Lakers/Jazz: Fourth-Quarter Collapse

Rey Moralde —  February 4, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 87, Jazz 96
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 103.6, Jazz 114.3
True Shooting %: Lakers 53.3%, Jazz 52.5%

The Good:
For most of the first 3 quarters, Andrew Bynum looked dominant. Nobody from the Jazz seemed capable of stopping his offense. He finished with another monster game with 21 points, 12 boards, and 2 blocks. We can’t ignore Pau Gasol’s production also… and while he took a team-leading 20 shots, he did finish with an even better statline (24 points, 16 rebounds, 2 blocks). He noticeably shortarmed a lot of his shots (including his freethrows) but, nevertheless, he had a good game, overall.

It was nice to see the Lakers’ Big 3 all get over 20 points. They also got to the line quite a bit (30 freethrow attempts by the Lakers compared to 20). They kept the game close for the first three quarters (biggest lead during that time frame was 6 by the Lakers). But the game is played with four quarters (insert very played-out LeBron James joke here).

The Bad:
Lakers shot 38.7%. Bad.

The Lakers lost their composure. We can all look at Mike Brown getting ejected after that play where Earl Watson pickpocketed Pau Gasol from behind (which looked more like a tackle). It got the Energy Solutions Arena crowd into it and the Lakers succumbed to a 16-1 Jazz run spearheaded by Watson himself (who had 8 points and 11 assists overall). The Lakers couldn’t execute in the fourth (heck, in the second half) like they did in the first half… and they couldn’t make a shot to save their lives.

While the Lakers did play well enough to keep the game close in those three quarters, Kobe Bryant looked like he was doing more bad than good during that time frame. He worked way too hard trying to get up a shot early and had two careless fouls in the third quarter. His aggressiveness seemed to work against him rather than for him. But it didn’t seem like much of a factor at the time as the game was close.

Late offensive boards killed any sign of a Laker comeback in the waning seconds. The Jazz beat up the Lakers on the boards, 50-42. And well… the Jazz, despite the Lakers’ big men getting big numbers, beat up the Lakers inside. Al Jefferson had 18 points and 13 boards while Paul Millsap had 16 and 13 to keep up with Bynum and Gasol.

Andrew Goudelock, who has been pretty good over the last few games, finished 1 for 5 (4 points). His misses were not pretty. And, by the way, can we stop with the Mini-Mamba nickname? Please? It’s horrendous.

Also, the Lakers only had 12 dimes (Jazz had 25). So much for ball movement.

Oh, yes. I know I haven’t mentioned that they got in late (4 A.M.). But it really shouldn’t be an excuse.

The Ugly:
As mentioned, Earl Watson led the Jazz to a 16-1 run early in the 4th. The Lakers didn’t make a field goal until 5:56 left when Kobe made the first of back-to-back 3-pointers.

We were thinking in the past few games that the bench may be all right since Goudelock has been carrying the load. With Goudelock not producing, the Laker bench only scored 12 points. It looks way worse when the Jazz bench scored a whopping 49 points. So as mentioned by fellow writer Zephid… if Goudelock goes, so do the Lakers? Pass me the alc… apple juice.

The Play Of The Game:
Bynum had the pass of his life when, after he hustled to get the ball after a Derek Fisher miss, he threw a no-look, over-the-shoulder pass underneath to Pau Gasol for the dunk. It was really pretty and it was nice to see the All-Star starter (YES! ALL-STAR STARTER!) make that kind of play.

Lakers go to Philadelphia next to continue on their six-game road trip. But the Lakers… well, they’re so Jekyll and Hyde. One game, they look like a pretty awesome squad. The next, they’ll lay an egg. I wonder which team we’re going to get against the Sixers.

At least, they won against Denver?

Rey Moralde


to Lakers/Jazz: Fourth-Quarter Collapse

  1. I have to blame the refs for starting this, Matt Barnes said it too. If they’d called that foul when Pau got hammered, Coach Brown wouldn’t have been ejected and we would have, most likely, won. So this game I blame mostly on the refs for missing a key foul


  2. That’s like blaming the guy who delivered the beer to the liquor store for an accident caused by drunk driving.

    Horrible logic.

    If you want to blame someone, blame someone more direct. Mike Brown helped ignite the crowd which, in turn, fueled the Jazz team even more when they were already rolling.


  3. Yesterday I predicted today as a lose. Monday could be worse. A very fast, deep team with a excellent coach. Add Kobe showing off for Philly booing fans and you are 1-2.

    Lakers back in 7th which us really what they are. Lack of talent only works if your Popavich. Brown is not a prime time coach who can make this team better.


  4. I think we really have to keep things in perspective in this crazy season. It’s not just the lakers who have been inconsistent but it’s been just about everyone. Teams look good for a few games and then awful for a few. If we can go 4-2 on this trip it will be a good one.

    Right now is the time all the GM’s are beginning to talk trades. They won’t materialize until probably after the all star game but they will be coming. I am sure Mitch has been on the phone a lot.

    We already have a lot going for us. No one in the league can match up to the Pau and Andrew combo. And Kobe is making a case for another MVP award. Now If we can land one or two impact players for the 2nd unit it could be huge, especially after Blake gets back. I read that JR Smith likes the idea of playing in Staples. More then anything else we need a guy that can create his own shot and JR can certainly do that. He could be a solid addition to the 2nd unit. And the good news is he will be available very soon.


  5. Players need to hit their shots.

    Plain & simple.


