Lakers/Wizards: Apocalypse Now

Darius Soriano —  March 7, 2012

What matters is that the Lakers must start to take some pride in their game when it travels. What matters is that the Lakers need to stop being a different team on the road than they are at home. If the Lakers decide they’ll be aggressive, that they’ll attack the defense by moving the ball, that they’ll simply concentrate harder they’ll be the better team tonight. If their role players show the confidence in themselves that they do at home, if they take shots in rhythm, if they trust that they can perform to their abilities, the Lakers will be the better team tonight. But, if the Lakers play the same way they have in most of their other road games this season this game will be a pick ‘em.

The above is from the game preview for tonight’s game. And, for the first half, the Lakers showed all those qualities I hoped they would. The starting group played within themselves and showed that they could, in fact, execute the offense. The bench came in and showed the same. The team attacked inside, Kobe was efficient, while the bigs and the bench were off to very good starts. It was exactly the type of effort you’d want to see from a team that had an embarrassing loss the night before. At the half the Lakers were up by 15 and early in the 3rd quarter their lead would swell to 21.

Then, as the 3rd quarter went on, it all started change. The ball stopped moving on offense. Kobe, (seemingly) feeling a bit too good about his offense started to force some shots in (what looked to be) an attempt to bury the Wiz on his own. After Kobe was subbed out, the bench came in and began to systematically make mistakes. Reckless turnovers were committed when passes were forced. Bad shots were taken from the perimeter and the bigs started to force shots of their own after not seeing the ball for several consecutive possessions. Defensively, the team was just as bad as rotations were late (if made at all) and even when defenders were in position shots went uncontested. On the boards the Lakers were just as bad, allowing Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin to grab offensive rebounds for extra shots against said poor defense.

By the time the fourth quarter started, what was a 21 point lead was down to a single basket and the carnage that is Lakers’ road basketball continued. Kobe, looking to jumpstart the team started to shoot the team back into lead but couldn’t rediscover his form. Missed shots turned into Wizard open court chances that they’d convert. Momentum built for the home team and the Lakers staggered to try and hold on. A mini-run fueled by their big men and a couple of outside shots gave the Lakers back their lead but it was all for naught as they frustratingly didn’t stick with that approach.

Instead, it was more long jumpers, more misses, and haphazard defense that allowed the Wiz to take back their lead. Meanwhile anyone with a rooting interest in the Lakers pulled out their hair as what was hoped would be a bounce-back game became a rerun of last night’s effort against the Pistons only without the overtime.

So, the Lakers are now 0-2 on this 3 game roadie with losses against two of the worst teams in the league. Kobe’s lost his post all-star break form, the bigs aren’t staying involved through the end of games, and the non-big 3 showing that they’re more two-faced than Harvey Dent. All around, this is a losing formula that works just as well against good teams as it does bad. Before the game I open wondered what would win out tonight – the Lakers ability to play bad on the road or the Wizards’ ability to just be bad. Tonight, the Lakers were more worse than the Wizards. If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t want to know what is.

Darius Soriano

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80 responses to Lakers/Wizards: Apocalypse Now

  1. This is a coaching problem. He has lost all respect of the players because he refuses to control Kobe. He can not adjust. He is terrible.

  2. Well what a surprise we lost to the 2nd worst team in the league.Not!!! Think its time Kobe starts taking some responsibility for his selfishness and bad shot selection. His ego gets in the way when he misses shots and still jacks up crap shots. We would be a lottery team without him but sometimes his shot selection is inexcusable. Fellow lakers fans just accept this season as a transition year. Shame on the front office for putting this crap team together outside of kobe gasol and bynum. But shame on the players lack of heart and effort. Thats the biggest problem.

  3. I’m stunned. And, as far as trades, I have a hard time seeing how trading Pau and/or Andrew away brings a net gain – they’re our most consistent players.

  4. next, the T’wolves are playing really well. you better hope that the Ls mastery over this team, thanks to the bigs, continues – this is by no means a bad team.

  5. This team and franchise is a mess and Kobe’s legacy is taking a beating. All he cares about is getting his 30 points a game.

  6. Best idea I read on another site. Trade Brown for Scott. Of course Cavs fired him so they don’t want him. I can’t remember a Laker team with so many player other teams wouldn’t take for free.

    Fisher
    Metta
    Walton
    McRoberts
    Murphy
    Barnes
    Blake
    Brown
    Jimmy Buss
    The scouts

    Looks like a championship team to me.

