Preview & Chat: The Orlando Magic

Darius Soriano —  January 20, 2012

Records: Lakers 10-6 (6th in West), Magic 10-4 (5th in East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 101.8 (19th in NBA), Magic 107.5 (6th in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 98.5 (6th in NBA), Magic 102.0 (15th in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Matt Barnes, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Magic: Jameer Nelson, JJ Redick, Quentin Richardson, Ryan Anderson, Dwight Howard
Injuries: Lakers: Steve Blake and Derrick Caracter (both out); Magic: Hedo Turkoglu (doubtful), Jason Richardson (questionable), Daniel Orton (questionable)

I’m not going to give our normal preview today as I think J.M. and Eddy Rivera (of the great site Magic Basketball) covered a lot of ground this morning. So, instead, I offer a few bullet points of some of the things I’ll be watching closely in a game I think is quite important to the Lakers.

  • The Howard/Bynum match up is the one in lights and I’ll be watching that one closely. Both guys have been great this year and Howard has again shown that he’s the elite big man in the league with his ability to control the glass, navigate the double teams that he sees, and be the leader for his team. Bynum meanwhile has done everything the coaches have asked of him by doing his own yeoman’s work on the backboards, deterring shots in the paint, and scoring in double figures. Both will be all-stars this year and deservedly so. However, the match up I’m really watching is of the other two big men in this game – Pau Gasol and Ryan Anderson. Anderson is having a fantastic year shooting the ball and leads the league in made three pointers. His ability to stretch the floor on offense and make defenses pay for collapsing on Howard has been a major driver for Orlando’s success on that side of the ball. His PER is actually better than Howard’s and that speaks to how well he’s been playing and how much he’s grown in Orlando’s system. Pau will need to shadow Anderson closely on defense and not get sucked into the paint when Howard is going to work on Drew. If Pau’s able to maintain discipline, contest shots and make Anderson try to create off the dribble, it will go a long way towards disrupting the Magic’s O. On the other end of the floor, Pau needs to carry over last night’s performance to tonight. He must be aggressive and decisive with the ball and attack Anderson every chance he gets. Anderson is a steady defender but does nothing spectacular on that end of the floor and Pau should be able to make him work on D if he plays an attacking style.
  • The other individual match up I’ll be watching closely is Kobe on Redick. The former Dukie has expanded his game beyond being just a sniper and now is a heady ball handler that can create off the dribble and in the P&R. With Hedo likely out tonight, Kobe will likely have to defend the P&R and he too will need to be disciplined both in that action and when playing off the ball as Redick will find the gaps on the perimeter to get off his jumper. If Kobe loses contact, it can mean made three pointers and that’s the last thing the Lakers need. Kobe, meanwhile, must attack his defender tonight and not lay back so much simply taking the first available jumper that presents itself. He openly stated last night that the team has been experimenting on offense and while I encourage the diversity, he must also find a way to get his rhythm early in the game. His scoring is too important to this team’s offensive success to take a different approach. Of course he must balance his game and create for others as well, but that’s always been the case. I expect that with a weaker defender than he saw last night in front of him this evening, he’ll be better in this regard.
  • As a team the Lakers must cover the three point line. Orlando’s offense is as good as it is because they thrive on the most efficient shots in basketball – the ones taken by Howard at the rim and the ones by their shooters behind the arc. Last night the Lakers let the Heat get off from behind the line and they didn’t have the fire power to keep pace running their deliberate half court sets. Tonight, the same thing can happen if the Lakers don’t get out to shooters.
  • The Lakers must control the glass. They’ve been out-rebounded far too often in recent games and with Howard gobbling up boards, the Lakers can’t afford to let him go wild. Control the backboards to limit them to one shot and use their size advantage at other positions to create extra shots of their own.
Tonight is an important game and the Lakers need to try and salvage a split before going back to Los Angeles. The Magic will be shorthanded and even on the 2nd night of a back to back, the Lakers must bring the effort needed to get this win.