  6. Random question – How the heck do you calculate true shooting percentages? I’ve tried two different formulas and I come up with different results. Frustrating

    PTS * 50 / (FTA * .44 + FGA) ?

    PTS / (2 * (FGA + 0.44 * FTA))?

    My head hurts. LOL. Please help Darius.


  7. Sorry Michael it’s not that simple. We have 3 very good players and nothing else.

    Think hard about this. Starters
    Fisher last in NBA in point and percentage.
    Metta last in NBA in points and percentage.
    Bench last in NBA in scoring.

    We may have tbe best 3 but we have also the WORST other 9. Our 9 is worst the Charlotte, Cleveland, Sac. Look it up. Do the numbers.

    If Kobe goes down we are 10th. If Pau or Anfrew goes down we are out of the playoffs. Is this what we Laker fans deserve for making Jerry Buss a billionaire? Not that long ago Jerry had to sell the Kings because he couldn’t make payroll with the Lakers. I know I was there. Now look the most valuable NBA franchise.

    Now we have a .500 or so 8th seed team.

    Explain that because I don’t get it!


  8. 4,

    Michael, I go with what you’ve ascribed. Bring in some veterans who are not afraid to shoot. JR maybe a head case but he could be a spark plug for offense.

    This team defies the odd, last night everyone expect them to lose, they won and tonight, they’re supposed to win against a rebuilding Utah, they lost. When MBrown went to early showers IMO he was indirectly sending a message to his players, “c’mon guys wake up, it’s the last quarter, I’ll sacrifice myself.” Well, it is the other team that woke up. Bynum failed to defend the 0.6 sec., fisher let his guard, Bruin Earl went beserk, in the end even Kobe got tired of carrying this Lakers. Mr. R. R. Magellan was also right not to refer to Goldilock as mini-what?he’s on a learning curve but he can shoot straight. As a PG this is no longer Collegiate where he has the luxury to dribble the ball to death.


  9. 5) I agree 100%. Someone outside of the big 3 have to make shots.

    We didn’t have ball movement. Metta is a washed up player. So is Murphy and Kapono.

    Bynum was a beast tonight I like the way he’s been playing. he’s producing with his opportunities.

    I blame Mike Brown for this loss though. It was a 5 pt game with 8 mins left and he got tossed. Refs were swallowing their whistle again, but this was an important game you can’t get thrown out.

    Once again Lakers take 1 step forward after last night and Mike Brown escorts them 2 steps back.


  10. 4)
    Get this man an award. Seriously. I wish everyone else was as smart as this guy. People… One more aberage player at the PG spot and we are in the NBA Finals. Everyone relax.


  11. Meanwhile the Clippers have a legit contender. And this looks like 05 all over again with Rudy T.


  12. That’s why a prime time franchise in the 2nd biggest markets dosen’t hire coaches with small market experience that were fired.

    I hope Jerry Buss was watching the game with his poker buddies and was completely embarrassed when Brown turned tbe Lakers into a bush league franchise with a out of control actions.

    Look there kids and teens! See how the coach of the Lakers acts. You can do that also. Yea.


  13. Actually Ken I don’t agree with your assessment of the team. Yes we are weak at the point. I think Blake should start when he comes back. Lets face it, we don’t need a ball dominant PG. The offense runs through Kobe, he is our facilitator. We need a shooter to compliment him and Blake is decent. As for Metta. He came in fat and out of shape but he is playing his way back into shape. He has been playing very good D and that’s what we need from him.

    My thought is if we can get an impact scorer like a JR Smith, it will do wonders for the bench. Pau or Andrew are generally on the floor with the 2nd unit so already your center slot is better then anyone else’s 2nd unit in the league. Team them someone else who can score and suddenly that unit looks a lot better. Matt Barnes is a good role player and a slasher. He would also have an easier time scoring with the addition of another bench scorer. McRoberts is a good energy guy and I do like G-lock. Didn’t play well tonight but he is a rookie and thats going to happen. If we can pick up JR we could probably even pick up a little more depth with the TPE.

    As for Kobe going down we would have no chance? You’re right. But then the Heat couldn’t win a ring without Lebron. The bulls wouldn’t make it without rose. What would OKC’s chances be without Durant? You can say that about just about everyone.

    One or two guys and I think we are right there.


  14. Check on Smith’s past. Makes Rodman look like a saint and Andrew best driver of the year. Wikapedia his past and then tell me this is what you want around Drew and the rooks.

    Why do you think Denver wanted him out if town.

    Not what this team needs, trust me on that.


  15. Coach Brown regressed the Laker offense from Cleveland back to San Antonio–but it looked more like the Cleveland 3 than the high/low bigs from San Antonio of yore–and it sort of worked–but not for Kobe.

    Kobe had a pretty terrible game (26-1-1), with 11 points from the free throw lane–4 fouls and 4 turnovers. Gasol was sparkling (24-16-4), and Bynum (21-12-1) was truly dominant–his lone assist being one of the finest plays he has ever made as a Laker.

    Even though MWP was less than thrilling as a SF, Matt Barnes was worse–missing so many threes that Kopono was called in–and he missed as well. Believe it or not, some fans are already calling for Luke Walton back into the rotation!

    Fisher clearly left his Mojo in Denver. Goudelock played a mistake prone near pointless game–like the rookie he is, against less than stellar opponents.

    Blake was sorely missed.

    But the Lakers held their own until (you need to have seen it): Coach Brown was embarrassingly ejected.

    The crowd was not amused. The Jazz players suddenly were enthused–and CJ Watson would have outplayed Derrick Rose down the stretch this night.

