Lakers/Clippers: Battle Of L.A. 2012, Part 1

Rey Moralde —  January 14, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 94, Clippers 102
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 109.3, Clippers 118.6
True Shooting %: Lakers 57.0%, Clippers 55.7%

The Good:
I suppose people will point to Kobe Bryant dropping another 40+ game. After all, he pretty much kept the Lakers within striking distance in a game that was basically controlled by the Clippers for the most part. He finished with 42 points and shot 14 for 28 so it was still efficient despite the crazy perimeter shots he took. Kobe had a monster 3rd quarter where he scored 21 points and helped cut the lead down to 74-72 near the end of the stanza.

I’m going to point out Andrew Bynum’s disappearing act on the offensive end later but it was nice to see him continue being aggressive on the boards. He ended up with 16 so, at least, Drew is doing other things that don’t involve scoring.

Despite the sloppiness seen throughout the game, the Lakers only turned the ball over nine times (a nice drop from 17 against Cleveland). And they did show some energy in the 3rd quarter when the game got chippy. It was good to see the Lakers show that kind of moxie (even if it is for one quarter) even though they were playing their fourth game in five nights.

I’ll commend the Lakers for keeping the Clippers’ shooting percentage at 41.2 percent (they were mostly held under 40 percent throughout the game) but maybe it’s a product of the Clippers not really playing as smart and the Clippers missing shots that they should be making.

And, hey, the Lakers bench outscored the Clippers bench, 13-11! That’s good, right? Hello?

I suppose it’s fatigue but while we know that the Lakers are going to have trouble going against athletic squads like the Clippers, you wonder what would happen if they had enough energy the entire game. Nevertheless, they weren’t good enough to keep that winning streak going. Their run stops at 5 games.

The Bad:
On the surface, it looked like Pau Gasol (14 points and 10 boards) and Bynum (12 points and 16 boards) had good games. But they seemed so invisible in the second half (with Bynum last scoring with 6:20 left in the third and Pau last scoring with 10:44 left in the game). It really goes both ways. Yes, we know Kobe goes into this mode where he’s unconscious and just wants to score. But, hey, the bigs gotta demand the ball, too. I’m not saying give them more shots but give them more touches in the post (not shoot jumpers, Pau) to set up better shots for any Laker. Go inside-out. I mentioned yesterday that basketball can be a very simple game to play but sometimes, I wonder why they want to make it as hard as brain surgery.

How about the boardwork? The Lakers were crushed in the rebound department early on. They were able to whittle it down to a final of 50-42 boards in favor of the Clippers but the Clippers are the worst rebounding team in the league (with the Lakers being second best). Besides the fatigue, that seems inexplicable to me. Our favorite ball-grabber from the Clippers, Reggie Evans, had eight off the bench (six on the offensive end). For a guy that played only 17 minutes, he seemed to make more of an impact than Gasol and Bynum.

I’d like to see more inside-out play from the Lakers. I did notice Bynum’s face; he seemed a little upset about not getting touches. Maybe he should be more vocal about it. More communication, please.

Overall, the Lakers looked very lethargic on both sides out there. Sure, blame it on the fatigue and their heavy schedule and all teams are going to have a dud or two or twenty per season. The day off will do them well before they have to go against Dallas on Martin Luther King day.

As far as time off goes, it may get easier for the Lakers. They have played 14 games so far (tied with the Bulls for most games played in the league).

The Ugly:
It’s ugly on the Lakers side as Chris Paul dissected the Lakers all game long with 33 points and 6 assists. Whoever guarded Paul never stood a chance and while I applaud Darius Morris for his efforts, efforts just aren’t good enough, sometimes.

The game, overall, was hard to watch despite the fanfare. Both teams shot less than 40 percent for the most part and even though they only had 9 turnovers each, it seemed like the Lakers had trouble passing it to the post, there were a lot of botched plays, and, all the while, the referees mostly let them play this ugly brand of basketball. It was Slop City at its finest (yeah, I couldn’t help but make a Lob City reference… kill me).

The Play Of The Game:
On a Laker fastbreak in the third quarter, Kobe passed it to Andrew Bynum down the lane where Bynum made a nice spin move into a dunk as Chauncey Billups held him. It was nice footwork and a pretty play by Bynum and I thought this was going to be something of a surge by Bynum.

It wasn’t. That was the last time he scored in the game.

Lakers play the Mavericks on Monday where I figure an irritated Bynum is going to take his frustrations out on Roddy Beaubois. Maybe. That or we can see Kobe try to gun for 40 for the fifth straight game. That would be kinda fun.

