Home > Uncategorized > The Lakers Continue to Stumble Over Themselves with Yet Another Home Loss

The Lakers Continue to Stumble Over Themselves with Yet Another Home Loss

I’ve seen Lakers teams with lean rosters play poorly throughout seasons before, but this roster of All-Star players continues to disappoint their fan base with what has become an indescribable effort at playing a really fun game.

Even lackluster teams throughout the NBA are able to protect their home turf, and rise to the occasion with a win by an effort that eclipses the imagination of their own fans as to why they can’t seem to win on the road. But this Lakers team just loses – everywhere.

So many have tried to describe what The Los Angeles Lakers need to do in order to develop a winning culture with proven winners on the roster: Is team chemistry really the issue? Do they just not like each other enough, as Dwight Howard recently suggested?

How do players with the skill set of  a Steve Nash to shoot and steer the offense via assists not command the outcome of games from tipoff? How is it that a future Hall of Fame player the likes of a Kobe Bryant not play well together with a dominant Center like Dwight Howard?

This was supposed to be a great season!

I felt bad for FOX Sports, losing the TV contract for The Lakers in a bidding war with Time Warner Cable during the off-season; but I feel worse for the crew that tries to help make watching The Lakers enjoyable on the Time Warner Cable network.

This was supposed to be a season where The Lakers organization overcame the inefficiencies of last season, where they almost made it to the NBA Finals against The Miami Heat but couldn’t quite get through The Oklahoma City Thunder due to a meager bench.

The Los Angeles Lakers added a better Center to their roster when they traded away Andrew Bynum to acquire Dwight Howard: That should have increased our wins alone!

The Los Angeles Lakers added a better Point Guard to their roster when they acquired Steve Nash in the off-season, thanks to the financial windfall given them when trading away Lamar Odom to The Dallas Mavericks last season after the NBA voided the trade that would have sent us Chris Paul.

The Los Angeles Lakers addressed the inconsistent scoring from last year’s bench players by adding Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks to the mix; yes, hindsight being 20/20, perhaps keeping Matt Barnes might have been a good idea.

The Los Angeles Lakers still have the amazing talent of Kobe Bryant playing for them, but even though he is playing at a high-level, they can’t seem to get any consistent play from the team throughout games that match his intensity.

The Los Angeles Lakers do have players who play with passion, with reckless abandon – Metta World Peace and Jordan Hill. Add Kobe Bryant to that list: start the list with his name, if you need to! Whatever.

But if James Worthy is having trouble as an analyst providing a spin on what The Lakers need to do in order to get back to their winning ways, what makes any of us who follow them with a high degree of devotion think that we can offer any insight into what they need to do to play better?

I am saddened that The Lakers aren’t playing better.

I am saddened that The Clippers are the best team in Los Angeles: somehow, The Clippers are actually the best team in the entire NBA! Good job, The Lakers little brother. Is it just me, or is it weird that The Clippers are winning due to a bench that is made up primarily of former Lakers? A former Lakers player, Caron Butler, starts for them at Small Forward; but, then off the bench they play Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom and Rony Turiaf! It’s weird.

So, what do The Lakers need to do better?

How can The Los Angeles Lakers play better, at least at home before their own fans at Staples Center, and not lose to the likes of The Denver Nuggets like they did last night? Final Score: Nuggets 112, Lakers 105 (Recap).

Return to Basics: specifically –

1) Defend the rim, limiting/eliminating opponents opportunities at offensive rebounds – which really are offensive!

2) Communicate with each other better, consistently, throughout each game – not just when they have the ball on offense, but also for defensive purposes.

For instance, when Jordan Hill goes in for a layup with reckless abandon their should be 2 guys sprinting back to the other end of the court to prepare for an outlet pass from a made or missed basket!

3) Recognize the traps other teams create for you, and play more intelligently, so as to limit unnecessary turnovers by playing with greater patience: Isn’t spacing best created by controlling the tempo of the game from the Point Guard position? Isn’t Steve Nash one of the best ever to play the game?