    Laker offense had already reverted to the old Cleveland style and Kobe provided his usual 1 on 4 pattern of 4th quarter end of game heroics.

    Needless to say, the Lakers were toast.


  16. I can see our future!

    Clippers 2nd

    Lakers 7th

    First round match and a whole lot of fun.

    Something to look forward to?


  17. Nothing at all new here. You are going to lose a lot of games when you have the worst point guard in the league. Our starter was absolutely, positively, and thoroughly outplayed by the backup PG of the Jazz. That’s almost impossible to overcome, particularly when you pair him with one of the worst small forward rotations in the NBA.

    With this roster, if the Lakers make the playoffs (something very much in doubt) they will have little chance of getting out of the first round.


  18. If the Lakers got Smith, they would probably basically give him Shannon Brown’s old job, and have Kobe play some 3. Kapono would probably get cut, and Barnes and MWP would get less burn.


  19. Metta was a head case and so was Barnes. Kobe will not take any crap. He would fall in line. Besides if we don’t get him the Heat, Magic, Knicks or Bulls will. Those are the other teams showing interest.


  20. The way a coach defends his team against blatantly biased NBA officiating, is to get ejected from the game. Ejections spotlight poor referees.

    Players were probably griping about the referees in Denver, then to turn around and have similar swallowing of the whistle, less than 24 hours later. Mike Brown was right for standing up for his guys.

    Monday, the Lakers should come out ready to play in a hostile environment. I’ve always subscribed to the notion that rookies and new players cannot truly digest what it means to be a Laker, until they go on an extended road trip.

    I am still surprised that the Lakers have gone on this road trip without acquiring some help at pg, or players for the bench that can score.

    Sad to say, but the Lakers are no longer the must see team from Los Angeles; it’s the Clippers.

    Hopefully, the Lakers will be able to last until after the ASG, in order to get players. If the Lakers are incapable of going at least 3-3 on this road trip, any addition or subtraction of players will be a moot point for this season.


  21. While I think the season isn’t lost I’m starting to come around to Ken’s points. Mike Brown hasn’t a good first impression with the Lakers fans, we have 2 of the weakest positions PG, SF in the league( that can be changed), and our bench is turds. Jim Buss may have bit off more than he can chew. Things look very similiar to 05 not good


  22. Chearn
    Rookies new players and rookie coaches.

    That wasen’t Brown protecting his players. That was Brown out of control, losing a game and looking like a fool.

    Suspension for sure.


  23. We had the toughest schedule in the west coming out of the gate. We had a new coaching staff, system and 5 new players. We got our 1st in season practice a week ago. Our best point guard went down to injury and we are playing a guy thats never been a point guard before. And now we find ourselves in this huge hole a whopping 1 1/2 games out of the 2nd seed!! We’re doomed!


  24. I’ve been going back and forth on the sagacity of Mike Brown’s two technicals and subsequent ejection – should he show support for his guys by getting tossed, or should he stay on the bench, yell at the refs, and then tell his players to play through the calls? Obviously, the former turned out to be a disaster in this instance. A number of players on the team complain too much already, sometimes hurting the team by lagging in transition while trying to catch the ref’s eye. For this reason, I’ve settled on the opinion that instead of getting himself ejected, Brown should have made his point to the officials less dramatically, and told his team to play through the calls.

    Just like the inconsistent performance of almost every NBA team this season, the shortened and accelerated schedule is going to wreak havoc on the performance of the referees. They’re going to be terrible, and up to the point of the non-call on the Watson “steal,” the game had actually been refereed pretty evenly. It wasn’t like the refs were killing us all night. The Lakers were getting to the line more than the Jazz were. Basically, Brown blew up over ONE CALL, and cost his team any chance of winning the game – a tough game at high altitude, and the second game of a back-to-back, both at high altitude. All of his team’s effort got thrown away by the coach because of one bad non-call. This team does not have the personnel (4-12) to overcome a panicky coach in a close game on the road, in front of rabidly anti-Laker fans.


  25. Michael H,

    This team has nine guys over 30, is built around a 33-year-old superstar, is 30M over the cap, will be way over the cap next year, and is not championship-caliber. That is what people are talking about.
    Whether one is in the Robert camp (the Lakers need a star) or the Aaron camp (the Lakers just need a better PG and/or a backcourt upgrade like JR Smith) the team needs to make roster improvements. The practice time issue might make a marginal difference, but that’s it. More practice time won’t make Murphy, Kapono, Fisher et al better players than what most opponents have 4-9.

    Similarly, Steve Blake coming back will help a little, but in reality, Blake is a Grade-C+ backup. Most NBA teams have backups as good as Blake, to say nothing of their starters.


  26. re Don Ford, #161 in the previous thread:
    “(Sigh) The Lakers have turned into the Dodgers.

    Kershaw/Kemp = Kobe/Gasol/Bynum

    No one else on either team.”

    You’re forgetting about the awesome Kenley Jansen, but yes, the Lakers have become the Dodgers. The difference is that Mitch Kupchak has turned things around in the past, while Ned Colletti is mind-numbingly stupid in his decision-making, and is a ridiculous buffoon as well.


  27. Robinred

    Never said this is currently a championship quality team at this point. I think we could be with a couple of decent additions. Yes Blake is average at best but how many teams can run out a Kobe, Pau and Bynum? You can’t field a star at every position. The key is complimenting the stars. If Blake continues to shoot the way he was, he’s enough because in essence Kobe runs the offense.