Rey Moralde

Posts

62 responses to Lakers/Clippers: Battle Of L.A. 2012, Part 1

  1. People are invariably going to complain about Kobe. He had a very efficient half and even fourth quarter. Again, he was not the reason why we lost. We played porous defense and didn’t rebound. Especially after Bryant single handedly kept us in the contest and brought it within two.

    Magellan, I think you’re right on this one. The bigs gotta call the ball, not just clear out for number 24. Even if Kobe is intent on scoring, make it easy for him by setting picks, running PnR. There was a late basket where Bynum set a pick and handed it off to Kobe who turned the corner around the giant, got separation, and got an easy basket.

    I think this is a team execution problem, and coach execution problem. Boy its ugly, but the loss hangs on our defense. Tired legs had something to do with the rebounding woes. 17 Offensive rebounds. That’s on Bynum, Gasol, and anyone else not jacking up shots.

  2. On Laker talk tonight, 4- times I heard that the Lakers llost because they played the most games and were tired. Hummmmm. Chicago is 12 and 2 OKC is 11 and 2, the truth is very good teams are 7 and 8 deep. They don’t get tired.

    AlsobKobe can best teams 3 and 4 deep but not teams 7 and 8 deep hence no wins for Lakers against the top 10 teams.

    Management should be called out for giving Kobe a team that is 4 deep. This is a 5th or 6th seed because in a short season one guy can’t beat seven.

    No more tired excuses. Change it to lack of talent excuses.

  3. Kobe shot 50%. So his shooting is fine.

    What killed us tonight is rebounds. Lakers are the best rebounding team in the league (until tonight, which we dropped to #2 behind the Bulls). The Clippers are at the bottom – absolute last – in rebounding.

    To be out-rebounded tonight is a simple side effect of being the team that has played the most games in the league so far and their fourth game in five nights vs. a younger Clippers team that’s had 2 full days of rest. I’m not too worried.

  4. I agree with Ken completely about where the Lakers stand right now. Though it would also be fair to say that the Clippers are a bad matchup for the Lakers.

  5. Something just dawned on me. The last time I saw a offense so centered around one player was Mike Brown’s Cleveland James team. They had a real point guard in Mo Williams and a much better bench then this poor crew.

    They fired Brown. Is it possible that Brown just allows the super star to run the team?

    Hum mm

  6. So easy for clips to double Kobe in the 2nd half using the defender guarding Morris. It was like playing 4 on 5 out there. On top of that, Morris could not feed the post to save his life.

  7. The Lakers are tired. Period. That was a major factor tonight. Their core is not as young as Chicago or OKC. So that comparison should not be made.

    Honestly, I am not surprised they lost. Fatigue, CP3, and a one dimensional offensive attack are all factors. Down the stretch in tight games the Lakers are the most predictable team in the league. Well, on to Dallas.

  8. T. Rogers,

    I disagree. The lakers offense was fine. Our “one dimensional offensive attack” kept us in the game, to the tune of 57TS%. That’s really good. In fact, I believe when our offense was ‘more’ team oriented in the first half, our efficiency was lower… and we ended the half down big. Does anyone know a site with quarter by quarter statistical breakdown, for players too?

    BTW Ken, this team is loads better than Lebron’s Cleveland team. I would not trade MoWill Illgausgus and Varrajo for Bynum, Pau, and Barnes. You gotta be crazy.

  9. Lakers fans are being too easy on Kobe, and also a little romantic with his scoring. Y’all know that their team chemistry will suffer from Kobe’s insistence on being alpha dog A over this season.

    The only way that this team does anything this year is if Pau and Bynum become the dominators. They are so tought to handle as a tandem.

    This team will be feckless, come playoff-time, because Kobe refuses to encourage and allow teammates to be better than him.

    Never will.

  10. The core is not as talented. Name one top team that would take Fisher, Metta, Murphy, Kapono, Walton. Smart GM’s figured out a short season means a deeper team. Mitch filled the team with guys who couldn’t play for bad teams last year.

    This is not a talented team other then Kobe, Pau and every once in a while Andrew.

  11. @8
    7/17 6/13.. FG percentage for two towers.Despite they are closer to the basket,despite they are well twin-towers.Despite Bryant sucking all the attention and they are usually single covered.
    Bynum has been shooting the ball around 12-18 times and been very inconsistent lately.Same for Pau.It is quite normal for bigs to get around 30-40 shoots in a game.
    They cannot create looks for themselves.Kobe 42-7-4-2-1 line and has been averaging 32-6-5.5.
    He is fine and he is doing everything he can to take the team back to playoffs.
    Please do not spill hatred on false grounds.Dwyer might be proud.

