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    COLUMN: Lakers woes pile up as Drummond limps off debut

    Drummond was supposed to be a savior, not another addition to Lakers injury list
    Apr 1, 2021
    spin zone

    CHICAGO - Title-contending teams such as the Brooklyn Nets and the Denver Nuggets recently stocked up more talent in their rosters as the May 23 playoffs date approaches.

    The defending NBA champion Lakers, meanwhile, just kept adding to their rising stack of limp, injured bodies.

    The latest on the list?

    Andre Drummond.

    The 6-foot-10, 279-pound big made a glorious entrance in Los Angeles when he signed with the Lakers two days ago following the completion of his buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    But in his Staples Center debut, Drummond made an inglorious exit when he suffered a "bruised toe" after dipping his feet on the court for 14 minutes of action. He finished with four points, one rebound, two assists, and a giant thud.


    With LeBron James and Anthony Davis still out with leg injuries, Drummond, the 9th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, was supposed to be the savior who could stop the bleeding of the wounded, spiraling Lakers.

    Immobilized by an errant body part. the 26-year old Drummond could only watch the visiting Milwaukee Bucks sink the Lakers. 112-97.

    With Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday combining for 54 points on 19-of-29 shooting from the field, the Bucks went on overdrive.


      The Lakers. on the other hand, only looked overwhelmed.

      Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope combined for a decent 18 points but they had a field day misfiring, hitting just seven of their 21 including a 1-for-10 fare from 3. For now, it seems like the Lakers' $80 million investment on these two guys is leaning towards spilling red ink on the ledger.

      In a slow and sure descent, the Lakers, who were once the No. 1 seed in the Western conference, have lost five of their last seven games to fall into fourth place.

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      And while their record still stands at a robust 30-18, they are a mere four defeats away from potentially dropping out of the Top 6 teams that will get an outright playoffs berth.

      If the wounded, spiraling purple and gold franchise continue to skid some more, it will have to take part in the three-day, play-in tournament beginning on May 19 and battle four other teams for the right to claim the two remaining spots.

      And with a seven-game road trip on the horizon, the forecast is cloudy with a chance of teardrops.

      Hollywood screen writers have a term for this bizarre twist

      A real-life tragedy.


      CELTIC GREEN LOOKS BLUE. I don't know what exactly is wrong with the Boston Celtics. All I know is that they are better than what their 23-25 record reflects.

      In their 113-108 home loss to the Dallas Mavericks early today at the T.D. Garden, the Celtics looked especially inept on defense. After a close first quarter they quickly trailed by as many as 23.

      Like most teams, Boston has had its share of injuries this season but their Big 3 - Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown - played against the Mavs and did well by pooling together 71 points.


        But I found a clue.

        The Celtics are not the same vaunted defensive team. They are currently 15th in the league in points allowed at 111.3 and 21st in defensive rating at 113.

        And that's why the Mavericks waltzed with 64 first-half points.

        Unless they add teeth to their defensive bite, the Celtics have no hope outscoring the Brooklyn Nets and Sixers with a healthy Joel Embiid.


        Get more of the latest sports news & updates on SPIN.ph

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        PHOTO: AP
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