    A 2nd unit scorer, like a JR Smith would go a long way in fixing the 2nd unit. The only reason Murphy is playing ahead of McRoberts is because he can shoot. Bring in another scorer and McRoberts who I feel is a good bench player is back in the rotation. And we probably cut Kapano as an added bonus. And it opens up slashing lanes for Barnes to do his thing.

    My point is I believe we are good enough now to stay in striking distance until upgrades can be made. I also believe that those upgrades will be found. I just don’t believe it’s all doom and gloom.


  28. Kobe and Pau have played heavy minutes every game that can’t bode well for the team. Our bench was outscored by 37. Bad sign when we rely on a rookie for major contributions. I don’t think the Lakers have had 1 highlight dunk this season. Need some athletes. I want to know who pulled the trigger on the Lamar trade that has killed us

    25) and the clippers have turned into the Angels. big signings and a deep team


  29. One other thing. Defense wins rings and we are already one of the best. Add a little more scoring punch and we will be fine.


  30. I miss Lamar…


  31. bla bla bla…

    We just need to hit our open shots, just like every team does.

    Wide open? Money!

    Contested? Ok to miss.

    But wide open? Needs to be MONEY!!!


  32. 30) Haven’t hit our open shots for about 20 out of 24 games. It’s not a blip anymore it’s a trend. Kapono’s miss, Barnes miss, Murphy miss those haven’t gone down all year. We shouldn’t expect them too now or better yet when it really counts. playoffs


  33. Magic Phil @30 –

    Well said.


  34. You all know you did not expect this game to be close in the 4th in Utah as the second game in a back-to-back coming from Denver. It was actually surprising the Lakers kept the game that close for that long, especially since our bench decided to stay in Denver another night.

    The Mitch/FO-bashers here seem to constantly forget one thing. Few trades will be made league-wide prior to beginning of March. Half of nearly every team’s roster cannot be dealt until March 1st, the first day that newly-signed free agents can be traded. Mitch may simply be waiting for this date to pull off an already-agreed-to deal.

    Now, if our team looks the same on March 16th (the day after the trade deadline), then feel free to get your pitchforks out. For now, sip some chamomile tea and apply a warm compress to the forehead.


  35. I have seen D-Leaugue players who shoot better than our so called shooters. I dont know what is happening to these “shooters” is there some kind of virus at the locker room that affects their shooting that they cant even make Free Throws.


  36. People who say the Lakers just need to hit their shots must be forgetting that most of the Lakers can’t shoot. Kobe, MWP (Ron Artest), and to a lesser extent Matt Barnes, are scorers not pure shooters. Fish has always been a situational shooter. Blake, Kapono, and Murphy are all shooters but Kapono is notorious for getting run off the 3 point line and taking long 2’s that he tends to miss. Murphy has been pretty much washed up since his injuries and nolonger has any lift on his shots. In addition, both Murphy and Kapono are HUGE defensive liabilities. That leaves Walton (don’t make me laugh), the rookies, and the forgotten (Ebanks). None of them are shooters.

    The only person who I think should be shooting better than he has in Pau. He is missing shots inside 10 feet. To hell with the occassional 3 pointer; he is rushing and short-arming bunnies and chip shots. To make it worse, he is never in rebounding position for those misses.

    JR Smith will not be a panecea for the shooting percentage because he is like Kobe. What he would add is someone who can actually take his player off the dribble and create shots for his team mates on the rare occassion that he chooses to pass.


  37. Many of us have not been happy with this roster for months. We have never thought that adding a journeymen or 2 was going to make the team a contender. If u think the season to date perf has changed that – then u r watching a diff team. I do think we can “improve” by adding players at the 1+3, but we will not be serious title contenders. With our payroll, the adds are 2nd tier, +/or have serious baggage. The FO options are limited, and if u think they can pull a rabbit out of the hat, while keeping the Big 3 intact, u are dreaming. I envy u to some extent, because dreaming is better than the nightmare of this reality.


  38. Robin Red right on the money.

    FYI I spoke to Swen Nater Thursday who is in town from Washington. Also agrees that Andrew for Howard dosen’t change this team. Thinks AB is more a offensive threat.

    Mitch waiting for that shoe to drop is a excuse! Lakers no longer want to spend money hence the LO deal and non-use of his $9 just like the Sasha $5. It’s all over Laker fans. Buying the best team has become Jimmy Buss’s Money Ball.

    I heard he watches that movie every night before he falls asleep counting his money.


  39. No Laker fan is happy with the current Laker season. However, we are far from the only team playing very inconsistent ball. The key is to look at those teams doing very well this year. They are all teams that, pretty much, played together last year. Any team that changed systems or major players is struggling right now.

    I agree with michael h. @22 & 26. I know it is asking a lot, but we need to hold our venom for the front office, even while we continue our criticism.


  40. Michael H: On 01/29 u made a good post for which many complimented u. An excerpt:

    “We can’t let the uncertainty linger until the trade deadline. Or we could find ourselves not only out of contention but out of the playoffs all together.”

    Sounds correctly ominous. What has changed?


  41. Guys let’s stop guessing!

    Do the math.
    1-Phil leaves. Hire much cheaper coach.
    2-let Sasha $5 million TE expire.
    3- Attempt trade for Pau/LO save $10million
    4-Guve away KO for $9 mill TE.
    5-Don’t use KO tPTE.
    6-Majestic fans think ewe are waiting for Howard.
    7-No Howard to LA now to late for moves.
    8-Team filled with bad contacts and bad players.
    9-Dodger bids go as high as 2 billion.
    10-Lakers named most valuable NBA team.
    11-Mitch K leaving end of year.
    12-All quite from Jeanne and Jerry B
    13-Jimmy B loves horse racing not basketball.