  12. Couple of points:

    1. While the Clippers did have a clear schedule advantage tonight, the schedule is heavy all year. And it is about to get more difficult. Next 5 games:

    DAL, @MIA, @ ORL, IND, LAC

    Eight of the next nine AFTER that are on the road.

    2. Kobe, Pau and Andrew all have their faults, but IMO people are focusing too much on those. The team’s best players aren’t the problem.

  13. I don’t care what Kobe’s FG% or TS% or whatever is. The point is no matter how well HE scored, his gunning kept anyone else from developing any kind of rhythm. I was watching off the Clippers telecast and even those morons could see it. Kobe is the star player of the team, and like it or not if the offense has to run through him, then it’s HIS responsibility to make players around him better. He used to do that, and has for the better part of his career. But tonight, and the last few nights (in spite of the W’s) it really doesn’t seem to be the case. He seems to have become the shameless chucker that his critics have derided him about forever. I hope whatever this is, whether it be a change if offensive strategy, more vocalization from Pau/Bynum (doubtful), or whatever, happens soon.

  14. Kobe “John Wayne” Bean Bryant! This guy sure makes the Lakers worth watching. Imagine if he wasn’t there. This Laker team would look like the Wizards. Kobe shoots, he shoots as if he’ll never ever get to shoot again! I accept! Pau is not aggressive. He will never be that, let’s face it. He’s more of a finesse Big Guy. I accept. Andrew wants to be GREAT but doesn’t know how to go about being great! Great Big Men demand the rock. They put themselves in positions to get the rock. And they terrorize you when they do. Oh and besides rebounding 15-20 boards a game they average 2-4 blocks, and OWN the lane on defense. Bynum does none consistently! I don’t accept!! Fish plays because he gets paid too, duh. He’s limited his shots. He knows this is the final year. He’s just using this starting time to prep for that 1 big shot he will produce in a must win playoff game. Confidence and experience beats athlethism and hope with one big shot. I accept fish as is. Metta’s head not in the game. I can’t accept. Barnes tries. I accept. The bench couldn’t beat the best guys at my local YMCA. That I don’t accept. Mitch has not gotten this team the help it needs. Is he conceding this year? Is he waiting on free agency now because he didn’t get Cp3? I DON’T ACCEPT! Kobe needs help in the backcourt, desperatedly. If nothing changes here Lakers 5th seed advance to second round on Kobes back and then out! So if this is our faith Mitch, ok please just keep it exciting by allowing KB to shoot till the lights go out! And I DONT ACCEPT THAT WE TRADED ODOM! BOY DO WE MISS AND NEED HIM! BRING HIM BACK..JUST DO WHATEVER IT TAKES. BRING HIM BACK HOME.

  15. atleast morris got some minutes, he seems to have some fire to his game! I have to say Fischer is really done! Mcroberts is also a scrapper, atleast its a start, lakers need to add some more youth and say goodbye to Artest & Fischer immediately!!!

  16. also I have to insist that Lame City is overrated, yeah Chris Paul (our player) is good, and so is Blake…but I just cant see them being a real player for a ring… sorry Lame City poser fans….

  17. first of all, this was one loss, on the second night of a back to back and the forth game in five nights while missing arguably our best bench player (blake) to injury and having won 5 straight; we need to calm it down with the roster negativity. looking at it logically, we still have the most talented frontline in the league in bynum, gasol and mcroberts, good depth at the small forward position and a superstar looking as good as he has in years. our limitation remains the lack of a playmaker off the bench but that had nothing to do with this loss because, even with everything going against us, we were still within striking range until late in the game.

    i personally feel that the key to the game was rebounding. the clips second chance points got us behind early and we were never able to fully recover. I do agree that our inability to play inside out ball late in games has become something of a concern but I’d argue that the jury is still out on that. remember this is still a new offense, and there has been scant practice time so far this season, so a little patience is warranted. finally, it’s important to remember that we are now a defense first team, so when reviewing the game I tend to look at opponent shooting percentage and points against as key stats. the clippers shot just 41.2% but scored 102 points which tells me the pace of the game and the 17 offensive rebounds we gave up are ultimately what killed us.

