Beating Philadelphia showed what the Los Angeles Lakers are capable of

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers might not be as bad as we think.

13 seconds left in the game, Julius Randle blocks Joel Embiid’s potential game winning layup; the rebound falls into Lonzo Ball’s hands.

Ball sprints up the court at full speed, only to be met by three 76ers defenders. Ball then smartly gives it up to Brandon Ingram at the top of the key.

With six seconds remaining, Ingram dishes the ball right back to Ball, he’s wide open in the corner, but passes up the shot.

Lonzo then drives hard to the rim, all five 76ers defenders crash into the paint, Lonzo passes out to Brandon Ingram as he is wide open at the top of the key.

With three seconds left, Ingram catches the pass from Ball and proceeds to drill the three, leaving only .8 seconds on the clock. Lakers win, 107-104.

The team’s five-game losing streak has now been ended, and in the most dramatic fashion imaginable.

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This was not just another win for the Lakers, it was a preview of what fans of the team have to look forward to in the future. The final 13 seconds, and really the entirety of last night’s win over the 76ers, provided us with a glimpse of what this young Lakers team is truly capable of.

It all starts with Lonzo Ball. Last night, we didn’t see the typical Lonzo we have grown accustomed to watching this season. The one who looks lost on the court, as if he has no interest in being engaged in the offense. Instead we saw the UCLA Lonzo Ball, the one that showed all the promise in the world coming out of college.

His numbers don’t jump off the screen at first glance, as he ended the night with a 10/8/8 stat line. This is good, but not that impressive. What is impressive is that in 38 minutes, Ball had 0 turnovers, to go along with three steals and four blocks.

Just looking at the numbers fails to tell the entire story of last night’s performance for Lonzo. All game he was aggressively pushing the ball up court on fast breaks, creating easy baskets for himself and his team mates. This is something he excelled at in college, but hasn’t done on a consistent basis in the NBA thus far. Continuing to play with this level of aggression is vital if Ball wants to find success going forward in the season.

It wasn’t just Ball who showed out last night. Throughout the last ten games, Brandon Ingram has played the best basketball of his young career, and last night’s game winning three was the perfect way to cap that run. Ingram ended the game with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

While this was yet another solid stat line for Ingram, it was his chemistry with Julius Randle and Lonzo Ball that stood out. This is apparent by plays such as the assist he had to Randle with 3:48 left in the game, along with his game-winner.

You can see both of these plays, along with the rest of Ingram’s highlights from yesterday here.  Over the rest of the season, we should continue to see Ingram grow into the high-level scorer he has shown the potential to be.

Along with Ball and Ingram, the Lakers’ key bench players, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, proved their worth last night. These two are undoubtedly in the conversation for NBA sixth man of the year, and their play yesterday proved why.

In only 14 minutes, Clarkson recorded 16 points, two rebounds and a steal. Anytime a bench player can come in and score more points, than minutes played, they provide immense value. Clarkson has displayed this value all season, as apparent by the fact that he leads all bench players in scoring at 14.9 points per game.

Randle ended up playing 30 minutes, as Luke Walton elected to keep him in the game for the fourth quarter, a decision that proved effective. In those minutes Randle put up 16 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a clutch block in the fourth quarter when Joel Embiid attempted a would-be game winning layup over him.

Randle has played phenomenally off the bench all year, clearly playing with a chip on his shoulder after rumors came out that he was not a part of the team’s plans for the future. Judging by his effort on a nightly basis, he is clearly playing like a man who wants to remain on this team, and if we’re just looking at his performance this season and not the Lakers salary cap situation, he deserves it.

While this season has not been the most successful for the Lakers, the young core of the team is continuously giving fans flashes of what they can do, providing many reasons to be optimistic for the team’s future.

Next: The Three Biggest Problems With The Lakers

Hopefully the team carries this momentum into the coming weeks, and continues to use this season to develop their skillsets.