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Lakers/Magic: Jump Shots Not Sold At Amway Arena

The Lakers came into the game against Orlando winners of four straight on their current Grammy Road Trip, playing as well as we’ve seen them on the defensive end, and moving the ball better than we had seen all season. The team was clicking, beating good teams and all of it was on the road. In Game 5 of the road trip, the Lakers didn’t change anything about their game. They played well defensively (for the most part), they moved the ball well, they fed the bigs, and they worked for open shots — it was just one of those nights where shots didn’t fall.

Naturally, this game was more than just missed and made shots, and we’ll get into those other aspects, but the Lakers did a lot things right against Orlando. Take a look at the shot distribution. Five guys had more than 10 shot attempts, and the combination of Bynum, Gasol and Odom took 38 of the Lakers 84 field goal attempts, shooting a shade under 50 percent together. On most nights, getting that many attempts out of the Lakers bigs would result in a win. Kobe only took 18 shots, with not many of them outside of the flow of the offense and the Lakers assisted on 19 of their 33 makes. However, the Lakers couldn’t buy a jump shot. Derek Fisher was 2-7; Ron Artest was 2-6; Steve Blake was 0-2; and Shannon Brown was 3-11.

As a team, the Lakers shot just under 40 percent from the field, 12.5 from the three-point line and 46.7 percent from the free-throw line. However, they only had eight turnovers, turned over Orlando 16 times and got to the free-throw line at a higher rate. They took more shots, closed out on Orlando’s their shooters, and had more offensive rebounds. The Lakers biggest issue tonight was putting the ball through the rim — that and Dwight Howard.

Howard finished the first half with nine points, six rebounds and three fouls. He finished the game with 31 points and 13 rebounds. Stan Van Gundy went to Howard on the first play out of the half, he got an easy layup, and his rhythm was established then. After a couple of outside shots made by Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson, it became increasingly more difficult to defend Howard as the game progressed. He was knocking down jump hooks, layups, catching alley-oops, hit a 13-foot bank shot on the right side, making free-throws, and had a couple of dunks off of missed Magic shots, both of which were back breaking.

With just over a minute left in the third quarter, Kobe hit a jumper to cut the Magic lead down to five points. It looked as if the Lakers would go into the fourth down by that deficit, but Gilbert Arenas heaved an off balanced three pointer toward the rim as time expired, Howard caught the air-ball and promptly dunked it in right before the buzzer sounded. Then, with 5:37 left to play, Jason Richardson missed a long two with the Lakers down 12. A rebound gives them the stop they need with an opportunity to cut into the lead. Pau Gasol had position on Howard, but Howard was able to leap over Gasol for the tip dunk because Gasol failed to put a body on him. Gasol is called for a foul, Howard hits the freebie, and the lead is extended to 15 points.

So yes, the Lakers couldn’t hit a shot, but Howard’s second half performance made things easier on the Magic, who didn’t have their best offensive performance of the year, either. The other thing that hurt the Lakers was rebounding, which, of course, Howard had a lot to do with. But the Lakers missed 51 shots, but only had 11 offensive rebounds. Their inability to hit shots, or grab rebounds from their myriad missed shots may have had something to do with this being their third road game in four nights, but you have to give credit to the Orlando defense for closing out defensive possessions with defensive rebounds. After Howard, Brandon Bass (8), Jason Richardson (6), and Ryan Anderson (5) all did a great job on the boards, helping to limit the amount of Laker possessions.

The Lakers play again tomorrow night against the Charlotte Bobcats, a team they’ve struggled in the past two years. The game tips off at 4 p.m. Pacific Time.

Reader Interactions


  1. The Lakers play again tomorrow night against the Charlotte Bobcats, a team they’ve struggled been utterly dominated by in the past two years their entire history.

    There ya go, fixed that for you. The Lakers are 5-7 all time against the Bobcats with a minus-48 point differential, and 3-7 in the past 5 years.


    L117-110 OT


    L133-124 OT
    L106-97 OT




  2. Good summary. whatever the reason, the Lakers just didn’t have it today.

    Anybody know what the Lakers’ record is on these early afternoon games? It seems to me that they lose an awful lot of these 12:00 games.


  3. When matched up on the floor, Howard =19/8 and Bynum=17/9. The other 11/5 came in the 8 minutes that Bynum wasn’t playing.


  4. 2. Lakers Record for games that start at or before 2pm PST is 2-4

    wins: Nets, Raptors

    losses: Clippers, Heat, Orlando, Boston

    this probably has some impact on the players body clock, how much idk.


  5. The Lakers better play better against Charlotte than they did today, I got really good tickets as a gift and I would hate to see a crappy performance on the road. Although I am yet to see the Lakers lose when attending a game so I hope that luck will carry over tomorrow night.