  18. This board does have a tendency to swing like a pendulum, with regard to its opinion of the Lakers and Kobe. In the pre-season, this board had a “discussion” between optimists and pessimists. There were those who thought the roster was thin, and there were those who wanted to “sit back and let them play the games”. Now it seems this “discussion” has switched to Kobe. There are those who think he is phenomenal and does not have enough talent around him, while there are those that think he and his shooting are the problem. The interesting part is the many of the pre-season optimists, have now become Kobe bashers, because it allows them to avoid the roster problem. To them I say: Sit back and let Kobe play the games : )

  19. Anytime a wing shoots 50% to the tune of 42, he’s NOT the problem no matter how you dice it.

    Killing rhythm? If there was any such thing, he won’t be shooting enough to get 42 in the first place.

    With two legit 7 footers, we really have NO EXCUSE when we are out rebounded. With active Barnes and ‘good rebounder for his position’ Kobe, we really should never be outrebounded, especially when we are holding the other team to low shooting percentages.

    Anyway, I’m willing to write this one off as a scheduled loss. Too bad our bigs don’t have the kind of stamina or willpower Kobe does, but then again, if they did, this would be their team not Kobe’s.

  20. Kobe scores 42pts on a 50% shooting percentage clip and he is being blamed for the loss. Fans cry that Kobe did not allow his teammates to have a rhythm because he shoots too much. Hello? We have two seven footers in the game and they never allowed themselves to play like seven footers. Pau and Drew should draw a page or two from Shaq when demanding the ball.
    Shaq would always make himself big down low where his teammates would not ignore him or would be stupid not to notice him. And even if the lakers then have a young and athletic Kobe who also demands the ball, the Laker players would still dump the ball to Shaq because he would dominantly ask for the ball. In the case of Pau and Drew, how many times in this game or in the past games have you seen them constantly seal their man and demand for the ball on the post.

    If I were Barnes, Fish, and other teammates on the floor with kobe I would also do the same and allow Kobe to shoot than throw the ball down low and see the big guys slowly make their move on the post without throwing the ball back and re-posting themselves for better positions.
    Our so called “bigs” should start learning on how to make themselves big and start demanding the ball before we start saying that Kobe takes his teammates out of rhythm.

  21. This roster has no room for error, at least in the sense of trying to be a contender.
    So Kobe shooting a little too much, while not the biggest factor in the losses, has a disproportionate effect due to other weaknesses on the team. In previous years it didn’t.

  22. Robinred (and Ken),

    I totally agree with you. Our lack of depth beyond 2-5, aggravated by blake’s injury, is the reason. It starts and stops there.

    I also agree that both Bynum and Pau need to play much more aggressively within the offense. They have to force the issue so that Kobe will feed them. Kobe is our only playmaker and pretty much the only one capable of consistently feeding the post and setting up our bigs for good looks. But they have to fight for that position and call for the ball. They have to set picks and ROLL. If you watch the second half, Bynum was lethargic. Blame that on Kobe if you want, but that’s poor play calling or poor execution in my book.

  23. sounds weird, but they missed steve blake out there. morris just stank it up. give the all star big men their touches, please.

  24. So Kobe shooting a little too much, while not the biggest factor in the losses, has a disproportionate effect due to other weaknesses on the team.
    ___

    To an extent, but where I disagree is that you can’t dump the ball into big guys 60 times a game against modern NBA defenses. There is too much double-teaming, you are allowed to play zone, etc. Back in the days of Wilt and Kareem, you could. Not now. If the Lakers started giving the ball to Pau and Drew as much as some people seem to think they should, defenses would adjust and the Lakers have neither the penetrators nor the shooters to make them pay. Also, while Pau can play in the high post, he is not a stretch big, like Kevin Love. The Lakers’ three best (only) offensive threats are all mostly threats down low or at mid-range. It is a skill overlap problem.

    Also, Kobe is a scorer. He’s not Magic Johnson.

    Kobe does need to look at matchups. When Bynum has a smaller guy he can school, Bynum needs to get 15-17 shots. However, DeAndre Jordan is not that guy. Kobe did shoot a bit too much against Cleveland.

    Complaining about the Paul deal is old news, but as we saw last night, Paul would have taken care of basically everything people don’t like about the offense. He is a creator/distributor, who can break down Ds, score on his own if he has to, and shoot the 3. He takes care of the ball. He would have made sure that Bynum got to eat and that Kobe got to gorge.

    Until those issues are addressed with a lesser but still effective player, the Lakers will have problems.