    What does that add up to boys and girls as 8 billions dollar bids are driving around town for the Dodgers. 7 groups with a pile of money will be looking for another team to buy.

    It’s as clear as the large Italian nose on my face.


  42. Sorry for stupid iPad typing errors.

    S/b KO not KO
    S/b TE. Trade exception not tPTE.

    You get the idea in spite of my finger problems.

    Lakers are worth more today with new cable deal and Dodger bids then they will be for the next 10 years. Only thing that trumps pride of ownership is a giant trailer full of money. Don’t expect any major moves this year as clearly this team is for sale. It is what it us and we are what we are. A 6th or 7th seed in tbe West.


  43. Kobe identified the issue after the game when he said that the Lakers are “old and slow.” The league has changed. The contenders are no longer aging teams like the Celtic teams the Lakers battled in 2 finals, or one dimensional teams like the Magic team they beat for the title.

    These days, it is young, fast, and athletic teams with point guards (or, in Miami, wings) who push the tempo. Against these teams it will be extremely hard for any half court team to consistently win, particularly one with an old and slow PG. Sadly, what once made the Lakers dominant (two 7-footers) now makes them vulnerable, because even with Goudelock running the point they are forced to play at a slow tempo to wait for their big men to make it down the floor. This, as much as any defensive improvement is why Dwight Howard would be an upgrade over Bynum.

    As long as Mike Brown insists on starting MWP the Lakers will have one of the slowest starting units in NBA history. Tough to win in today’s NBA with that…


  44. Ken: Agree with much @41 As for “Majestic” : ) I await the D12 trade, because it gives me some hope, and while it does not solve all r issues, it does at least give us a star – post Kobe. If we do not get D12, I will prob join u in the fully pessimistic camp, and then this leads to even more unpleasant discussion. As I have told Darius, I am 2 much of an “optimist” for that right now : )


  45. Not sure how many of you expected the Lakers to be 2-0 at this point on this road trip before it started. I didn’t. I was hoping it could be 1-1 (believed the win would have come vs the Jazz & the loss to the Nuggets). So big picture, the Lakers are where I thought they’d be after two of 6 games. That said, I lay this loss on the bench. Big 3 simply ran out of gas in the 4th quarter. It was a back to back game on the road and the Lakers, as stated, got in to Utah at 4am. These “shooters” the Lakers hired, need to hit their open shots.

    Going forth, I love the recent production of the bigs. It seems the message has gotten thru and Kobe is sharing the ball more. In the last six games, Kobe has not taken more fga’s than A.B. & Gasol combined. I’m hoping that trend continues. And it will be put to the test in the next game in Philly because Kobe only needs 24 points to move pass Shaq on the NBA’s all-time scoring list into 5th place. Kobe always says he’s unaware of these milestones (wink, wink) but we shall see.

    The combination of Kobe playing in his hometown of Philly & the probability of passing Shaq in the record books tells me Kobe will be looking to score 30+.


  46. I didn’t know there was a vodka brand called “iPad”.

    Mike brown seems like a sitcom dad that is a nba coach, not a real nba coach.

    I am not sure if Dr Buss is planning to sell the team, silverscreenandroll had a piece on him, that mentioned he had been paying inheritance taxes incrementally for years — so as to avoid having to sell the team when he passed on.

    Jim Buss is the “Tommy Boy” of the NBA.


  47. Being repetitive, but in fairness to Buss: if Paul deal had been allowed, Howard would have demanded to be dealt here. That was Buss’ plan.

    However,he deserves criticism for a lot of the things on Ken’s list and for bringing in Kapono (I was on record early opposing that move as were others).

    I would be OK with adding Smith.


  48. The various points of view being expressed. Perhaps we should all wear these #’s : )

    1) It’s hopeless no matter what we do
    2) D12 or bust
    3) We need major change, but the specifics are TBD
    4) We just need a decent PG and a Shooter and we will be fine
    5) All is fine and we just need to gel


  49. Robert,

    I don’t think there are many 5s out there anymore.


  50. robinred: True – but we had many 5s in pre-season. U have been a consistent 3. I warn u that if u waiver most seem to be skipping over me and going straight to #1 : )


  51. I missed this game. Apparently, I’m pretty damn spoiled. I caught the last quarter of Showtime Lakers getting spanked by a Utah Jazz team with Thurl Bailey on it. Aside from the huge losses (Boston, Philly, Houston, etc.) and a handful of minor ones, I don’t recall the Lakers being on the losing end of a game. It’s similar to the Kobe/Shaq/Jackson 3-peat span.

    This season, I’m taking every loss squarely on the jaw. There’s no way to know when the hits are coming or when they’ll stop. Being on the periphery (spectator), the transition of the franchise itself lends with the on-court uneven play and Mike Brown’s “system” to anxiety that I haven’t had in years with this team. Since the team lacks identity it allows for a continual questioning of the decision making that frequently boils into hostility.

    Maybe the boiling blood in my eyes isn’t allowing me to see the direction this is all going. If they win 6 in a row, they’ll have won 2/3rds of their games. 4 losses in a row, they would be a .500 team. This squad not only houses several of the slowest players in the league but also will play them simultaneously with regularity. Kapono and Murphy should not being on the floor at the same time barring a situation where they need a desperation 3. Kapono shouldn’t have been picked up if they were keeping Goudelock. Steve Blake has always been a decent back up. Last year when they had the chance to upgrade their starting PG they were content to seek a back up and give him excessive years to boot. Phil’s system might have dictated it but it overlooked several other problems it would add.