Where you can watch: 5pm start time on ESPN and KCAL. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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83 responses to Preview & Chat: The Orlando Magic

  1. 1st post baby! You know what that means.

  2. Darius: Agree that this is an important game – both from the W/L/schedule standpoint, but also from the D12 trade psychological standpoint.

    All: I saw the games, but was away from the board for a couple of days. I wish we had some of the vigor from this board on the floor !!! : ) My view: All posters points of view should be heard and tolerated. And yes – don’t be repetitive – but also don’t criticize others. If you think they are wrong – then counter them.

    Celtics: We can learn from them. They are openly admitting they want to blow it up and are actively pursuing that. How can we learn? We are NOT a championship team now (as in – no chance unless there are mass injuries to other teams IMO). We need a plan (that was for robinred). We either need to make ourselves a contender via personnel moves (everyone knows the one I want) or we need to blow it up. Staying at an $80 million payroll, with little chance of a title, is a complete nightmare which will stop us from hoisting banners for a decade.

    As everyone knows – I am a huge KB fan. However, he was not able to get us a title singlehandedly in 2005-2007 and he certainly won’t be able to do it now. He will try, if that is the only route he is given and right now I can’t fault him, If you think that we are going to gel and get significantly better if only Kobe passed a little more, then you are watching a game with which I am not familiar. We need significant change and yes that may take time (certainly between now and the ASG at a minimum). For now we need to take our medicine and it does not taste good. If this is what was meant by “let them play the games” in the pre-season discussion, then that is what we are doing : ) Enjoy : )

    And as someone else said recently: I will be a fan either way.

    In fact when I am in the 100 section, I am one of the few that is yelling and cheering. Perhaps because I am spoiled and I want a banner every year : ) I only expect one about every other year, So we are due : )

  3. The Lakers need to try to defend the Magic like the Celtics do against Howard, never double team, let Bynum try to cover him 1 on 1 and extend on all 3 point shooters. Considering the Lakers limitations defensively on the perimeter this is easier said than done (especially considering they always struggle with team that can shoot 3s) but it’s the best way to cover the Magic. Pau specifically has to be very careful on Anderson because he has been lighting teams up this season (probably one of the biggest reasons they have such a great record)

  4. it’s Ryan Anderson, not David.

  5. Darius, I hope you don’t mind me bringing this over from the last thread –

    This is off topic in terms of the game against Orlando tonight, but definitely on topic with our shooting woes this season. I went through the career stats of all of our shooters, and ALL of them are having (or nearly having) career worst years behind the arc. You read that right, not shooting below their career average, but shooting at career lows.

    Career // Previous Worst // This Season

    Barnes – 32.7 // 29.3 // 26.3
    Blake – 39.0 // 32.2 // 35.4
    Bryant – 33.8 // 25.0 // 26.4
    Fisher – 37.4 // 29.1 // 22.7
    Kapono – 43.5 // 36.8 // 26.7
    Murphy – 38.8 // 32.0 // 27.3
    Metta – 34.2 // 30.2 // 12.9

    That’s an average of more than 5% worse than their previous career worst. It’s an average of nearly 15% below their career averages.

    I disregarded any season in which any of the above shot less than 1 a game. I also disregarded Murphy’s last season in Boston/New Jersey. Blake has shot worse one year, 06-07, in which he played for Denver (34.3%) then Milwaukee (27.9%) and Kobe shot worse one year (01-02). This list obviously doesn’t include McRoberts, who is a 33% career 3 point shooter but hasn’t shot one this year and the rookies – Goudelock is 2 for 8 on the year, Morris is 2 for 3.

    My intention is not to pile on our lack of shooting, but instead to create some optimism. Unless they’ve all contracted some horrible shooting disease, they should revert back towards the mean. Hey, maybe some will even shoot better than their career average. It seems to be a lack of rhythm/cohesion/spacing. They don’t know when or where their looks are going to be coming. So that should get better as they get comfortable in the offense.