    As I said in the other thread, the usage issues that bother people are tied directly to the personnel issues. Kobe went 44 minutes and shot 28 times last night in part because the Lakers have no backup 2 and no starting-quality pass-minded 1. Change those things and the usage rates will re-settle.

  25. Kareem,

    Good point. Part of that is Kobe. Bynum figures he’s not getting it anyway, so…
    And part of it is Bynum. Kobe figures Drew doesn’t want the “damn ball” anyway, so…

    It is yet another challenge for Brown, but one he needs to try to address.

  26. I’m not sure if the entire blame is on the bigs. I mean when the play was called and the ball starts on top with Kobe, who knows what he wants to do with the ball. He goes up for what looks like a shot and then tries to pass it to Pau down low, how is it Pau’s fault that he wasn’t anticipating a pass as Kobe’s been taking these heat-check-ish shots all along? Pau sets a pick and then steps out around top of the key, Kobe gets double teamed and somewhat trapped. Pau has to step out around 3 point line to help out and shoots a three. Wait, what? When did we start to mold Pau into Dirk?

    Kobe shot the way he did because he single-handedly kept the Lakers in the game (till the end of the third), so I don’t blame him in trying to take over the game and win one by himself if he had to. I agree with Kareem that it’s mainly poor play calling AND poor execution.

    I think the general consensus is that we all would like to see better ball movement involving bigs down low. I would also like to see Kobe being able to create plays and opportunities for others. But I guess rather than a facilitator, he’s a scorer at heart. I feel uncomfortable with scoring being Kobe’s first priority (though that is what he’s the best at) while a win is just a bonus.

  27. exhelo is right – there is no margin for error on this team. Last night the rebounding edge told the story, particularly the offensive rebounds. Clips were younger, more athletic and playing on two days rest. The high score from last night tells me two things. The Lakers were tired and Paul got pretty much whatever he wanted. I have no idea if Blake would have changed that, but him being sidelined sure didn’t help.

    The Lakers are actually exceeding my expectations given the roster they ended up with. But I have also said the Lakers are going only as far as Gasol and Bynum take them. Kobe can drag these guys into the playoffs – but good teams will make him pay.

    My two biggest concerns going forward are 1. Injuries. The Lakers have three top tier players and three solid rotation players (Blake, Barnes and McRoberts) and that is pretty much it. They can’t afford to have any of those six guys missing games and well…. 2. Offensive chemistry/identity. I am not going to blame anyone on this – but the Lakers need more offense from their bigs. That is almost always their best advantage. There also needs to be better ball movement. Kobe is the best playmaker, but also the chief culprit in stopping ball movement. Bynum is another guy that tends to stop the movement. (I would add that Morris is, too, but that is understandable at this point in his development).

    I think the key will be Kobe. He has to figure out how to use his own shot making (and play making) ability to get other people shots. If he is serious about seeing this team make a deep playoff run, it is really on him to figure out how to get the bigs going. His point totals will go down, but those points will probably come easier.

  28. If there is no margin for error (true statement), then there is very little hope. Teams always will make errors, coaches will make errors, there will be injuries, and bad luck. If the only way you can win at the poker table is to get aces everytime, then you are going to lose. It is time for the Lakers to stop bluffing and go “All In”. We may disagree on what that means, however I see that many here are beginning to agree that our current position is not a strong one.

  29. Everyone cries out that Kobe needs to get others involved when his entire career the guy has been a scorer, it is his nature. He is not Lebron James who would rather pass than shoot. You can expect Kobe to change but while he is still converting at an effective rate, it is doubtful anyone can convince him to with the talent on this roster. Truthfully Pau needs to get himself in the gym and gain 15 pounds of muscle so that teams can’t push him around on the blocks.

    I have been saying this for two years now, Bynum is the BIGGEST guy on the team, if he gets mad and goes at the other players nobody would mess with him. Shaq would have made sure the locker room knew to feed him the ball. Bynum isn’t that guy, and isn’t ready to be a team’s number 1 scoring option. He may need more touches but he needs to do his part on both sides of the floor as well. And as far as Pau goes, I don’t ever want to hear people complaining about his touches because there is no reason he should be shooting 3 pointers and mid range shots. He is effectively becoming Zydrunas Ilgauskas in Cleveland because he is limiting what he does best (crafty post play). I would much rather have Kobe shoot all of the mid range jumpers than Pau because that is what Kobe is good at, Pau isn’t playing his game.

  30. Lakers need to make a move before Kobe wears out. All the players on our roster are maxed out. They have reached their ceiling. Even with more touches Drew and Bynum aren’t going to dominate consistently enough to warrant those touches. And when Pau does get the ball he holds it for 5 seconds before making a move letting the defense get set. ATTACK!!!