    Kobe/Pau championship #2 was won with a relatively slow team. Farmer was the only person with foot speed. Now, Ebanks rides the bench for no definitive reason. Darius Morris is rookie spastic. The starting line up is plodding. Then Brown decides to swap Murphy (barely shoots, can’t defend, slow) and Kapono (afraid to shoot, can’t defend, slow) and leave McRoberts on the bench (can’t shoot, can defend). The Lakers are gift wrapping offensive rebounds and Brown believes it’s best to play a minimum of two slow non-defending players because being slow and tentative will yield more sub-par offense? What am I missing in this formula?

    The imbalance of this team and its rotations and its improvement options are frustrating. Why have rookies if you’re not going to play them? Why be the slowest team in the league by choice. Troy Murphy and Jason Kapono would have a hard time beating Gheorghe Muresan and Greg Ostertag in a 100 meter relay.


  52. Actually missed the game last night, but from the comments it seemed like a typical Lakers game this season. And for everything I’ve read recently, it doesn’t look like we are going to get Dwight Howard so I think we need to turn to plan B.

    We need to stop trying to hit a home run (Dwight Howard) and try to make some moves that make us younger and more athletic.


  53. Someone credited Pau with a “sparkling” game or words to that effect. Actually, last night was emblematic in its display of three bad trends with Pau’s game this year.

    (1) Pedestrian defensive effort–any PF with any quickness is torching him (the last two games have been prime examples);

    (2) Failing to box out and pursue rebounds in favor of waiting for the ball to come and, once it comes, relying solely upon his height and length to get the rebound–leading to too many offensive rebounds for the opponent; and

    (3) Eschewing taking the ball to the hole for dunks and layups in favor of weak fall-away basline jumpers that he invariably short arms, or, worse still, shooting those 18-21 ft jump shots that are a shade outside of his comfort range but becoming far-too commonplace.

    I don’t think Pau is soft, per se, but these trends sure feed the narrative…..


  54. Aloha Robert,

    You asked me what has changed from that post I made last month. Well. I still feel that we have to make a couple of moves to be true contenders, but what has changed is that sense of urgency I was feeling at the time.

    First, I came to realize that no one in the west has really began pulling away from us. One night a team will look unstoppable and the next they look like a lottery team. Even OKC looks flawed at times. 1 1/2 out of the 2nd seed is nothing. My goal for this team is to finish in the top 4 and with a move or two thats very doable. Defense wins in the playoffs and we have that down, just need to add a little scoring.

    Second we finally started having some days off and some practice time. The results have been positive. We have played pretty well against some good teams. Last night highlighted the fact that we need some help but still the effort was good. If we had blake back he might have been enough to change the outcome.

    Third I like G-luck. Didn’t play well last night but he’s a rookie and he will have those nights. While it’s not earth shattering I think he will be a solid role player and it is one less hole to fill.

    I have complete confidence that management are looking for moves. Our payroll is too high not to be contenders and Dr Buss have proven that is about winning first. I just feel like we have the time now to make the right move.


  55. Rudy, As the biggest D12 seeker on the board, I would love do that. See my chart @48. If D12 is out, I will need to either be a 1 or a 3. Right now the 1’s are making a more compelling argument. The ASG game approaches like a freight train.


  56. Sad when Lakers fans aren’t expecting 2 wins on b2b. You used to be able to count the 2nd game a win now a split would do.

    Mike Brown needs to start playing Ebanks.

    D12 is staying in Orlando or going to Dallas so is D-Will. Lakers aren’t a slam dunk destination now. Yankees and Lakers are in the same boat. Cliff Lee spurned the Yanks for Phils and they pulled a rabbit out the hat with Pineda. Lakers have to do the same except our trade pieces are few.


  57. Re: D12, Kobe “messing it up” et al….

    I never thought I would say this (ok, I’m kidding a little bit here, Aaron) but I am slowly becoming part of the “Aaron solution” camp–While I think the problems this team has are many and varied, you can say that about many teams–at the end of the day, if you trade out our starting PG for any solid, if unspectacular average starting NBA PG, the Lakers immediately become better on both sides of the ball.

    Trading for Howard will not fix what ails this team–the lack of a true PG that can organize the offense.


  58. Kevin: Michael H has replaced u as the board optimist. Ur last post, while prob accurate – was depressing : (
    Michael H: Well thought + u make the best optimistic case. Short on specifics, w regard to the moves. I do not have those either, cept of course D12.


  59. 56. Seriously Kevin I don’t see how more people on here aren’t seeing the writing on the wall. D12 is not coming here and he no longer wants to, I have read multiple sources saying that Howard wants to be a Net or he’s staying in Orlando (which really means he’s gonna sign in Dallas with Deron Williams after he sees the Magic are worse off than he figured they would be after a first round playoff exit).

    And Keith I don’t believe Kobe “messed it up” I believe Howard has seen what type of talent LA has here and he sees he’s not in a better situation if he comes to LA. His best bet is to go to New Jersey to be with D Will, or to play in Dallas. Being a Lakers fan I would love to play here but if it were purely from a basketball talent standpoint I would definitely prefer to play with a young team with D Will leading. Kobe can’t keep this up much longer.