  7. LMAO it’s a horrible embarrassing loss but to say “Kobe’s legacy is taking a beating” from this loss is laughable at best. 3 points from the bench in the 2nd half. THREE. Our rotations dumbfound me as well. Troy Murphy is a turn style on D and doesn’t show up on the road. McRoberts has a good 1st half then nothing. Why? Goudelock plays well when Blake plays off the ball. We rarely do it. Why? Fisher getting destroyed on screens yet he still closes. Just unexplainable coaching IMO. I miss Phil having the guts to bench Kobe for a min when he went on chuckfests. I can’t decide if Brown is bad or scared…

  8. Blockbuster trade to get Lamar Odom back.

  9. Funky Chicken March 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    This is nothing new. It is not a winning recipe to have one guy, even a great player like Kobe, consistently shoot as many times by himself as Gasol and Bynum combined. Tonight was even more ridiculous, as Kobe put up 31 shots while the two bigs combined for 19. That should never happen. Ever.

    You cannot claim that Pau shouldn’t be traded because of what he brings to the team but then defend Kobe’s relentless shooting. What makes the Lakers unique is their inside dominance, and if they are going to let Kobe hijack that advantage every night, they might as well trade Pau for a guard who will help take the ball out of Kobe’s hands.

    Sorry, but Kobe deserves the blame in a game where he shoots TWENTY THREE TIMES more than Andrew….

  10. Could not have picked a better headline (Apocalypse Now) for the game Darius. Also could not have picked a better way to end your post “If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t want to know what is”

    Since you brought it up : ) This “could” be rock bottom, but then again? What if we do nothing by 03-15? What if we do something, but it is not popular? Then what happens after 03-15, when we have our first loss like this? All of those could be a lower rock bottom. Let’s hope we do not get there.

  11. It was so funny how people tried to talk themselves into Mike Brown before the season, despite his complete lack of control of Lebron. What, you didn’t think the KB24 would run roughshod over him? He has no business being a head coach for the crown jewel of the league. Cleveland, fine, but not the Lakers. This is on the disaster-that-is-the-FO-now for hiring him instead of Adelman. That awful decision is leading us to the pits of the NBA. A first round loss in the playoffs.

  12. Kobe is NOT the most efficient player on the Lakers but he continues to take the most shots. Kobe started the downhill snowball soon turning into a avalanche by being bad kobe. He got bored being up 20 and lost focus.

    While the Wizards run was happening I was dying laughing because I saw the same story yesterday and knew the ending.

    But you know what’s STUPID how you keep doing something over and over knowing the result. You know Kobe is going to shoot why keep passing to him every time down the floor. So everybody gets blame not just Kobe.

    Finally Mike Brown not need to mention his clout he has none coming to the Lakers we knew that from the hiring. But his play calling, match-ups, rotations are NOT good.

    Lastly, Fisher has 5 rings, Bynum has 2 rings, Pau has 2 rings, Luke has 2 rings, Artest has 1 ring. Why don’t these guys check Kobe and question his shot selection?

    Bynum “Yeah, these problems are fixable only if we can be real with each other”

  13. @Funky – also, 31 shots to 31 for the other four starters combined.

  14. Lakers are a 1 1.5 out of 9th place

  15. Kobe is throwing games away out of zero respect for the front office and the clueless coach.

    This is Brown’s fault. If he wasn’t such a coward he would sit Kobe.

    Who would want to play with this coach and this me only player. Lakers are doomed paying this guy $30 mill a year so he can play with his own agendy.

    Start by firing Brown and finding a coach who plays to win not be Kobe’s caddy.

    It’s only going to get worse the next 3 years. I would rather watch a bunch of rookies play hard then this one man ego fest.

    I officially have list my respect for this organization and Kobe. Teams lime Spurs, Denver and Houston play line a team. Lakers play like a play ground team.

    This is now rock bottom and there us no way with this team, this coach and it’s clueless owner there will be playoff basketball the next few years.

    Has baseball season started yet. McCort seems like a better owner then Jimmy boy right now.

    Nepotism is a ugly thing.

  16. Wow. What has FB&G become? I’ve never seen a bigger hate-fest than what is going on right now. Kobe deserves a big chunk of blame for the last two losses, but not all of it. Teammates have to step up and play ball too.

    Kobe was on the bench when the Wiz erased a 12 point lead to 1.

