Nick Saban told reporters this week that he couldn’t care less about the first College Football Playoff selection committee rankings. But nobody will blame him if he gives a sideways glance at the top four.
The Lakers will live with his turnovers, since they want their point guard to learn what he can, and can’t, get away with. On one particular play, Ball fired one pass too hard and too low for Corey Brewer to handle in what otherwise could have been a nice lob toward the rim.
With 3:42 left, Walton removed starters, including Ball. Trailing 91-83, Walton was looking for a desperation, last-gasp run and was unhappy with the starting lineup’s transition defense, but Toronto held on. To be fair to the rookie, the Lakers’ starters outside of Brook Lopez struggled with their offense. Lopez was the only starter to finish in double figures with 13 points.
THE REBUILD: In their fifth game of the season, the Lakers are still very much feeling out their roles, rotations and what each can do. On this night, the Lakers made it clear they were going to go to Lopez early. After taking eight shots in each of his previous two games, Lopez shot seven times in the first quarter alone. The plan got Lopez going early, as he had 11 points in the first half before he cooled off and didn’t get as many consistent touches.
Outside of the running backs, the supporting cast surrounding Mitchell Trubisky on offense hasn’t been strong. Trubisky has managed to complete 48 percent of his passes in four starts for 128 yards per game.