    And if you were watching closely everyone on the team QUIT AND GAVE IN except for Kobe and Barnes. Had Kobe not woke them up we would of lost by 30. So we need a shakeup. we NEED SCORING

  31. We need changes – however we all realize that major change is probably not happening until after the ASG. So for now we must sit back and take the medicine – I mean enjoy the games : )

  32. Mike Brown needs to rest Kobe and Pau but he can’t because every time they sit our bench gets exploited. now our 2 stars are playing heavy mins. and bynum is obviously slowing down he struggles to get up and down the court. Lakers have 4 good players Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Barnes. Kobe and Barnes play hard all the time while Pau and Drew have maxed out they aren’t dominant guys we NEED D12

  33. Tough loss last night, but I was pleased with the way that the Lakers competed. I believe that so far this year the Lakers have been much more consistent with respect to effort than a year ago. That credit goes to Mike Brown and the players.

    Yes, Kobe took a few ill-advised shots. Yes, the bigs didn’t demand the ball enough and Pau missed a few more jumpers than he normally does. A couple of offensive rebounds to the Clips (and resulting points therefrom) killed the Lakers last night. I am more encouraged than discouraged by this loss.

    Chris Paul is a beast of a competitor.

  34. Thank you Kevin! I have been based on here and on Laker talk for saying what you just did.

    You can’t beat the top 10 teams with the bench that is LAST in scoring in the NBA and the 56th rated point guard as a starter.

    Lakers o and 4 against top ten teams. They are 8 deep. We are 4 deep and Andrew appears to be less interested on offense. Tough to run down court 35 times to watch Kobe jack up a 28 foot fall away with 5 guys in his grill.

    This is a 5th or 6th seed. We are being duped by management and the media to spend our time and money. Believe me Mitch knows this current team has no chance of getting out of the West.

  35. Kobemoney great piece! On the kobemoney! As for LO I answered the why in a prior post but it was stricken. More to it then appears. It will soon.

  36. Not to give Darius and company too much credit : ) however this is a good time to point out something that makes this forum great. Most of the other forums have multiple threads and people post under separate folders. There would be one folder titled “Kobe Rules” and another titled “Kobe Shoots Too Much”. One titled “We need Change” and another titled “Enjoy the Ride”. The problem with these forums is that many only go to the folders that they agree with. Further, when a person does go to a folder they disagree with, they usually come in blasting creating a mud fight. This forum is good in that there is one central microphone and all points of view come through that point. When I first got here, I thought this was a weakness, but now I realize it is a strength. Keep up the good work !!! And by the way, we do need change : )

  37. The Lakers were tired. Kobe is carrying the load until they get rest and practice time. Have you noticed that since Kobe went wild scoring the turnovers have went down? Once they practice, the post game of Bynum will be in full effect.

    Comparing them to OKC or the Bulls is fine but realize they are younger teams. Also, we had Bynum out for four games. I would guess we would have another win had he played all four, not to mention Steve Blake was out last night.

    This team is still constructed for the playoffs where fast breaks become scarce. I think they will do very well in the playoffs.

    Kobe’s scoring has tilted the balance of the offense but if you look at the boards given up last night it’s clear the bigs were tired. If you want to get technical, it’s still playing from the inside out as much as Kobe posts up.

    So we have: Heavy schedule, a lot of new players, a main cog traded away, Bynum out four games, a new coach and system, Kobe with a torn wrist and no practice time.

    We have a hell of a team. Just wait a couple of weeks and we will be crushing teams.

  38. I love watching Kobe play and make unbelievable shots but I think everyone would agree that we can’t win a championship like that. I feel like it’s Mike Brown’s job to demand Kobe get the ball in the post because we don’t have anyone on our team who has the gile to tell Kobe to pass the ball.

    Also, it’s getting harder and harder to watch Fisher out there. Management has had 7 years to address the point guard issue and haven’t been able to do it. I understand they tried to hit a homerun with Chris Paul but I’m not even asking for a superstar.

    Is it too much to ask for a point guard that makes good decisions and who can keep other guards in front of them?

  39. The Lakers are in a tough conundrum.

    —If they insist upon running their offense in its current state, they’ll be lucky to score 70 points a game.

    —If they continue to let Kobe score 40+ per game, they’ll win some games but they’ll slow down the process of getting their offense in sync…and Kobe will probably collapse from exhaustion.