  6. I didn’t see the game until it ended and I had heard several fans and ‘talking heads’ giving their opinions. Then I watched and came to this blog. I pretty much agree with Phillip and disagree with the callers and ‘talking heads’ – surprise, surprise.

    First – we just got beat this game, period. It happens. Our shots weren’t falling, but when I watched the game I was looking for the tired legs, the wild shots, and the poor play under the basket. I really saw none of that, beyond the few times in any game that those things happen.

    Our bigs did pretty well, Pau was pushed around a bit, our guards got beat a few times, but they were just hitting their shots.

    The one problem I did see was our freethrow shooting, but Phil mentioned they weren’t allowed to practice in this new arena on Saturday and came in cold to an early game today.

    Next game.


  7. What’s the Laker’s record against teams over 50% ?

    That’s a lot more worrisome than their record in noon start games or games when Warren is called out!!

    Another question: Why are the Lakers such putrid jump shooters? Or is it my imagination?


  8. Don’t mistake this as a “The refs cost the Lakers the game” comment because that’s not my point. Orlando deserved its win.

    That said, the referees were absolutely awful Sunday. Nelson’s bear hug of Kobe right before halftime; Blake getting knocked over on a three-pointer with no call; the passer standing with half his shoe out of bounds on the “alley oop” (er, badly missed shot) at the end of three.

    For a nationally televised game, the NBA should be embarrassed at the effort those guys put in today. Like Mike Tirico said, imagine if they’d missed some of those calls at points in time when the outcome could have been affected?


  9. two momentum changing blatant mistakes by the refs:
    1-usual whistle swallowing when jameer nelson’s mauling of KB before he could shoot the ball.
    2-Gilbert’s foot was on the line before DH caught the errant 3 ball and dunked.

    Orlando deseved the win,RA was great,Kobe did not visit the FT line.


  10. “However, the Lakers couldn’t buy a jump shot. Derek Fisher was 2-7; Ron Artest was 2-6; Steve Blake was 0-2; and Shannon Brown was 3-11.”

    I don’t see the need for a however there, all those numbers are fairly typical for those players.

    I put the game on a 46-34 rebounding deficit. Bynum and then Gasol especially were outworked by Howard after the first quarter, a pity after PG’s recent good run. Fish had one of those games that can’t be mentioned without bringing out all the memories of all the clutch performances in the playoffs that help you wash off the fact he shoots 37%. etc. I don’t know where Ron’s head is at at the moment, but if he doesn’t have a clear one on one battle to motivate him, it’s like his head isn’t in the game.

    Anyway, best to leave this game behind as quick as possible and put it down to the grammys.


  11. I hope the lakers win their next two games and make some sort of de javu to their seven game road trip in 2009 & 2010 where they went 6-1 and eventually won the title. Call it superstition but I do mix stats and luck altogether. Anyway, if you summarize this post-game analysis it simply says the lakers were not that lucky today (bad luck) as they missed a ton of wide open shots specially those open threes and those missed free throws.


  12. The Lakers looked tired to me. Tired legs don’t shoot good jump shots. The trip from NYC to Orlando isn’t much shorter than a cross-country flight (if at all), and the Lakers have had now three really high-impact games in 4 days with travel in-between.

    Honestly, I had this game marked down as an “L” after the game in NYC.


  13. >1-usual whistle swallowing when jameer nelson’s mauling of KB before he could shoot the ball.

    yes, that’s almost always a no-call at the end of a quarter. the recent exception, of course, was the call against LO – was it on Big Baby in the first Celtics game? I seem to remember that cutting a 6-pt lead to 3, and thinking it could actually be a game-changer.


  14. One positive I took away was that it was a team loss. Kobe didn’t rescue the team by scoring 40+ points, nor did he shoot them out of the game taking 30+ shots.

    I also thought Drew played pretty well against Howard.


  15. Yep…Drew pretty much played Howard to a draw. The big difference between the two was that Dwight’s teammates looked to get him the ball on most of the set possessions, while perhaps half of Drew’s usage was accomplished by hitting the offensive boards after Fish, Kobe, Ron-Ron, Shannon, etc. called their own numbers.


  16. Will someone please explain to me why walton is playing and Ebanks is not? Barnes gets injured and you go to ….Walton!? Arguably, the least atheletic, the most overpaid, the worst shooter and defender in the small forward positions in the NBA? Shouldn’t this be an opportunity for Ebanks to develope, even if he doesn’t always know the plays and where to go?
    What is Phil thinking? What is this absurd infatuation with Walton? He can’t play! Just accept it and move on, please! Giving him more minutes is never going to change that. He is unselfish?? No, he always passes because he can’t shoot, not even a layup!


  17. 20 – Think of it this way. What you are saying is, Walton’s arguably the worse SF in the league, right?

    Well, isn’t that pretty much what people have been saying about Fisher’s abilities as a PG for 2-3 years now, maybe longer?