    Also I don’t why why people have brought up JR Smith so much, the guy doesn’t want to play here, I have not seen his name brought up with LA once, on the contrary I have read from multiple sources that the Knicks are front runners to land him. If you don’t believe me look at the trend this entire season has shown so far, players are not coming to LA. Battier-Miami, Baron Davis-New York, Kenyon Martin-Clippers, Rip Hamilton-Chicago. The list goes on and on, players do not have LA on their list because there are more attractive spots in terms of A. talent, B. playing time, C. money.


  60. Aloha Robert,

    Specifics? Who knows? Who could have predicted we could land Pau. I do have my eye on JR Smith though. Kobe would make sure he towed the line. He never had that in Denver. His scoring would be the glue the 2nd unit needs. Since Bynum runs with the 2nd unit, the other pieces are already there. McRoberts would be back in the rotation with a scorer in place. Barnes would also be more effective with a scorer as well. Since JR creates G-Luck would have less of a burden running the point. Of course if Fish continues to start then Blake is out there too. Which is O.K as long as Blake gets the lion share of the minutes over Fish.

    For me we already have the key ingredients to another title. Size, defense and Kobe. We just need a little more offense.

    As teams continue to assess their line ups other names will begin to appear. We usually have a better sense of who might be available by now. Unfortunately the lock out changed that.


  61. Actually JR Smith has been tweeting the Knicks and L.A. They were posted and reported at Hoopsworld. Both can only offer him the vets minimum. L.A gives him a better chance at a ring this year.


  62. I doubt that Kobe told DH he will be the 3rd option. That’s the most stupid thing he could have done.

    It all sounds decoy to me. I’ll not be surprised if we land DH before March 1st.


  63. It’s interesting reading how far opinions swing between a win and a loss. I think it alludes to an inability to gauge the true state of the team breeding anxiety in fans. I stated earlier in the season, and think it bears repeating, that the three things this team needs – a starting pg, a backup sg and bench scoring – are both clear and attainable. If anything, the recent play from Goudelock and the imminent return of Blake leave the bench better off than its been in some time. Simply assuming the addition of JR Smith and Ramon Session (two players the Lakers have been linked to recently), the aforementioned shortcomings are all addressed – along with an infusion of youth and athleticism. So I ask, given the availability of attainable players that fill our needs, why panic before the trade deadline?


  64. Interesting quote from Berger: “Privately, Kupchak is said to be seething over the Lakers’ decision to unceremoniously dismiss assistant GM Ronnie Lester and nearly all the scouts who worked under him. But there have been no indications that Kupchak, a shrewd architect of the Lakers’ run of championship success, is angling for a departure.”

    Can’t blame him. But I worry about how this affects our drafting and scouting going forward. Will the quality of our drafting get significantly worse? How does Jim Buss expect to scout players all across the world? Between Kupchak and the Buss family? Jerry doesn’t have that many children.

    Re: “Kobe messed it up”

    Ken Berger’s sources disagree: “Despite assertions to the contrary, the Lakers remain firmly on Howard’s list of three teams he’s asked to be traded to, along with the Nets and Mavericks, multiple people familiar with the situation said.”

    Rudolph could be right. We’ll know in a few days if Howard actually has taken the Lakers off his list, if bigger name reporters confirm it with their sources. But even if true, I doubt it means much. Howard has had extreme episodic mood shifts this year. I don’t think he knows what he wants.


  65. Teams do not play the way they did 20 years ago, yet the Lakers still want to play that inside out game. The Mavs did play that play and won. The Heat doesn’t they that and will win. The Thunder doesn’t play that way and have the best record in the NBA. So why does the experts want the Lakers to play that way? I see, its because we have tall people. How’s that working out for us?

    The Lakers had 7 straight possession where they brought the ball down and gave it to their BIGS and the result no points. Kobe took his first shot in the 3rd at the 6 minute mark. He’s too old to weight that long to get into the game, but he kept to the game plan, feed the BIGS.

    The Lakers have no talent at positions that are critical to the success of the team, PG, SF and their 6th man off the bench.

    Las night the bench of the Jazz score over 40 points, LAkers, 15. That will not get it done on the road.


  66. Cjm

    Either a good guess or we knew each other. Since I own a vodka and wine company.

    iPads are made for people under 5 foot tall not over 6’3

    We used to be able to proof read but iPad will not let you scroll up.


  67. A Super Bowl thread is up. Talk the big game or simply more Lakers…it’s up to you.


  68. Sportswriter actually 49 to 12 is the numbers.
    Hale you nailed it.

    Brown had no expectations in Cleveland. Anything he did was heroic.

    We are the City of champions with hall of fame coaches. He is way over his head.

    He still is clueless on his personal. Start of season he said we will run and score quicker. Yea with the slowest team in the NBA.

    He said he will rest Kobe more. Yea 42 a game his highest in 6 years.

    Metta will be the caption of our 2nd unit! Yea horrible off the bench and worse as a starter. 33% shooter 5 points a game.

    Brown is clueless and he knows it. Pressure from Kobe and Mitch caused him to make a fool of himself last night. When you put Kapono and Murphy in the game at the same time you have slow and slowest which make Brown dumb and dumber!

    Howard is NOT coming here. If he did we are worse as AB is a better offensive player. We need offense. We still have Fisher, Metta and the cast of Slow men and the sea on the bench.

    Why would Howard come to a poorly coach team with no bench, bad starters and Kobe controlling the offense and the mood of the team? DH would be the man in Jersey and have a better future then the Lakers have with stupid contracts and no room to adjust.