  40. KC you are spot on. You made the point better than I did. My concern is not Kobe’s shooting percentage. It is the team tendencies that are developing as a result of his monopolizing the offense. There are only so many possessions in a game. When half of those possessions end in one player taking a shot as soon as he catches the ball it kills any offense MB may be trying to implement. It leaves the other players guessing what their roles are. And it leaves them guessing what to do and when to do it. In fourth quarters the others aren’t even looking to score. As a result that great hustle we loved about the team seems to be fading. Yes, fatigue and injuries are part of it. But really, why should Bynum be the first man down the floor only to watch the ball sail over his head constantly?

    Arguing about Kobe’s shooting is like a chicken/egg scenario. It can never be settled. However, let us all at least accept this one point. If the Lakers have to depend on Kobe to manufacture the lion’s share of their offense (and that’s debatable) then this team is not a contender. And most likely they are headed for a first round exit. If that truly is the case then we need to relax our expectations and moderate our moods. There is no point in barking at each other on an internet forum over a team that is basically going nowhere (by Lakers standards).

  41. We have a hell of a team. Just wait a couple of weeks and we will be crushing teams.

    ___

    I like your moxie, but I’m afraid I see no way to agree.

  42. Rudy,

    I understand your frustration, as well as that of many others including Ken/Kevin. But Robert is on point. We’re not going to see any movement until the trade deadline, when teams are desperate to shed salary (in terms of getting value for the TPE) or pulling off a blockbuster trade (i.e. D12) when its obvious we have the most chips on the table. Fans seem to think the front office can just magician a game changer overnight. In terms of our franchise, its better that Mitch acts prudently and waits for the best offer, one which will benefit the Lakers for years to come. He almost had Chris Paul, which would have made us dominant (very obvious now). Be realistic.

    And to the others, we get it. Trade, trade, trade. We need a bench. Stop repeating the same thing five times within a single thread.

  43. Rusty Shackleford January 15, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I didn’t watch the game. I went out partying after the 49er win.

    Fatigue with the bigs seems to be an issue right now. While I agree that they need to be a bigger part of this offense for this team to be successful it makes no sense to just force feed them the ball if they aren’t putting in the effort to get deep position. Especially when considering Bynum. If he can’t fight for deep post position night after night they need to figure out another way to get him the ball in situations he can be more effective.

    I think Pau could be utilized in the pick and roll more.

  44. Kareem

    I am more upset with the hand the FO dealt Laker fans. In business you must always have a plan B. What was the bench plan B if the loss of LO and Brown was too deep? What was the plan B if the Paul deal didn’t go down? Another year of 4 on 5 basketball?

    I am sure there will be moves but dosen’t the value of those possible moves diminish the more this becomes Kobe against the world?

    Just asking

  45. I thought Lakers would win in 3rd encounter but still the focus and energy level was not there. No excuses, all teams have injuries and tired in less than a month’s time. Only the pocket of Commish Stern would be smiling with no regard on what a human toil could take. It is all about money from all sorts lets have more games.

    At talent level, Lakers are a little bit short compared to Clippers tandem of Paul, Billups, Butler, Blake and De Jordan plus their bench. If Lakers are short in talent, they should compensate it with passion and undeterred spirit to prevail. So far from what I observe Lakers passion to win comes from Kobe, Barnes, MacRob and lately, rookie Morris. While others you could distinguish their lack of passion from their body language, their eyes focus to submission Bynum, Gasol, Fisher, Kapono and Peace – gosh there’s no effort to overcome their handicaps. Artest got into the mentality of a role player and a bench warmer when in fact, he was one of the talented defender and leader before. Gasol would not box, sloppy in rebounds tho’ he has innate talents in dribbling the ball from court to court. Bynum is inconsistent, his talents diminish quickly together with his lackadaisical attitude. You need a jerky Marine Master Sergeant to awaken those sleepy cells in him. Players like Evans and DeJordan could box him out, I have high hopes of him but couldn’t imagine him walking in the shadows of legendary Centers. he is just an ordinary Center who may become an All Star this year but for only one time. As a whole, Clippers won because they’re hungrier and wanted the recognition of being the better team even just for one evening.

  46. Lakers have to play perfect every night to win because we can’t score. Mike brown defense is a SYSTEM proved it in cleveland with subpar players. lakers need people who can score. nobody on our team can guarantee 20 points a night except kobe. pau hasn’t done it his whole career, drew is somewhat overrated he takes too many plays off. dwight howard takes the same amount of shots as bynum and doesn’t give up on defense cause he’s not getting the ball. lakers need to start morris to get fish out too.

