Preseason Game 1: Bury my Heart with (Allen's) Wounded Knee
- By Kyle Kappe, Day 6, 2024
HOUSTON - The Lightning traveled to LA to take on the new look Fireballs and the reigning MVP, Chris LaCruz and fell 85 to 112. They might as well have started the injured Spencer Allen, because it could not have been any worse of a performance. The lone highlights for the Lightning was the performance of Antoine Hall, with 22 points in 16 minutes and still managed a -3 +/- and a game score of just 14.6. Worthington had a nice debut with 12/10 himself. The guards, without Allen were a collective mess. Caldbeck was 1 for 9 with 3 points and 5 assists, Buie was 3 for 12 for 10 points and a -28 score as he was trying to play the 2 guard spot in the absence of Allen. At least they managed a positive game score in the single digits, while the first guard off the bench, Dawson, was 1 for 5 in 25 minutes and fouled out with a +/- of -25 and a game score of -2. Derrick Poole played 20 minutes at the 2/3 spot and did manage to go 3 for 4 for 10 points, including 2/2 from 3. The problem is he doesn't play defense and managed a single rebound and a single assist. OG played 4 minutes and added in 6 points and was the lone starter to finish in the positive of +/-. The sad part was is that LaCruz wasn't even very good in the game and certainly was shaking off preseason rust. Perhaps too many LA based workouts ended up in the clubs down in Hollywood after practice, or at the very least, near the Spearmint Rhino near LAX. Spencer crushed us on the boards, with 18 rebounds, while Curry scored 26, which was helped by getting to the FT line 9 times and being perfect from there.
Bottom Line: We aren't a good team at the moment and we hope Allen gets back sooner than later, if only to start working in a better rotation.