    Stop dreaming and concentrate on getting rid of Brown so we can at least make the playoffs. If the Lakers don’t, they will lose Money this year as they are $30 plus million over cap and playoffs are Buss’s profit for the year.

    Enough. Giants and cigars next.


  69. 66,

    The same kinds of things were said when the Suns became all the rage from 2005-2008. Still “inside/out” teams won titles in those years.

    The game changes in the playoffs. All of these fads over the last decade or so don’t change the fact that championships are won and lost in the post. It seems every year someone says that is about to change. Yet, we are still waiting.


  70. Lakers management has done a POOR job of constructing this team. In the past, Phil Jackson’s triangle was very good at masking roster deficiencies, not the case anymore. Lakers management is EMBARRASSING!!!Wasting Kobe’s last good years.
    They bumble threw roster selection every year. Yeah, they tried to trade for Chris Paul, but it still doesn’t excuse all the garbage moves they have made through the years.

    Artest, Barnes, Kapono, Ebanks???
    Do these guys know what a starting caliber shooting forward is supposed to look like?

    Fischer, Blake, Morris???
    What kind of point gaurds are these???

    McRoberts, Murphy??
    Please get a clue about picking better players!!! AND REINFORCING A ROSTER!

    Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss deserve a FAIL grade in their job evaluations!
    Wasting away Jerry Buss’s money on this garbage roster. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest weaknesses facing the organization, the lack of organization!!!


  71. 8884,

    Good points, but I think in terms of PT, the Lakers are the best option for Smith. NY has Davis eventually, maybe Lin, Fields, and Shumpert. MIA could play Wade or James at the 1, but the Lakers

    a) have no backup 2 at all
    b) can move Kobe to the 3 to get Smith extra burn

    Not saying Smith will be here, but I would think the Lakers have a shot.

    Martin picked the Clippers in part because they have a hole at backup 4/5. Same theory (the Clippers also had $ of course).


  72. Brown is an embarrassment and needs to grow up, I miss Phil.


  73. Lakers should of went after Pietrus, but he saw a better option in Boston. I would sign Rasheed Wallace he would give us toughness and defense. Can’t hurt at this point.

    Sad part is you have guys choosing Clippers, Heat, Boston, Knicks over Lakers now. Lakers have been left with signing the leftovers the past 2 years. The aura seems to have left Lakerland. We don’t have that look of invincibilty anymore like the Yankees.

    So it’ll be interesting to see what the FO does.


  74. Lakerlord I could not have said it better. The strength of the Lakers were the hand picked scouting and the quality coach and ass’t coaches.

    Jimmy Boy dumped it all to create his own dynasty. Sadly the guy never played the game and up to 3 years ago was training horses. They don’t talk back.

    This franchise is stuck with new scouts, new coaches and new ownership. And we are stuck with the Knicks. Great!


  75. Goudelock has an impact. too bad he had an off night.

    fireworks off the bench


  76. JR Smith is likely to sign in L.A. With the Clippers.


  77. michael h: U R very smart + analytical, yet w/regard to possible moves u “hope 4 the best” and use the Pau trade as an example. Please look at our cap situation and realize that a Pau-like move is not coming unless we break up the Big3.
    kaos: We need ur optimism, however many need more than Sessions + Smith. Prob good moves, however we can’t just adj the picture here, we need to change the channel.


  78. I have come to the conclusion Lakers need to focus solely on acquiring Steve Nash. It makes too much sense he’s a vet wants to win, it’s still close to home. D12 actions since the request have kind of turned me off of him. He’s no Shaq, Kareem, or Wilt. Get Steve Nash if it cost us one of the big 3 I wouldn’t do it though


  79. Bynum needs to devote as much energy to defense as he puts into his offensive game. I’ll give him a pass for last night, because he looked gassed, but he needs to get more involved with the dirty work aspect of the game.

    That Kapono miss in the 4th q was huge.

    I think the main reason that Brown went so far off the deep end is that Watson ran up Pau’s leg when he fouled him making his key “steal”. Pau was lucky he wasn’t hurt.

    Lakers are in a tough situation. The lack of team speed and athleticism is exposed on just about every night. Their big advantage of Gasol’s and Bynum’s length and size can also work against them on the defensive end where both bigs are slow-footed.

    Can’t understand why Coach Brown doesn’t give Ebanks more of a chance. Metta has fallen off the face of the earth as a basketball player. If the Lakers can’t get some productivity from players other than their Big 3, it’s going to be a long, long season and an extremely short ( or maybe non-existent) post-season.


  80. Meek Brown relies on MWP because of his defense and he has no other point guard so he starts Fisher. So 2/5 or 40% of your starting line up can’t score. Neither can take anyone off the dribble and neither can get to the rim or shoot from outside. Now you add to that McRoberts, though extremely tough and energetic, can’t score either, we can’t have him on the court with the other two because that means it would either be dump into the lone big and everyone else cuts or have Kobe ISO. It’s not Meek Brown, it’s the players he has to work with. This is a FO issue!!!

    Losing LO for nothing and adding Murphy and Kapono has made an unatheletic and slow team essentially glacier like. Kapono is useless and JR Smith will be the perfect person to take his spot. This will force Meek to play Bynum, JR, Blake or Goude, with McRoberts and Barnes. That would give the second unit a big to dump into, two slashers, and two people who can shoot from the outside or take their men off the dribble. There, the second unit is fixed.

    Now if we can only get Mo or Deron Williams to be our starting point guard.