Lakers/Magic: Offensive Offense

Rey Moralde —  January 20, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 80, Magic 92
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 94.1, Magic 108.2
True Shooting %: Lakers 49.5%, Magic 55.6%

The Good:
Kobe Bryant had an efficient 30 points and 8 assists.

They showed some fight on some parts of the game. It was nice to see them play through Pau Gasol at the start of the third quarter (before going away from it again). The Lakers did turn up the defense better in the second half and I actually thought the Lakers had a chance to steal the game after they cut the lead down to eight. A quick-trigger technical foul on Kobe killed all that momentum.

The ball movement seemed a little better in this game than the contest against Miami. It’s just that the Lakers can’t throw a dime into the ocean and they end up building houses (BRICKING) inside Amway Center. They should go hide in those newly-built houses after the game. This performance was, overall, shameful.

The Bad:
I don’t even know where to start. I’m surprised that the Magic didn’t lead by 30 at one point.

Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol didn’t make any field goals in the first half. And while we touted the Bynum/Howard match-up, Dwight Howard thoroughly outplayed the Lakers center tonight (Howard had 21 points and 23 boards while Drew ended with a deceiving 10 points and 12 rebounds). It didn’t help that Bynum was in foul trouble the whole game. As for Gasol, he settled for too many jumpers once again. This has become a disturbing trend as we know how wonderful Pau is on the post. Like most of the Lakers, he looks completely lost in this new system. As for the rest of the Lakers, the bench continues its bad production. They only scored 12 points (and they are dead last at 19.9 points per game coming into Orlando). And I know I’m not the only one clamoring for this but it’d be very nice to get Steve Blake back soon. Also, the Lakers are missing Lamar Odom more and more everyday. But let’s deal with the cards the Lakers currently have.

Coming into the game, the Lakers were third in rebounding (45.1) while the Magic were 13th (42.7). Howard led the charge with 23 rebounds and helped outrebound the Lakers to the tune of 51-42. Once again, the Lakers got killed on the offensive glass (15-8).

It also looked like that the Lakers were tired after they got smashed by the Heat the night before. Mike Brown chose to play the starters through the end of that Miami game even though the result was already academic. Yes, we all know that Phil Jackson used to do that at times… but this one basically came back to bite the Lakers the following night.

Can’t forget that the Magic made 12 treys. The Lakers are the worst 3-point shooting team in the league and while they made six, they still got outscored by 18 behind the arc.

The Ugly:
We’d better get used to this. The Laker offense is terrible (only scored 100 or over once this season). Today was no exception… and the first quarter was ESPECIALLY ugly. They shot 4 for 21 (19 percent) in the opening quarter and only scored 10 points. The Lakers also went 7 minutes and 36 seconds of game time without a field goal before a Troy Murphy 3 stopped the bleeding. The Lakers would finish the first half at 11/38 (29 percent) and would end the game at a “somewhat respectable” 38 percent.

And good grief, I expected SOME jumpers to fall in for the Lakers but it seemed like they couldn’t make anything. I swore that every time the Lakers clanked an outside J, a brick would smash through my window every time.

I feel like at some point, Kobe is going to yell about shipping his teammates out. This is not getting any easier for him and the Lakers.

The Play Of The Game:
I have to pick one?

How about that difficult driving banker by Kobe early in the second quarter. It’s quite amazing he made that over three Magic defenders. But Laker fans would be hard-pressed to cheer for SOMETHING in this Laker game. Hopefully, it’s something completely different at Staples Center when they face the Pacers on Sunday night. At least, the Lakers are a tidy 9-1 at Staples.

Rey Moralde


to Lakers/Magic: Offensive Offense

  1. Hey at least we are not the Celts:)


  2. thisisweaksauce January 20, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    This game was the result of tired legs. Pau wasn’t as passive as he’s been before. But I’d still like to see the Pau from the Miami game (in terms of aggression – can’t expect that kind of production every single night). Offensive execution was much, much better: Kobe creating off the pick and roll, man movement coming off screens, Pau creating from the high post, etc. They just couldn’t make shots (that’s a compressed season for you). And the defense was, again, good today. 92 points. It’s a journey guys – I still have faith in this team.