  47. Kareem and Robert are right. It should be said that Ken is also right in many ways.

    Just to repeat (sorry, Kareem): this year’s ASG is in Orlando, and Orlando is 8-3 and playing in a new building. With the Nets in freefall, the Magic have hopes of adding Williams themselves. So, it seems clear that no big moves involving Howard will occur until the deadline. If we pass the deadline, and Howard is not here, and/or there is not a new backcourt player here acquired via the TPE or another way, then I think serious complaining will be in order. With Walton, Blake, Fisher and MWP all under contract through 2013 or 2014, management needs a big win–soon– to keep this team in contention.

    But we will not know for awhile.

    Also, instead of people talking about what they think Kobe, Pau and Drew are doing wrong, I would like to hear ways to get more out of the other guys. More Morris? More Ebanks? Try a big lineup with Kobe at the point, playing a zone on D?

  48. I hate to sound so negative but I’m being realistic. brown’s system isn’t effective because we have no duncan and robinson. pau is our 2nd best player and can’t get us 20-10 a night that’s not good. pau is 31 isn’t a spring chicken had 17 fg att. and no FT’s last night. we can’t expect to hold OKC, Dallas, Clips, Portland, Denver under 100 in a 7 game series every game. this team is kobe or bust a 1st round exit unless kobe turns into 08 kobe

  49. 08Kobe had a much better bench and a starting PG that wasn’t 37. Think we could use Farmer and Sasha right now?

  50. 17 offensive rebounds & 25 second chance points tough to win that way solid performance could’ve won too kobe is beasting MVP!! MVP!!

  51. ken, we could use both. just sucks our payroll is the highest with so many supbar players. mitch has made 1 GREAT move the rest are left to be desired

  52. I think people need to take Phil Jackson’s approach with this team, let things play out, and see how they develop over the course of the season. Not too much can be taken from the regular season, anyways! Take a look at the spurs of last year, or the celtics of ’10. Neither of those teams regular seasons had anything to do with they’re playoff success (the spurs bust, and the crltics boon.)

    Last nights game was a failure, but too many variables were at play to say any one thing decided the outcome, and the same goes for the lakers season.

    All they really can do is take it one game at a time…

  53. Also, wanted to mention that I prefer Mr. Soriano’s and Mr. Barnett’s recaps. This new contributers posts don’t have the same feel, and are kind of negative for comedic sake.

    Anyone else agree?

  54. We all have a different perspective on the games and I happen to like Rey’s. I also think, to be fair, these last two games weren’t the most fun to sit through. Even the Win over the Cavs left a lot to be desired.

  55. Each person has their own style that they use in their writing, so it’s not unusual that Rey would have a different feel than Darius or Philip. Whether it’s good or bad is left to the beholder, but I can’t really fault anyone when they’re putting in quality work for basically nothing.

  56. ADAM: I made plenty of points on the good and the bad for the Lakers in the last two games. But I also mentioned that the game against the Cavs should’ve never been a five-point game and this game against the Clippers was ugly nearly all the way through. You might hear a different tone if they beat the Mavericks by 55 tomorrow. But I do respect your opinion on the matter. Thanks for your input and thanks for reading!

  57. Because I’m trying to turn over a new leaf, and trying to avoid letting any individual game color my perspective about the team, I’m going to leave the Kobe shooting too much etc. arguments for others, and make just one comment.

    The game last night is either closer, or a Laker win, if the Lakers do a better job on the defensive glass. The Clippers lived off of second-chance points at times.

    I still think this team is going to be a journey this year, and, if the defense continues to improve, is built for post-season success.

    We’ll see.

  58. Contributers,

    I Did not mean to attack, Mr. Magellan. I apologize for the sleight, percieved or actuall. I just have had my share of all the negativity lately from the comments, and it seemed to me that this recap only contributed to that sentiment. I’ll remain an observer, and no longer will I post to the comments

    Adam M. Kiley

  59. Adam,
    By no means should you not comment if you have something to say. We’re just pointing out that perspectives vary. Who knows what I would have written if I would have recapped this one…

  60. ADAM: I’m late to the party but I was not offended by your comment at all. If you have an opinion, go ahead and say it. I was just merely talking about why I recapped it the way I did; those were pretty tough games to watch, you’d have to agree. We all have different perspectives, though, and my style is my own style. Just like Darius and Phillip have their own styles.

    Your opinion is always welcomed!