimura had double-digit rebounds in a game just nine times. He did it three times in the last week.

While he’s still a terrific transition scorer, right now, his rebounding feels more valuable. At least until/if Jarred Vanderbilt returns.

Grade: A-

LeBron James

37 minutes, 40 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 13-17 FG, 9-10 3PT, 5-6 FT, +22

LeBron heaters this year have had some truly wild shots. But nothing is going to top his shot fading into the corner and out of bounds for his eighth three tonight.

With Sunday’s performance, LeBron is now shooting 41.7% from the 3-point line. Not only is that the best mark of his career, it’s the ninth-best percentage in the league of anyone with at least 325 attempts.

Just casually becoming an elite high-volume 3-point shooter in Year 21.

Grade: A+

Anthony Davis

35 minutes, 24 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks, 9-12 FG, 1-3 3PT, 5-6 FT, +18

Most of AD’s scoring came in the first quarter when he had 13 points. He did the scoring early before LeBron carried the load late.

The good news about these last two games is there looks to be no last effects of the knee-to-knee contact he took in Milwaukee.

Grade: A-

Austin Reaves

35 minutes, 12 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 5-11 FG, 0-4 3PT, 2-2 FT, +26

Sure, he may have only had 12 points, but two of those were an alley-oop so, really, it feels like a lot more than that.

Jokes aside, one of the things that I think should be more appreciated about Reaves’ game is his playmaking. After struggling a lot with turnovers to start the year, he’s course corrected. Since D’Lo entered the starting lineup alongside him, Reaves has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.9:1.

Grade: B+

D’Angelo Russell

32 minutes, 18 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 6-13 FG, 4-11 3PT, 2-4 FT, +5

The biggest noteworthy item for D’Lo in this one was him reaching 10,000 points, which is no small feat.

There were maybe a couple too many wild 3-pointers in this one from D’Lo for my liking. But at the same time, if you live with his wild shot-making, you’re going to die by it sometimes. And it’s easier to “die” by it when it’s against a really bad Nets team.

Shoutout to D’Lo for the four steals though. It’s just the 16th time in his career he’s had that many steals.

Grade: B+

Spencer Dinwiddie

21 minutes, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 0-2 FG, 0-2 3PT, +1

I know he’s had some strong showings of late, but the bad Dinwiddie games are just really, really bad. It’s going to be interesting to how Gabe Vincent minutes are going to look and who they might come at the cost of.

On Sunday, it was Cam Reddish. But if Dinwiddie remains sporadic and unproductive offensively, his minutes are going to go down, too.

Grade: D

Taurean Prince

15 minutes, 2 rebounds, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3PT, -5

Prince gets at least a bit of a pass because it looked like he may have cracked a rib at one point. Still, this was a pretty subpar performance and the Lakers bench as a whole was so very bad.

Grade: C-

Gabe Vincent

14 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1-4 FG, 0-2 3PT, -1

I think the difference between what Vincent can provide and what Dinwiddie, Reddish, and Max Christie can provide was pretty immediately evident. Even with his shot not falling, and that’ll probably take time to find his in-game rhythm, Vincent was overall positively impactful, I felt.

For at least a handful of games, he’s going to be graded on a curve of coming back from a long-term injury. Today was a good return to the court.

Grade: B

Colin Castleton

6 minutes, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 0-1 FG, -4

I’m separating Castleton from the rest of those that played in injury time because he had one stint in the game outside of garbage time. And while I’m not going to grade his performance, I will say that first-half cameo was pretty, pretty uninspiring.

Max Christie, Maxwell Lewis, Cam Reddish

It was very interesting that all of Vincent’s minutes came at the expense of Reddish and Christie. Some tough decisions will have to be made, and this might not be the permanent one, but Reddish going from starter early in the year to nearly a DNP-CD is quite the fall.

Darvin Ham

Not much to cite for Darvin on this one. The Lakers went up big and then managed the game from there.

I’m not a huge fan of the D’Lo-Vincent-Dinwiddie-Prince-Castleton lineup he trotted out in the first half. It seemed something they could get away with against a smaller Nets team but a lineup that offensively challenged with that many guards is a bad combination.

To his credit, he did not go back to that combination in the second half when AD sat and, instead, played LeBron and Rui together as the front court.

Grade: B-

Sunday’s inactives: Jaxson Hayes, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Christian Wood, Harry Giles III, Skylar Mays, Jarred Vanderbilt

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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