  3. way to bounce back for kobe tonight. he had a nice pace to his game didn’t force anything. pau picked up his play 2nd half. while the bench continues to struggle we did have good looks that didn’t fall. I hope that’s something we can build on.

    And drew with his size continues to have minimal impact on the game. he got his touches and crotched down and passed out or didn’t make anything happen. he needs to dominate the paint Lakers can’t afford to give up 15 off. rebounds and expect to win games.


  4. I missed the game.

    How was the offense?

    How was Fisher’s shooting?

    How was Metta?

    How was our bench?

    Never mind!


  5. And it was about a week ago that Skip Bayless said Bynum was better than Howard. The most laughable statement I ever heard someone in the media make, and I have heard a lot of laughable ones. Bynum has talent, but there is just something he seems to lack….the competitive edge maybe??


  6. @thisweaksauce – I hear ya. We have won some bad games this year and we’ll lose some. I’m hoping we can manage to get in the neighborhood of .500 away, at least going forward (would be tough to gain enough ground to make up for road games already lost). There’s a lot of teams going through this right now. Maybe the hawks of the league did indeed manage to achieve some level of parity through the lockout – shortened training camp and a ridiculous, compressed schedule, have not been basketball’s friend.


  7. Long season. Said it a month ago, will say it again come May when the playoffs start and the Lakers aren’t in contention.

    Barring some big shake-up no one believes is coming — ideally adding some young new blood in the backcourt — they’re toast.

    Oh, and Morris is just clueless on the floor.


  8. Kevin Love just outscored the entire Laker bench with a game winning 3 pointer against Clips.

    Rubio/love for Andrew, LO 9million, next 20 years draft choices and the Laker girls.
    But they gave to take Metta.

    We will throw in the Pacific Ocean.


  9. I thought the team played better and had more fire but they couldn’t hit an outside J to save their life.

    Hopefully whatever offense they are supposed to be running will eventually work its kinks out enough to manage past already stated personnel deficiencies.

    I just would like the team not to look like they are struggling so much to do what normal teams do on offense.



  10. for those of you who hung around on ESPN for game 2 (very entertaining game BTW), I have a question for you:

    how many of the PG who played in that game would be a step up over anyone the Ls have?

    actually, that’s a trick question.

    the answer is, of course, *all of them*. (Billups, Mo Williams, Rubio, and yes, even Foye and Ridnour. (Barrera and CP3 didn’t play)


  11. Another thing Kapono has shown nothing when he’s played. I would prefer Ebanks playing backup 2 guard. Have some quickness and athleticism on the perimeter with Metta and Morris. Kapono isn’t making 3s doesn’t get to the line. Time for Mike Brown to play Ebanks try to get a bench spark.

    But there was ball movement and open shots this game that were just missed. But Lakers can’t dig too deep a hole. I would like to have home court advantage can’t keep losing a string of games in a row.


  12. Breaking news!

    Lakers are a .500 team and a 8th seed.

    Mike brown could turn tbe Jordan Bulls into the 2012 Lakers.

    He’s that good.


  13. R.R. Magellan,
    I disagree about our needing LO more and more. Lamar doesn’t adjust to different styles very fast. With the other Lakers falling all over themselves to regress this season, I suspect Lamar would be one of the boys – in this regard.


  14. At the start of the game, each of our Lakers needs to feel like it’s surf up–and he just caught a big wave. Instead, each looks like he is going to the dentist–and he’s already got a toothache.


  15. This game was a dog all the way. Lakers are offensive, indeed. Howard dominated Bynum, and I agree with an earlier comment. The guy lacks drive. However we finish in the standings, the season will be a success if Howard comes to La La Land. We really have no supporting star. And a successful NBA team needs at least two superior players to be championship calibre. I won’t even comment about the guard play. Did the lakers even try for Billups, or were they off his list. Almost anyone would be an improvement over existing backcourt. Never thought I would miss Stevie Blake so much. Out.


