Lakers-Cavaliers takeaways: Kendrick Nunn’s struggles proceed

Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn is struggling.

He can’t make a shot. His protection has been OK at finest. His taking part in time has been spotty due to his uneven play. He has not been the spark the Lakers sought when signing him two summers in the past as a free agent.

When he acquired the beginning instead of Patrick Beverley (non-COVID sickness) at level guard Sunday towards the Cleveland Cavaliers, Nunn nonetheless was unable to get right into a groove.

He missed all 5 of his pictures, together with 4 three-point makes an attempt, and went scoreless.

“I’m just trying to take the lid off the basket,” Nunn mentioned. “That’s all. That’s it. I got some great looks, just taking that lid off and getting comfortable in my spots, get comfortable seeing where they are coming from. I’ll be good.”

His new Lakers teammate, guard Lonnie Walker IV, reminded reporters that Nunn sat out all of final season due to a bone bruise in his proper knee, and that the guard nonetheless is looking for his rhythm and get his sport on monitor.

Nunn performed 18 minutes 22 seconds in his function as a starter. He did have two assists and three rebounds. His plus-minus score was minus-three.

Nunn maintained his confidence stays excessive.

“My confidence is still there,” Nunn mentioned. “That ain’t going nowhere.”

Listed here are three takeaways from the Lakers’ 114-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Sunday:

1. Nunn offered the Lakers with a raise within the first sport of the season towards the Golden State Warriors, scoring a season-high 13 factors on five-for-nine taking pictures, three for six on three-pointers.

He hasn’t offered the Lakers a lot since then. Nunn performed only one minute in a loss towards the Utah Jazz on Friday night time, his taking part in time lower due to subpar play.

Within the eight video games he has performed this season, Nunn is averaging 12.3 minutes, 4.3 factors and is taking pictures 28.6% from the sphere and 23.1% from three-point vary. His plus-minus score is a detrimental 4.0 per sport.

With Beverley not touring to Salt Lake Metropolis for Monday night time’s sport towards the Jazz, the Lakers most likely shall be relying on Nunn once more.

“I saw a good energy to start. He made some good plays,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham mentioned. “But, again, it’s about maintaining that. … And without Pat Bev being here tonight, different guys ailing from this little viral stomach flu, whatever it is, it’s even more imperative that [guys] step up and are ready to play a full 48-minute game.”

2. Whether or not it was as a result of they have been fouling an excessive amount of or they simply couldn’t make free throws, the Lakers had issues on the free-throw line.

The Cavaliers made 20 extra free throws than the Lakers, going 32 for 36 from the free-throw line for 88.9%.

The Lakers shot 12 for 21 from the free-throw line for 57.1%.

LeBron James took simply three free throws, lacking all of them.

Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell made as many free throws (12 of 13) because the Lakers.

“I’m always going to reflect on us and just hold us accountable,” mentioned Troy Brown Jr., who didn’t shoot a free throw. “We talked about it at halftime, how we said, ‘No fouling,’ and that was biggest thing. I felt like we came out in the second half and did the exact opposite. That’s on us. We just got to be better and just hold each other accountable when it comes to the fouling.”

3. The Lakers didn’t handle the basketball sufficient, turning it over 17 instances.

Russell Westbrook had seven of the turnovers.

“Yeah, I don’t mind trying to make the right reads and turnovers happen,” Westbrook mentioned. “I’ll be better tomorrow. That ain’t nothing I’m worried about.”