  6. We are about to see something tonight that hasn’t happened in six or seven years… Two good Centers are about to square off. In the 90?s such an encounter was hyped and eagerly awaited although common place since there were ten to fifteen good Centers in the league at any given time. But not since Shaq and Yao Ming were young and healthy have we seen two quality Centers square off. And yes I still call Howard a big man although he measured in at 6-9 and is no taller than 6-10.

    The fact tonights show is so rare makes up for the fact that Bynum and Howard would not rank in the top 4 for Centers in the 90?s. It gives us a chance to see what both can do against an actual real opponent. Does Howard put up numbers simply because he has never had to go against someone seven feet with size and strength? Does Bynum dominate only because he never has to compete against someone with any athletisism? Tonight might help us answer some of those questions.

    We all know that as constructed the Lakers cannot win a championship without a little help from Tebow. We are all waiting for some bench help amd a PG… Let alone Howard or Williams. So just for a moment lets watch basketball. Let’s sit back and enjoy an old fashion big man matchup.

  7. Anyone have a streaming link? I have no cable tv at my current location

  8. Warren, you made my night, just now as I saw a real Warren 1st post, guaranteed win folks.

  9. Game can be seen on ESPN3 tonight

  10. Quick thoughts-
    Bynum needs to learn how to play defense without fouling…

    Is there a team that is worse at not getting their feet behind the 3 point line than the Lakers? Fish is the worst culprit.

  11. Same @#$# just a different day. They hit their shots, but we can’t hit our wide open shots…

  12. From Aaron’s post: “We all know that as constructed the Lakers cannot win a championship without a little help from Tebow. ”

    Do we all realize this? At what point did we all realize this, because it must have been very recently?

    With regard to the center match up, please see my comment on the psychology of the D12 trade. This could be the game where the Magic jump the FA shark.

  13. 8 points in almost 12 minutes oO…. Omg

  14. Long time fan.. Don’t remember seeing Lakers look this bad on offense. Andrew isn’t in same universe as Howard. What’s happened to this team? First game for me and they look confused and very bad.

    Look poorly coached.

  15. The lakers are a jump shooting team without good jump shooters.

  16. 1st Quarter – 10 points. I’m very excited to get my first 1st-post loss 🙁

  17. Howard 6 pts 6 reb
    Bynum 1 pt 3 reb

  18. Ok, I’m going to post my first official dumb question of the night.

    I realize that only during the heat of battle will these team learn the new offense.

    But when the team hits a funk like this, why not run the triangle for a few trips down the floor, just to get back into a comfort/confidence zone. Most of these guys, particularly the starters, have run it for years. It’s not like they’ve forgotten how.

    I’ll go back to watching the game and keep my dumb questions to myself.

  19. Mojo @11: Yes – however soon everyone will realize this including the Magic and they won’t make the deal.

    Nikolas: If you are long time – then think the mid-90’s. The good thing is that Kobe is a lot better and more fun to watch than Nick VE.

  20. I miss Phil Jackson right now. Not a very good team.

  21. Mike Brown’s offensive schemes are pathetic. Isn’t this why LeBron got out of Dodge in the first place?

  22. this is, plain and simple, a bad team.

    there are two teams I follow closely, the Ls and the t’wolves (get the connection?), and I have to tell you: the t’wolves are a *lot* more fun to watch this year.

    p.s. – we can also see now how low the warren factor has sunk.

  23. Wow they are bad. This could be a lottery team. Turning this off and watching golf reruns.

  24. 21-24: Not very good, pathetic, bad, lottery.

    You guys are being flat out negative : ) We are still a playoff team and I would not say we are bad. It is just sad that I had to be the one to step in and say it.