  16. Please let’s face it, this Laker team sucks and is boring to watch! Jim Buss stop being an idiot, we are gradually gettting worse, you need DWIGHT HOWARD, giving up Gasol & Bynum is not too much! I would actually feel lucky to rid the Lakers of these bi-polar players! Getting HOWARD would give you a new lease on life, then it would be up to you to add the missing pieces in the next few years that Mitch Kupchack cant seem to find! please give us some hope because right now we are dying


  17. CRAIG: The Lakers have no other playmakers at this point. Lamar Odom excelled on that. The Lakers don’t have any great back-up bigs. Lamar excelled on that. The Lakers don’t exactly have a great back-up PG. Lamar excelled on that as well. And what else does Lamar do? Rebound, defend, pass, score, etc. Yes, we can say that Lamar is a space cadet at times… but he is a five-tool player and can help with all the things the Lakers need to do on both sides of the floor.


  18. I just don’t understand it. Is there some kind of weird curse hanging over the Lakers? Does someone lace the team’s water supply with toxins? What the heck is going on?

    Why do shooters forget how to shoot? And I can get a slump for a player or two, but the whole freaking team outside of Kobe/Gasol/Bynum? What is contributing to this horrible shooting? Kobe said it best to the sideline reporter Lisa Salters: “Can you come in and make some shots for me?”

    Also, I thought these were professional athletes? Guys that have played under different offensive schemes and systems since they were in grade school. Is Mike Brown’s offense really that hard to learn/figure out?

    So frustrated I could scream right now.


  19. Forget about offensive schemes and the playbook! Everyone knows the rules of the game, right? Put the ball in the hole for two points, shoot free throws when fouled worth one point or stand beyond the arc put the ball through the strings and that’s three points.

    A coach has nothing to do with a players inability to do the fundamentals of the game. Coach Brown was given the exact same Laker team that has been hard pressed to shoot for years, and now they are older. Our rookies don’t count because sadly, Goudelock and Morris are worse than last years rookies Ebanks and Caracter whom could PUT the ball in the hole.

    The Lakers are lethargic and their offense is anemic…enough said.

    Howard heard Bayless, Barkley, Webber and O’Neal thought that Bynum was the best center in the league, and he came ready to fight for his title. My complaint about Bynum is that he appears too readily, to fall below the means of expectation. Seven years in the league and he still does not know what a showdown is…please!

    I am not the least bit concerned about the name on the back of the uniform, I watch the games for the sake of the name on the front of the uniform; the Lakers. Whomever, steps on the floor with the uniform on, I expect for them to compete, and play hard. Sadly, both of these aspects have been lacking in recent games.

    Rebounding, playing defense, hustling and fighting for ball possessions are not skill related, they are heart related.


  20. Magic was playig 8 to 5 with the refs.


  21. Looking at the Western Conference’s early standings, this appears to become a very tight race for homecourt advantage or even the 8th seed. While prestigious wins against the Heat and/or the Magic would have been nice, the Lakers will have to make sure now that they will get those necessary wins against teams they are supposed to beat.

    Of course I see the big flaws in the Lakers’ games right now, but since the negative things have been discussed a lot already, I’ll try to be the optimist here:

    – if getting into the playoffs somewhat healthy, the Lakers can be one of those teams nobody wants to play; good defense and rebounding, playoff experience – when the games become more of a grind and there is more rest between game days, this will help them out

    – the offense can basically only get better with more practice

    – in the West, no other team looks unbeatable, OKC is strong, but DEN, SAS, LAC, POR, UTA, DAL, MEM, all have their flaws as well

    – OKC as the currently best team has its youth and familiarity/continuity working in its favor, but this advantage will even out a bit when having finished the season and getting more days off between games

    – the two top free agents of next summer have a wish list of three teams, and the Lakers are on both of them

    – the Lakers, still have the Odom TPE available (although they may be reluctant to use it this season) when some of the teams have given up on the season and are more willing to give up a player


  22. Tow essential qualities for a good coach are to inspire and to scheme game plans. Unfortunately, MB has neither.

    If one or two players performed below par, it is individual problems. When the entire team (with exception of Kobe) performed under par, it is the coaches’ problem. No doubt, MB is not jelling with the team talents. Players are NOT motivated to do more. When you hear them saying excuses after losing games (like they are still learning the new system), you know they are NOT looking at themselves in the mirror and being critical of their terrible performances. I remember hearing Steve Kerr commenting on a Lakers player shooting 6% from the 3 pt line and that he has never heard such a poor number in the league. NO KIDDING. This Lakers team has quite a few of them this season.