    Meh. Whatever.

  17. Last night the bench shared the blame; tonight, it’s on 24. Lakers go as Kobe goes cause his ego dictates that no win comes but thru him. Give the bigs the shots Kobe took more than Pau and Bynum combined and this is a Laker win. Brown hasn’t the cajones to call someone else’s number even when KB is being doubled every possession and chucking up a brick factory. Add Jimbo to this mess and I haven’t been this discouraged about the future of Lakerdom in my 46 years as a fan.

  18. Kobe: He has had two straight very bad games. What I do not understand is why the focus is exclsively on him. He is our star and when we lose he is going to get blame (especially on nights like the last 2 when he played poorly). However Kobe playing well does not solve our problems. We have already seen that. The roster is the issue. The bench just got outscored 55-21 by the Wizards. We got out-rebounded 51-42 by the Wizards. Kobe deserves some criticism, but to solely focus on him is losing sight of the real issues: Roster. Further, I think both Kobe haters and supporters will agree, that he is not going to change dramatically. The discussion has been going on for 16 years and it amazes how the same points were being brought up in every one of those years after Kobe’s bad games.

  19. Watching Kobe over the last couple of games, something came to mind. Looking back, I guess this was so easy to predict:

    Tra wrote on September 18, 2011 at 6:39 am

    If Mike Brown is sincerely intent on establishing/focusing on an Inside – Out Offense, then the name of this post should have been: “Mike Brown Talks, We Listen. But Will Kobe?”

  20. Robert

    I have almost never gone after Kobe. This is really the first year I felt it’s about his own points. Three days ago he says we are a inside out team tben he going on a chuckfest. Sure we have 9 very poor players but we also have the best 2 man tandem in the league. How can Kobe not see that? There us no Phil to control him. No Shaq to get in his face. No one is willing to step up and talk to him. Clearly this is Kobe’s world and he does not have it day to day to carry this team.

    Hearing Andrew said on the air that he was just floating around says it all. Magic would have been in his face. This team dosen’t care. they appear to be just collecting a check.

    Kobe can not control his self. That’s what a real coach or a player who really cares about winning would do. Control him! That in a nut shell is the problem.

  21. KenO: Kobe is leaning into Allen Iverson territory right now. He will always be remembered as a champion but he’s playing like Iverson and motives seem to be self-centered.

    I know Kobe wants to win but he’s not playing like it. What Andrew said was telling he knows like everyone one of us fans, media members, FO, observers EVERYONE knows Lakers strengths are our two 7 footers, but Kobe doesn’t think so he thinks he’s the biggest advantage the Lakers have.

    What are they watching on film? Because if there seeing what we’re seeing i’m sure this wouldn’t keep happening.

    Robert: It’s definitely not all on Kobe, but you can’t deny the effect it has on the team when he shoots 5-6 times in a row without a make. The team just stops playing. Even though the bench lost the lead the momentum was already on the wizards side by the time the bench came in.

  22. Before blaming all of the players for not stepping up, consider the morale effect when playing along side bad Kobe and for a coach who doesn’t have the team’s back. Take the no-trade clause out of your contract, 24, and we’ll see about getting a point, SG, and a pick. Go somewhere else to get #6. Can Brown and sell the Lakes fore you run the franchise into the ground, Jimmy.

  23. lakers have been playing like this in the past few years. beating a great team then will lose against a bad team.

    we could’ve been in the 3rd place in the west standings.

    lastly, road record is troubling.

  24. http://www.welovedc.com/2012/03/08/surprise-wizards-victory-over-lakers-leaves-kobe-speechless/

    Here is a link to Kobes post game presser. Quite bizarre..when asked about his shot selection, his response was beyond awkward..I actually sensed some level of awareness and guilt from his speechless response, but the constant smiles reek of embarrassment..you be the judge

  25. From ESPN Stats & Info:

    “Clutch is defined as fourth quarter or overtime, less than five minutes left, neither team ahead by more than five points. Kobe Bryant went 0-4 from the field in those situations Wednesday in a loss against the Wizards, while his teammates went 2-4. It was a continuation of how things have gone for the season. Bryant is just 19-71 (26.8 percent) from the field in clutch situations this season, down from 40.2 percent last season. He has produced 0.79 points per field goal attempt while taking 71 shots, just 19 less than the rest of the Lakers combined. The rest of the team has surprisingly been much more efficient, shooting 50-90 (55.6 percent) while scoring 1.50 points per field goal attempt. Andrew Bynum, who made his only field goal attempt in the clutch against the Wizards, has led the way for that group, going 20-23 (87.0 percent) from the field while totaling 49 points.”