  25. The offense is sucking it up right now. Stagnant and predictable. I know what Mike D’Antoni feels in NY.

    Teams w/o PGs…

  26. I am really curious as to what is going on with this team. They should not be this bad. Granted Fish and MWP have fallen off the map, but still. They just look completely out of whack. Any thoughts on this?

  27. I have never seen a Lakers team play this poorly. I truly am without words to describe it!

  28. Sorry for the double post, but I also wonder how their three point shooting has gone so wrong. (SBDunks thanks for the break down because I was wondering about that). It doesn’t make sense, they are getting good looks.

  29. I hope Lakers will be burn and phoenix will rise from the ashes!
    Missing a decent point guard (Steve Blake) really made a big difference.

  30. They just look completely out of whack. Any thoughts on this?

    Thet just have a lot of really bad players and do not have an NBA-caliber backcourt. They were slipping by mediocre teams when Kobe was scoring 40. Against good teams, they just don’t have it. They look particularly bad in this game, without Blake, they may be tired from last night, and because Howard wants to make a statement tonight, I think.

  31. @VoR – I think it has to have something to do with confidence. You can just tell by the stroke none of them are taking shots expecting them to go in besides Kobe.

  32. Scoring and shooting are down all over the league. In the Lakers case, the problems are exacerbated by the lack of a penetrator, and the fact that their only pure shooter, Kapono, is essentially unplayable.

  33. This is a despicable offensive team.

    The recent moves of the front office in terms of evaluating talent and projecting regresssion in production border on neglectful.

    There seems to be no reasonable or innovative thinking with regard to finding useful players.

    Their ‘dont rock the boat’ philosphy (resign Fisher, walton etc) and shortsighted trade of Odom without considering all options is killing them.

  34. Do you think the trade on Howard for Bynum or Howard for Gasol will change the Lakers offense? Don’t think of one side only guys. Think also the other side. In doesn’t mean that if we trade players the offense will be better.

    Just my thoughts…

  35. Kobe is 6/10, and the rest of the team is 5/28. Fisher is 3/7, so everybody else is 2/21.

  36. VoR: To add to robinred’s wisdom: We are slow, old, and this season’s packed in schedule makes that devasting with all the B2B road games etc. Wait until we play 8/9 on the road as I have warned.

    Kapono: Come on – have some simpathy – he just had twins – he needs a few more weeks off.

  37. ^ I agree. Besides I would never do that coz as is we are stagnant – how much more without Pau.

    Dwight gets a good peek at his future in this game. And humor me if he told you he doesn’t like it on here.

  38. This team sucks, it’s like watching a bad football team, they can’t score. Call me when they make some trades…867-5309. I am done wasting my time.

  39. The worst two things about the game so far:

    (1) They are wasting what has been a fairly efficient game from Kobe so far (15 points on 10 shots) (3 Asst/2 TO–ok so not all good news)

    (2) The team is getting wide open looks from everywhere and just cannot make any of them

  40. Slow dancing on a burning ship….

  41. WOW! The sad part about this game is that it’s not as if the Magic are playing exceptionally well and they’re still blowing us out. Pau shooting jumpers as if he’s a 2 guard, MWP giving us nothing (can Ebanks get a look?) & Drew can’t remain on the court. This team looks defeated and I’m not just talking about as far as this game. The FO better get on their job.

  42. Warren, maybe this year we ALL should avoid using you as the 1st post, I guess that will not help the Lakers this season, and I am not sure what will.

  43. Robin and Isolate – I just don’t know. It is really weird.

    The problem is really simple right now – they are all (except Kobe) missing makable shots. From there it just spirals and they stop rebounding, make bad passes, etc. I have no clue how everyone of them can be struggling so much with their shots. They need a serious mojo infusion.