    One obvious problem is the lack of an effective offensive system that the players can rely on. Often times, the players looked lost. Basketball is as much of a physical game as it is mental. Most players are not mentally tough enough. So without an effective system, they don’t perform well. Kobe is a rare exception because of his mental toughness, he excels with or without effective systems. We have witnessed his excellence throughout his entire career.

    Too bad, we don’t have a good management team. I am afraid that the MB hiring could be fetal to Lakers’ chance of winning another Championship in the next few years.


  23. I truely believe that if we still have Farmar, Vujaicic, Ariza and Odom, we would have been the best team in the west. Those guys are the answer to all of our problems.
    Perimeter defence, 3pt shooting, athleticsm, youth, etc……


  24. Rusty Shackleford January 21, 2012 at 7:16 am

    You could clearly see the frustration Kobe was having with the Lakers offensive struggles.

    While the Lakers lack of depth is clear – Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum aren’t taking responsibility for their roles in the offense. Yes, they are learning a new system but at what point are they going to force the issue? Pau is perfectly capable of taking opposing 4’s and 5’s off of the dribble. He could do this instead of settling for 18 foot set shots and maybe get himself to the line more. And Bynum – he can complain about touches all he wants but the man isn’t working to get good post position. What can he do when he catches the ball 8 feet away fromt he bucket?

    I have no complaints about the rookie pg. What are the vets doing? I’d prefer to see Ebanks out there more as well. At least they have young legs on the wnd of a back-to-back.


  25. They may be old and slow, but they can’t shoot.


  26. Rusty Shackleford January 21, 2012 at 7:23 am

    They only scored 80 points! And barely made double digits in the 1st quarter!


  27. Shooting is a problem and I have to believe it will eventually sort itself out, or at least get a little better.

    Howard would be great to have, but he is not what the Lakers need most. Their biggest need is a point guard who is a playmaker (I know captain obvious). Blake is a solid player, a good back up. Problem is, he is by far the best PG the Lakers have.

    Given the current roster – I would start MWP and Blake. (Barnes could finish games). MWP is still ok on D – it is obvious he can’t carry the second unit. Try to keep one of the two bigs on the floor at all times. Ebanks and Kapono could split time at the 2. Fish could back up Blake, but Blake will need to play heavy minutes.

    If Kapono goes in, he needs to be shooting. That is the only thing he brings to the table. If he is playing, he needs more shots. I’m not saying he should play more, but he serves little purpose out there otherwise. I think a problem is that Ebanks struggles on D and gets a little lost.


  28. This board has had “discussions” this year where posters have claimed that the Lakers were fine and can contend for a title; that the whole problem was Kobe; that we would be crazy to give up 2 seven footers for 1; and that Bynum is as good as D12.

    Anyone still making these claims? Or is everyone flip flopping (after all it is an election year).


  29. From Bill Simmons recent column:

    Q: After watching Jimmy Graham dominate this season, is there any doubt LeBron would be the most impactful tight end in the NFL? Graham’s played football for a year and dominated because of his athletic ability (which pales compared to LeBron).
    — Christian, Stamford

    SG: Only one problem: LeBron would sign with New England to play with Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. Somehow he’d think this made sense.


  30. Lakers won five straight, we were overjoyed. Lakers lost two straight from traditional peers, we lost faith. It is a seesaw emotions. I think Kobe got the worst of the brunt from a topnotch player when they were winning suddenly reduced to a pauper star carrying a lot of load on his shoulder. To add more injuries, it was reported on the news Vanessa got $ 75M from Kobe’s coffers, (so poor Kobe has to dig some more side contracts) plus of course, the terrible state of mind of being separated from his two lovely daughters.