  26. I still maintain that the front office did not get the right coach for this team. Brian Shaw or Rick Adelman would be much better fit for this veteran squad. Blake, Barnes, Gasol, are the kind of players more suitable to motion offense. The management had a chance to hire a coach to suit the player personnel they have. Instead they hired Brown, then now fans are blaming these players for not performing up to standard.

    With Brown’s limited offense strategies, Lakers just have to live or die with Kobe’s jumpers. Stop blaming Kobe for shooting too much. This guy plays hard and with a lot of pride. It’s the management not making the right decision to get a coach who can utilize the talents on this team. Look at what Adelman has done with that once pitiful wolves! Look at Brown! It’s no wonder Lakers are playing to the level of their competition, because your coach does not have enough credential to make players execute thoroughly.

  27. Don’t mean to sound like I’m bashing Kobe. He’s played effect games shooting a lot. Vs Miami he went off in the 1st quarter stepped back ran the offense let his teammates get theirs. Then 4th quarter came he took over he had energy to do so. He should take quarters off during games like Shaq did then turn it on

  28. Kobe has had about 30 great games and 5 or so bad ones this season. Leave it to the fans to obsess on the smaller sample size.

    I second you, Robert. The bench had a dismal second half. We let the Wiz out rebound us. Is that Kobe’s fault? People have called Mike Brown a “master of panic”. If that’s true, I think the fans here do a stand up imitation. In the words of EPMD, you gots to chill.

  29. 24- His response was Brown-esque. Haha.

  30. Robert,

    You dream of D Howard coming to L.A. What do you think he is thinking when he sees the stat lines. Andrew 6-8 Kobe 9-31 and we lose to the Wizards? Do you think, he’s thinking, man I want to play there?

    Yes the bench sucks but come on. We had a 21 point lead and he decides to take over?

    It’s kind of amusing that so many people are complaining that Mike Brown can’t control Kobe. But he did this with Phil as well. But the difference is now our margin for error is so slender that we can not overcome the bad Kobe nights. He has to stay within the offense every single game if we are going to have a chance.

  31. Disgusting. Did Kobe get high during halftime? It would explain his playing in the second half and that post game interview, with all the smirks. I have not criticized the lakers since losing in the finals during the Kobe/Shaq era but this season has been hard to watch and tonight’s been the worst of this season. :/

  32. Losing to the Pistons in the finals*

    Dang, I’m raging so hard I didn’t even finish my thoughts before clicking the post button…

  33. 24,

    Thanks for the great link. That video is extremely awkward. I don’t know what to make of it, but there is something unsettling about it.

    To all the Mike Brown haters – what coach would possibly get away with benching or punishing a superstar? Look at what happened in Sacto, where a veteran coach was fired days after openly penalizing and chastising a second-year player. Only Phil could maybe get away with disciplining a superstar, and even he never dared to try. Brian Shaw? The guy who Kobe played with? Adelman? The guy who Kobe eliminated out of the playoffs several times? Get real.

  34. All: I appreciate the fact that many of the comments are being directed at me, + are calling me out, because everyone knows where I stand on everything: I have been skeptical of this team all year, I want D12 or other major change, and I love Kobe. I have not changed my stance on any of these items at any point during the season and I still haven’t. I am not going to call anyone specific out, but rather I point to the board as a whole which swings around like a pendulum on a variety of issues such as how good we are, whether we need change, and yes the current topic of Kobe Bean Bryant.

    I will admit that the Kobe discussion has allowed everyone to focus on something other than the important issue: We have 7 days.

  35. Frank the Tank March 8, 2012 at 12:11 am

    “This team and franchise is a mess and Kobe’s legacy is taking a beating. All he cares about is getting his 30 points a game.”

