Around the World (Wide Web)

Phillip Barnett —  January 20, 2011

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

From Kevin Ding, OC Register: The Lakers’ fans might be blaming reserves Shannon Brown and Luke Walton, who shot 1 for 9 and were on the court while an even second-half game exploded into a double-digit lead for the Dallas Mavericks. Lakers coach Phil Jackson acknowledged the team started “messing around” on offense instead of getting the ball inside properly to Pau Gasol. ut the consensus inside the Lakers locker room after their 109-100 loss Wednesday night was that lackadaisical defense did in the Lakers … again. “We were just being lazy,” center Andrew Bynum said. “I’m quite sure if you look at the tape, everybody is kind of stagnant and just staying still. And we didn’t cut off the baseline.

From Mark Medina, Los Angeles Times: In almost a single-file motion, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Steve Blake, Pau Gasol and Shannon Brown trudged their way toward the locker room in American Airlines Arena with different expressions on their faces. The Lakers were just minutes removed from a 109-100 loss Wednesday to the Dallas Mavericks and the varying movements, ranging from Bryant, Blake and Brown staring straight ahead, Odom wiping his face with his jersey and Gasol looking at the ground revealed the unanimous frustration the Lakers currently face. That’s expected after a loss, but the reasons why the team’s frustration level remain high point to their seemingly inability to capitalize off any momentum they build during stretches of the season. Instead, any morsels of progress come crashing down into a head-scratching loss that makes the Lakers feel they lost the little ounce of momentum they once had.

From Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll: If you’ve been burning precious leisure time watching the 2010-11 Los Angeles Lakers, you know there’s been something awry about their perimeter defense all season long. Guards double pointlessly on post threats who aren’t all that threatening. Guys get rubbed out on high screens way too easily. Opposing shooters get open in transition because there’s a Laker or two still at the other end complaining about a no-call. The disease has many symptoms, but the end result is that opponents are getting open outside the arc with undue frequency. It hasn’t always come back to haunt the Lakers – coming into tonight’s game against Dallas, the champs actually ranked fifth in opponents’ three point percentage – but it’s a systemic weakness that’s contributed to some ugly defensive efforts. Tonight’s loss, a 109 to 100 pasting at the hands of the Mavericks, was among the ugliest.

From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: Call it a Tale of Two Halves. In the first half, the Lakers played fairly solid ball, save a couple of minutes in the second quarter. But in the second half, the third quarter in particular, the wheels came off the wagon. Turnovers, poor decisions on offense, breakdowns on D, and some white-hot shooting from Jason Kidd and Jason Terry did them in. Dallas owned the last seven minutes of the third quarter, and continued its domination into the fourth. The Lakers tried to make a late push, but the hole was too deep. The Mavs picked up a win they were desperate to get, while the Lakers missed a chance to keep a Western Conference rival, slumping but healthier now with the return of Dirk Nowitzki, on the mat for another night. Perhaps most disappointing was the lack of pushback from the visitors. They had no answer for what became an extended run for the Mavs.


Quick Update: Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook has a post on how the Lakers’ triangle offense beat the Dallas Mavericks zone. Make sure you go check that out here.

Phillip Barnett