    What do the Lakers need in order to win? Practice on shooting and drill on running which are essential fundamentals during preseason tune ups. If you watched these last 2 games, Lakers were not really devoid from getting rebounds or ball possessions but they just give away too many bricks, careless TO’s and too slow to react. They got two young rookies who are not ready for the big show. We now understand why PJ is reluctant in playing rookies especially on their 1st year. Therefore, the temporary solution is to win again in the next five games, it would surely regain their self esteem and confidence of themselves. The next five will be: home games against Pacers, Clips and Charlotte and on the road again against Bucks and T’wolves who are both below .500. However, imminent dangers exist if our team continue to have lousy shooting, poor D against fast PG’s who drives and kicks their butts or giving too much space on those wayward threes in the perimeter.

    A 6th man fan cannot help a team without any spirit to cure their ingrained flaws.


  31. R.R. Magellan: Thanks for the write up – I know they are tough to do after a game like that.

    With that game in hand, I must bring up the D12 trade scenario. During the first D12 trade window, I was pounding the table for Pau+Drew for D12. Many on this board said this was insane. Then the season starts and as it progresses, I continue to pound the table (even when we were doing well), and other posters then shifted to not even wanting to give Drew for D12 straight up. Now the board has flipped flopped to the point where most are now ready to do the Pau/Drew deal. Only problem is – maybe the Magic doesn’t want it now.

    Question for R.R. Magellan, Darius, et al: Do you even think this deal is even on the table, or has the “let them play the games” philosophy boxed us into being stuck with this roster (sans a few minor moves like picking up someone elses cast off PG)?


  32. Lakers won five straight, we were overjoyed. Lakers lost two straight from traditional peers, we lost faith.


    You seem like a great guy and good fan, Edwin, but that isn’t it. The Lakers were slipping by mediocre teams based on Kobe’s playing like it was 2006. One or two games doesn’t tell you everything, but the last two have indicated very strongly how far the Lakers are from the top tier. That was clear before the season as well.


  33. What a disaster that game was. But I’m not understanding why people are blaming Mike Brown for our offensive struggles. In both the Miami and Orlando games we got wide open looks but couldn’t knock them down. There’s no offensive system that’s going to help our guys shoot. We just have a lack of talent problem.

    It’s frustrating to watch these Lakers and it’s times like these when I wish I had a Lakers insider who knew what management was thinking right about now. Obviously Mitch can’t come out and say we’re going to make some moves now or say we’re going to stand pat with what we have for the rest of the year, but as a fan I wish I knew what to expect the rest of the year because if I knew we weren’t going to make any moves I wouldn’t get so emotional about this team.



    The Lakers have no reliable players.
    The Lakers have no power players.
    The Lakers have no players with a winning attitude.
    The Lakers have no players with fire in the belly.
    The Lakers have no players with heart.

    The other Lakers simply are SOFT.


    IT IS INTERESTING THAT ON PHIL JACKSON’S FIRST SEASON, THE LAKERS HAD A WINNING ATTITUDE. Their attitude changed immediately from a losing one to a winning one. And they won the championship.

    Coach Brown HAS TO GIVE the rest of the Lakers a winning attitude. It is all mental – the hang-ups these Lakers have.

    Maybe Mitch and Jim Buss KILLED the Lakers’ Players Heart.

    They were the ones who tried to blow up the Lakers to get Chris Paul.

    They are the ones who are still trying to trade for someone like Dwight Howard.

    When tradewinds are in the air, the players have no feeling of stability or support from management. This instills fear rather than aggression in the players.



  35. ROBERT: The way I look at it is this: there’s still plenty of time before the Mar. 15 trade deadline. Pau Gasol is really not playing his game (he is shooting way less at the rim and way more in the perimeter) and Andrew Bynum could be a go-to guy in the right situation. So I don’t think they’re boxed into this roster, per se.

    I’m sure the Magic are looking at all options still… but I don’t discount the Magic keeping Dwight at all beyond the trade deadline.

    I can tell you that Pau and Drew can play much better, though, than this Orlando game. Heck, Pau shot well against Miami.

    Thanks for reading!


  36. After watching the last two games there are some glaring deficiencies on this team.

    1 – Other than Kobe there is not one player that can create their own shot and get to the basket …..and finish consistenly. On an NBA team, that’s remarkable.

    2 – After watching Andrew vs Dwight, it’s obvious. Andrew does not have a motor and Dwight does. That’s just having more desire to put out the effect required to excel.