    PJ likes vets, and somehow he seems to make it work – if not always in the regular season, then usually during the playoffs.

    Yes, I do agree it’s frustrating – even painful! – to watch, however.


  18. #20. I would say you answered your own question when you said “even if he doesn’t always know the plays and where to go”. A this point, I think what R says (#21) is pretty much on point. Phil prefers the veteran player, and I’d add that he also prefers the guy that he trusts to do the right thing most often. Your point about Walton playing poorly, though, isn’t lost on me. He’s been even more inconsistent than in year’s past this season and you not need look any further than him having a pretty good game against the Knicks to show what Phil hopes to get from him (only for that not to be case each night).


  19. @ 18 – Dude! This aggression will not stand…

    More seriously, we did (Dude like) ask who benfitted from this ‘leak.’ I guess we failed by pinning it on Melo or the Nuggets – it was ESPN.


  20. @ Dude. Heisler is just being defensive. He provides a good analysis of the nba, but he was never good on following trade stuff. When Vecsey and Lazenby drop in to write a story about Kobe’s knees while he’s following them every week, that kinda shows where he’s at.


  21. Darius,
    I completely disagree… Luke Walton has been the teams most consistent performer this year. He has only had one food game the entire year, he has been consistently terrible. But Phil doesn’t have a choice with Barnes out. Ebanks is a rookie and we don’t get to see him in practice… I’m sure Jackson would play him if he was any good.


  22. 19, except when we got the ball to Drew in the early 4th quarter, he delivered zero baskets. His only score came off a Steve Blake spoon-feeding. Other than that possession, the Lakers gave Drew three straight shots from less than 10 feet, and he made none.

    Then, as expected, his knee flamed up (and he was also struggling up and down the court due to lack of conditioning), which made PJ pretty much have to bench him for the rest of the game (although in Bynum’s defense, PJ probably would’ve done that anyway).

    I agree that the ball needs to go inside more, but don’t act like Drew is dominant in the vein of a young Shaq or a young Duncan. He had his chances, and he blew them.


  23. Yea Drew is just not all the way back yet. How many times this season have we seen him beat his man up the court and get early post position for semi-transition post-ups? That was the signature Drew play when he was healthy/explosive/conditioned. I’m not sure how much is injury and how much is conditioning, but I hope he gets to that point again.


  24. Aaron,
    Luke Walton being our most consistent player this year has to be a joke right? There’s no way you think he’s been more consistent than Lamar Odom. That’s just crazy.

    Anyways, I was so frustrated with the game yesterday and I really felt like it was a winnable game. With the way the game was going I knew we had no chance unless Kobe started the fourth quarter. Phil used to have a better feel of when to play Kobe more minutes. I know we play tonight, but I think the Orlando game was a big game psychologically.

    Also, is anyone else as frustrated with Shannon Brown as I am. He just seems to have a very low basketball IQ. Too often during the game he’ll do something and I’ll think “that was dumb.” I fear that the early success he had this season has given him a false sense of what he’s capable of doing. He doesn’t play within himself anymore.


  25. @26. Drew was working against Howard during that 4th quarter stretch, and one of his misses was after his offensive rebound but Howard strongly contested his shot attempt (should have gone glass). Another miss was a 12 or 13-ft set shot (should have gone glass), and another was a 7-ft jump shot after a drop step move from the left side (again should have gone glass).

    Anyway, you’re glossing over the point I was making. He was having an excellent first half matched up with Howard, then Howard went to the bench with his 3rd foul and 2:27 left and 6-8 Bass became Drew’s defender. Kobe and Fish didn’t give Drew any touches, despite Drew establishing good post position on three of the six possessions. Granted, the last of those six possessions was the one with two seconds left.


  26. 29,
    Please reread my comment. I was saying he has only had one god game…. Every other game this year he has been awful. So that is being consistent. In only one contest has he deviated from his normal play. Sp yes…. In a way it’s a joke.

    Oh… And the dude… As always is right. Bynum was are most effective player… And we didn’t get the ball to him enough… But what else is new.


  27. Aaron:
    You said
    “Ebanks is a rookie and we don’t get to see him in practice… I’m sure Jackson would play him if he was any good.”

    I don’t think it is possible for Ebanks to be worse than Walton. In fact, I don’t think there is another small forward in the NBA (or the D-league for that matter), rookie or not, that is worse than Walton.
    Let Ebanks make some mistakes and get better, it will pay off in the long run. You are getting nothing from Luke, so what do you have to lose? Given the 8-10 minutes you are giving to Luke to Ebanks. Just the pure atheletic ability would be more fun to watch than Luke painfully missing lay ups and jump shots in slow motion. I’d bet Ebanks would kill walton one on one with Dunk after Dunk.
    I really wish some reporter would ask Jackson this question in practice and see what his response is.