  44. Hey Darius: This is getting bad, some are watching golf, others are done + want a phone call after trades. Just want you to rest assured that I will still be posting no matter how bad this gets this year : )

  45. Dwight Howard has 15 rebounds, Lakers have 20 at the half.

  46. After tonight can we please stop even putting Bynum in the same breath as Howard? Anyone who watches basketball knows Bynum isn’t even close as a player.
    It goes like this best centers in the league:

    1. Dwight Howard
    .2. Bynum and everyone else

  47. I don’t blame Mitch for the current team. He did get us CP3 for 11 minutes. No way we could have known Odom would explode like that. We just have a Triangle team but a non-Triangle system. Can’t really do much about that, but if I’m Mitch, you really have to make some moves. I don’t know if the Magic will take Bynum. At some point we can’t hold the team hostage for a possible Howard trade that is looking less likely. I’m sorry to be a pessimist but we are just looking terrible and have no energy whatsoever.

  48. Pau misses a shot because of soft post play and then allows Anderson a 3 in transition due to a lack of hustle. Sums up his game for tonight

  49. @robert very well said overall. This team as currently constructed is a fringe playoff team -which is the worst place to be in the NBA. Not competing for a title and not getting elite young talent in the draft. If they cannot pull off a trade for D12 and a decent PG before the deadline they need to go into total rebuilding mode.

    Unfortunately I think the front office will be reluctant to rebuild because kobe will not tolerate wasting away his last years at an elite level on a bad team. His contract is simply too large to trade (which is frankly part of the problem because between him and pau they take up the entire cap) so in that scenario I could see kobe asking to be amnestied and end up on a team with cap room (Dallas?). And no I’m not dumping on Kobe. He’s my fav player of all time and a top 5 all time IMHO.

  50. Kobe is making great passes to open shooters, but nobody can knock them down

  51. For all the credit that Mike Brown is getting for turning the Lakers into a very good defensive team, when does it become fair to point the finger at how WOEFULLY BAD this team is offensively?

    Take away the Kobe explosions this year and how absolutely horrific does this team look on the offensive end?

  52. Lakers8884: Your logic is flawed.

    When you are about to lose the best center in the league before prime age, the 2nd best center in the league before prime age is the best possible scenario.

  53. Howard is showing that he is better than Bynum. He is also only 2/8 from the floor himself, showing that he is David Robinson or Shaq, either.

    IOW–what we already knew.

  54. Can Bynum get some touches. We’re not even looking in his direction.

  55. Warren my logic is flawed how? Not once did I say that Bynum isn’t a great consolation prize to losing Howard. I have been saying that since Dallas swept LA in the playoffs last year.

    There is nothing illogical about what I said at all. Howard is the best center in the NBA and thats a fact. The NBA does not have many true great centers league wide, but anyone watching this can see Bynum isn’t in Howard’s class. People only like to look at the offensive side of the ball when comparing Bynum/Howard but Howard is there on both sides of the floor consistently (that’s why he’s the defensive player of the year consistently). He may not be shooting well tonight but he’s dominating the boards and blocking shots, which is equally as important as scoring. Also an underrated aspect of Howard’s game is his passing ability (especially out of a double team)

  56. 50. But it’s undisputable that Howard is far greater than Bynum. It’s like saying the 2nd best ipad product is 2nd best, though the next ipad knockoff is light years behind. Bynum is 2nd best only because the NBA sorely lacks any other great centers. Put Bynum (today’s Drew) in context with other centers 5 years ago, is Drew even in the top 5? I’m glad we have Bynum rather than not have him, and he was a good pick at #10, but please, let’s just be honest.

  57. Amen DY, this league has turned into a guard oriented game. And most bigs that come into the league are stretch bigs that can shoot.

  58. Paul L: Thanks + Agreed on the top 5 all time (and hopefully – climbing – and always a Laker)

  59. Without a system like the Triangle, you need a more balanced team. We just need the FO to get us the right balance once again. Kobe also needed someone like CP3 (which Mitch brilliantly recognized and achieved for 11 minutes) that he respects both mentally and physically. Kobe respects Fisher from a mental standpoint, but Fisher is way past his physical prime.