    3 – At this stage, the Lakers are thinking way to much. They should just “play basic basketball” Pick&Roll, Pick&Pop, Give&Go.
    Go back to basics so they can play off instinct.

    4 – I miss the Triangle. Is there any doubt that if the Lakers had hired Brian Shaw and kept the triangle that they would be MUCH better off than they are right now?
    There is no doubt.


  37. The Lakers’ Players’ heart is gone.

    It was torn out by Mitch Kubchak and Jim Buss.

    You can see it in their attitude.

    You can see it in their missed shots.

    The Lakers’ Players cannot play well when to do so means they may be traded.

    Until the roster situation stabilizes, the Lakers’ Players will not play well.


  38. Trading Drew and Pau for Howard would be insanity. we would be worse then we are now. Not only would we still have point guard and outside shooting issues but we would add a hole at power forward as well. Knicks anyone? I am all for Bynum for Howard but we would need Pau as a trade asset to fill out the roster.

    If the goal is to win a ring now, the emphasis should be on adding a serviceable PG and a shooter. Give me Aaron Brooks and JR Smith and we are serious contenders. Trade season is still a ways away. There maybe a number of guys available that could help us. The Lakers need to ride this out until the right options present themselves. No time to panic.


  39. Good column by Plashke in today’s LA Times. Why do we continue to put up with Bynum’s weak game. Jim Buss is in this guy’s corner and doesn’t seem to be throwing in the towel soon. The Lakers defense is ELITE it’s off the charts good this year. Mike Brown’s SYSTEM works regardless of the players.

    Lakers management can’t waste one of Kobe’s best years ever. This will be Shaq and Kobe all over again. Trade for Dwight it’s too obvious he wants to be in LA he just can’t say it


  40. One other thing to keep in mind from last night. The biggest problem Drew has had with Howard is staying on the floor. He needs to learn how to play Howard. He really should watch film on how Pau plays him because Pau does a decent job. We saw that last nigh and in the finals a few years ago.

    Andrew is big and strong and tries to body Howard. Pau understands that he can’t do that so he gives him a cushion. When Howard makes his move that cushion allows Pau to react and his length does bother Howard when he tries to get the shot off. Drew is even longer then Pau. He would be much better served to give him the same cushion. Drew can only have impact if he is on the floor and not playing in foul trouble.


  41. R.R. Magellan: Thanks for the response. Yes – plenty of time before 3/15. however is our position going to get stronger or weaker? I wanted this move made during the first D12 window. Now, we have the Lakers playing bad, Orlando playing well, Drew playing inconsistent, Pau playing well – like Pau of 2011, and D12 playing his usual dominant self. If this continues until 03/15 – then what? D12 goes FA and then what for the Lakers?

    Michael H: While we disagree, I will give you credit for speaking up. I can see why u think it is insanity, but with D12, the Lakers will have 2 of the best 5 in the league (titles are won by superstars) I agree that they will still not be a favorite with no PG, but as now constructed – zero chance. We need to give the team and especially Kobe some hope. We need to have a superstar to build around post Kobe, and that is D12. AB is not that guy. If we do nothing except get a journeyman PG, this is going to get real ugly and KB may not retire here (I know – another insane statement – but I guarantee he doesn’t coast out his final years like Steve Nash is doing – he wants another ring).


  42. ROBERT: The Lakers still have Kobe Bryant. I can imagine a lot of great role players flocking to L.A. for a chance to win with Kobe and Dwight in the central core of the squad. They have as good a chance as any team on getting Dwight as a free agent. Of course, the Mavs look attractive also…

    But it’s become a game-to-game basis with the Lakers these days. One game, they look terrific and the ball movement is fluid. The next game, they lay an egg. Darius mentioned “patience.” That’s what we have to be: patient.

    Unfortunately, the shortened training camp, compressed season, and lockout seems to have affected the Lakers the most with the new system and personnel turnover.


  43. I’m as much a Kobe fan as any. But, I’m tired of his one-man show and the Lakers cannot advance far if he does not get the ball to the bigs.


  44. I’m as much a Kobe fan as any. But, I’m tired of his one-man show and the Lakers cannot advance far if he and Andrew don’t synchronize