How is it that The Lakers were trapped time after time off sidelines by The Nuggets? Is George Karl that great as a NBA Head Coach that he was able to exploit us with a defense that we weren’t able to adequately overcome? If so, then credit to them: good job! But why didn’t we take steps sooner to remedy the problem?

Is there a remedy to the malady of the style of play that The Los Angeles Lakers are playing this year?

I don’t see how bringing Phil Jackson back would make much of a difference: a head coach can only do so much. If the players who take the court don’t have a will to win, a will to control the outcome of a game, from tipoff, to suck it up and play defense even if they don’t want to, consistently, because it needs to be done, if they have any real desire to actually win on a regular basis, then it really doesn’t matter who The Lakers bring in to coach the team.

Remember that Keanu Reeves movie with Gene Hackman, “The Replacement Players”? What was missing from that final game at halftime? Heart.

I am a gluttonous Lakers fan who will watch them play, knowing that someday they will play better than they have been playing so far this season. But don’t anybody out there in Laker Nation think this team would be better off with Andrew Bynum and Ramon Sessions: it’s not true! Matt Barnes might be a guy we should have kept, but I don’t fault management for replacing a bench player who was injured every year and played inconsistently with new guys that they had high hopes of playing with a greater impact.

Jodie Meeks had played for a long stretch as had been hoped that he could do: consistent, reliable long distance shooting to spread the court, to take pressure off Kobe Bryant. Meeks has cooled off on offense as of late, but he has done a credible job on the defensive side of the court – better than expected.

Metta World Peace plays a tough, defensive game – most nights; but, his production on offense wavers, for some reason. Dwight Howard – see MWP remarks.

I will be thrilled as a continuing Lakers fan to recognize them for their brilliant play when I see it again!

But I’m done blogging about this season until the Los Angeles Lakers provide a level of play worth writing about: They don’t need to hear the continuing dribble of criticism from fans that state their allegiance to the team. I will continue to watch them play. I will continue to “tweet” during games, but only to cheer them on to victories! Insights & analysis I suggest are from Eric Pincus, Dave McMenamin and Darius Soriano, if you’re still hungry for post-game critiques.

Darius provided the following insight from last night’s debacle vs. Denver: “18 Lakers turnovers and 17 Nuggets offensive rebounds gave the team 35 extra possessions that the Nuggets turned into points. The Nuggets had 14 points off turnovers, 25 second fast break points (some of the points off turnovers are included here) and 13 second chance points. The Lakers essentially gave the game away by giving the Nuggets extra possessions, which resulted in Denver taking 19 more shots than the Lakers on the night. So even though the Lakers shot better from the field, the Nuggets were still able to outscore the Lakers by the sheer volume of shots they were able to take.”

Jerry Buss, thanks for trying to bring back to Los Angeles a “Showtime Lakers” experience for the fans! It just isn’t in the cards, but I wouldn’t fold just yet.

Jim Buss, thanks for being more involved in the day-to-day operations of the team; but, continue to let Mitch Kupchak take the lead role in personnel moves.

Mitch Kupchak, I was hoping that what you were able to pull off with acquisitions last Summer to make this team better this year would have put a smile back on your face – just not going to happen, is it?

Jeannie Buss, congrats on your relationship with Phil Jackson making it to the next level! may The Lakers begin to play at the next level, too.

Mike D’Antoni, you seem to have to endure a great deal of suffering in your life for some reason: I don’t get it, why you seem so snake bit by circumstance; but, I hope the irony of life gives you some satisfaction before your coaching career comes to an end.

It’s up to the players now: Do they have the heart to play a better brand of basketball?

Defense takes determination, desire. Will The Lakers be able to will themselves into a better mental approach to playing effectively together? I hope so.

There is a battle going on, Lakers fans! That battle is being waged, internally – by each & every player. What the result is from the skirmish going on within each one of them is beyond comprehension by us at this time. But with time, we will know – the fruits of their labor will be self-evident.

C’mon, Lakers! Let’s go!

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Anonymous
    7 January 2013 at 5:04 pm

    The 5 unexpected turnovers by Steve Nash were a new wrinkle for how to lose a game in a different way. Totally unexpected. Drawing a Technical Foul didn’t help, either. The Lakers are in a whatever category for the time being. You still care?

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