  60. Something has got to change. Players, or coach. I say both. DY, great point about Paul. What could and should have been. Makes me sick that Sternie took our season away from us. Paul would have given us that edge and quickness in the backcourt.

  61. Bryant, c’mon man, just ignore your mates and shoot us back into the game. Can someone pls pass me the panic button?..thanks.

  62. Nice Kobe, get a T, miss a steal and your man dunks, force a 3 pointer. 6-0 run

  63. 70 points… 10 points in the first….. wow. Terrible.

  64. The Andrew I see is no better then Kamen or Nene. Orlando would not trade Davis for him. He looks either out of shape or kind of lazy. Is he injured?

    So Mitch K has been holding off making any moves because he thinks Magic will trade AB for Howard?

    Really? Plan B Mitch K.

  65. LA has played, um, poorly this evening, and that is charitable. Bynum has not shown up very well at all.

    But, man, Howard has gotten good treatment from the whistle at both ends in this game. Drew has to be wondering if he is allowed to play “D” anymore after these last two games.

  66. Is it Fisher’s defensive strategy to allow Jameer to run past him to the rim every time? (serious question).

    For the love of god, please take Kobe out. Nothing good can come out of it.

  67. Wow Fisher has taken the 2nd most shots on the team and he can not shoot at all.

    If this is Brown ball this team might not make the 8th spot.

    Brown is offense challenged. Who hired this guy?

  68. Who would have thought at the beginning of the year that an injury to Steve Blake would be so critical. He wasn’t blowing people away, but when he was in with the bench, they were at least getting something out of the second unit. Now. Zip.

  69. Mind crime. Laker bench is 30 th in league in scoring. With Blake they were 29th.

    Missing your point.

  70. It’s embarrassing watching our guys shoot vs their guys. With the exception of a few players, the rest of our team has no business even sniffing an NBA court. How they even got D1 scholarships is beyond me. The majority of our players should be asking me if I want fries with my burger, not getting paid millions to play in the NBA.

    Once again, a pathetic offfensive performance. As robinred has said many times, the problem is simply lack of talent on this team. It’s as easy as that. I’m tired of hearing “we’re a work in progress” or “we need practice time to adjust to a new system” and other BS excuses. I swear, some fans pull lame excuses out of their as* as if they were fresh $20 bills! Here’s a newsflash. Every other team is in the same boat with regards to practicing and a lack of a training camp!

    Seriously, how bad of an offensive coach is MB?! New system or not, these aren’t 8 year old kids. The coaches and players are grown men getting paid millions, so figure it the f*ck out! And BTW, when you have a wide open 15-footer without a defender within 10 feet and you still brick it, that has nothing to do with the “system” or “chemistry”. That is pure lack of freakin’ talent!

  71. Brown needs to go. He has no idea what offensive sets to run. Sure, he’s a defensive mastermind. But his offense. Sucks.

  72. Don’t you think there is a reason why Fisher was left alone for so many shots? I don’t think Brown will go. He has a multi year contract, and if the Buss’ cost-effective mode is for real, they won’t fire Brown and pay him close to $20 mil on top of paying another large contract for the new coach.

    Need to give Brown at least a point guard.

  73. Lakers fans may not want to admit this but it has to be said: You trade Gasol and Bynum for Howard and you do it ASAP.

    Tonight: Bynum + Gasol = 23 points 22 rebounds and 2 blocks combined.

    Howard: 21 points, 23 rebounds and 1 block.

    Yes this depletes the Lakers front court depth but at this point something drastic needs to happen because this team is a first or second round exit in the playoffs depending upon the matchup.

    More importantly this is about the future after Kobe. You can rebuild around Howard because people want to play with him, he is a proven commodity (see Deron Williams). People are not jumping at the chance to play with Bynum or Gasol. Pau has maybe 2 good years left in him, and with Bynum’s injury history he is a shaky foundation to build a franchise around. If Orlando wants both of their bigs for Howard, you do it and you do it immediately otherwise this franchise will face a tough road ahead. if you can get a guy like Redick or Anderson in addition, that makes taking Hedo’s contract more bearable.

  74. Well, the Lakers actually won the second half – but 44 minutes from Kobe and 41 from Pau is going to kill those guys before March.

    38 % shooting! – Sorry but from what I saw, that is not on Brown – there were a lot of open looks that did not go down.

    Other than the top three, Blake and Barnes, Lakers aren’t really getting anything from the rest of the team. Not going to get down on Fish – guy is playing like a warrior, just doesn’t have the tools anymore.

    It will be really interesting to see how, Kobe, Brown and management each react to this adversity.

  75. lakers outrebounded for the 7th straight game15 off. rebounds and drew got dominated AGAIN.

    mike brown is killing kobe 44 mins. after being down 15 going in to the 4th. but we don’t have abackup and kobe’s a warrior.

    lakers need to shake things up

  76. Kobe was feeding Fish way too much. Was that MB’s “offense plan”? Or Kobe simply wanted to give the ball to Fish for another brick?

    I’m puzzled…

  77. Have the Clippers game on. Minnesota announcer just pointed out that the Clippers last year were 30th–last in TO rate. This year, they are 2nd.

  78. Simply put this team as presently constructed is unwatchable. I am fortunate to have access to season tickets and attend a lot of Laker Games, however this year looking at this team I do not want to waste my time attending any games. I root for the Lakers to turn it around but they must make some moves. They cannot justify such high prices for tickets with this sub-standard team. This is a boring dull pathetic team. It is a shame but I would rather watch Food Network than watching the Lakers get blown out by 20 on a nightly basis. I do give Mitch an A for effort for the aborted Chris Paul deal but if they cannot get D12 they must get some type of young Super Star to co-exist with Kobe.

  79. Lakers FG% by quarter

    1st 4-21 19.05% 0-3 0.00% from 3
    2nd 7-17 41.18% 1-5 20.00% from 3
    3rd 8-19 42.11% 1-6 16.67% from 3
    4th 10-19 52.63% 4-6 66.67% from 3
    Game 29-76 38.16% 6-20 30.00% from 3

    Lakers shot better as the game progressed but could not overcome their terrible first quarter. They had some open looks but could not convert. The team’s execution on offense is just off.

  80. Arenas is available free. But he’s also a 30 year old player.

  81. I’ve been saying for weeks that this team will not contend this year. Learn to live with that fact this year people.

    I expect the Lakers to try and make big moves this offseason – one of which will be getting a real NBA coach with the cajones to make KB sit out when the game is beyond reach.

  82. Lakers =-(

  83. Wonder how Shaq, C-Webb and the rest of these ‘Media Heads’ feel now about proclaiming Drew to be the best 5 in the league. And for all those who state religiously that Drew’s Offensive game is more refined and polished than Howard’s, please detect where. I’ve always felt that this line of thinking was just coming from us Lakers fans. Especially over the last couple of yrs, where anyone can see, over that time span, that Howard has improved on the Offensive side of the court. I would say that they’re pretty much even. Defensively, it’s not even debateable do to Howard’s Tenacity & Superior Athleticism.

    With that being said, in no way am I bashing Drew. Do to all of the injuries, he hasn’t been able to progress at the pace that he should. Seems as if he’s been spending the same amount of time Rehabbing from said injuries as practicing/working on his game. He’s also not the same athletically as he was b4 the injuries, which hampers him on both ends of the floor. Would have loved to see him get more opportunities 2nite. 1st half understandable (foul issues), but he only picked up 2 fouls in the 2nd half (1 coming late in the 4th) and still was not utilized enough. If he wasn’t grabbing an offensive rebound, he wasn’t seeing the rock. Coaching staff has to be held accountable.