    This is one of the many ridiculous things ive read based on ONE loss, on the second night of a back to back after an overtime game. Yes, Kobe shot too much, he was trying to shoot himself out of a slump, not the first time this has happened, and it wont be the last. This is the same team that beat Miami 3 days ago. We will go on another win streak and Kobe will have a hot streak. This is the team we are, talented but inconsistent. The talent drop off from the big 3 is quite steep, but weve known this. Just bc World Peace has one good game doesnt mean he will start dropping 17 nightly. We need help for the bench and a starting quality point guard. This has been the same story all season. Every team has bad nights. Orlando lost to Charlotte last night, after being up by 20. You guys need to take a breath and relax, if you get this upset about basketball games you shouldn’t be watching. You’re gonna kill yourself stressing like that. We will still be a top 4 seed come playoff time, and if the Front Office actually bolsters this team a little, we have a good shot to make the WCF.

  36. Robert: True you haven’t flip flopped like I have some : ). My passion for the Lakers is strong and I expect them to win every game if they don’t I’m in a bad mood don’t know why. I expect changes like you though.

  37. Kareem: Thanks – Did not see your post until now.

    By the way: All time ranking – I have MJ #1, your guy #2, and my guy #3 : )

  38. Really, I’m just wondering what Kobe can do for an encore. Maybe next game he can manage to go 4/37. Or maybe that milestone arrives next season …

  39. It will come down to Brown being fired or Kobe demanding a trade. Who do you figure wins that one?

  40. This site has become Abbott’s multiple Kobe hatred personalities.Who was on the floor when deficit was erased?How many TOs did Bynum have?Did you see him frolicking on the floor?Why does Blake never shoot?Why do they keep on giving the ball to Kobe on the last 5seconds to the shot clock?
    Whatever, haters gonna hate under zillions of aliases.

  41. Gotta love how Bynum carries it. He is playing extremely well at times, yet does not see the ball too often. Still he points to himself in his pots-game interview, saying he was “loafing around having fun” in the second half.

    This game doesn’t really change the perspective on this team though. They have the talent to win it all I believe, but they lack the flow, cohesion or focus to do it, and the margin for error is not very big.

  42. I thought that picking up Brown was an excellent move by the Lakers. His problems with the Cavs were due to a star that walked all over the coach WITH ownership support theres nothing he can do when ownership goes over the coachces head to keep a star happy. Secondly his lack of offensive system/playcalling I thought was simply because his cav squads were just Lebron and a bunch of other guys.

    But now, seeing the way he is reapeating the same mistakes with the Lakers I think its time for a coach change, it wasnt the cavs fault, it was Mikes fault.

  43. This is such a complicated mess. FO rolled the dice on assembling and keeping this group together a couple of years ago and, unfortunately, it now looks like the worst case scenario is playing out. What moves can they realistically make to help this year and in the future? Will any big trade really improve things, particularly if you give up one of the bigs for a PG? More importantly, will any new players fit with Kobe?
    This is starting to feel like 2006-2007, but with even less chance of a way to change the trajectory. Could be a long wait until 2014. I also worry that a blow up is coming between Kobe and Bynum. That would be a mess.

  44. I don’t understand why people get so offended when Kobe is criticized. Yes he will go down as one of the greatest and yes he is responsible for many of our wins this season (and yes he’s my favorite player of all time), but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be criticized when he deserves it.

    How many superstars would you say were actually the reason their team lost on a nightly basis? Kobe has had numerous games this year where he was the actual cause of us losing the game because he shot us out of the game.

    Denver – 6-28
    Philadelphia – 10-28
    OKC – 7-24
    Detroit – 8-26
    Washington – 9-31

    I’m sure there are plenty of guards in the league that can average 28 points if you give them as many shots as Kobe is taking. At this point I wouldn’t mind one of those Kobe games where he purposely doesn’t shoot to prove a point. We might be better off.

    Nobody else can fix this but Kobe. He is our best player and he has to decide that when he doesn’t have it going to pound the ball inside. It’s just bad basketball what he’s doing and it’s tough to watch.

  45. Scottie Pimpin March 8, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Kobe shooting so much is one of the big reasons our bench appears to suck. They simply don’t get enough opportunities to make things happen. Don’t get me wrong, I think our bench would still suck even without Kobe hogging the ball but their numbers would look much better.

    Mike Brown deserves some blame but honestly, Kobe is a veteran player who should understand leadership and involving his teammates much better at this stage in his career.

  46. Rudy,

    2 issues. 1, read the posts on this thread. There’s not balanced criticism. Robert offered a balanced criticism (Kobe shot too much, but the bench and bigs also dropped the ball). What’s going on is Kobe flaming. Here is a sample:

    “Think its time Kobe starts taking some responsibility for his selfishness and bad shot selection. His ego gets in the way when he misses shots and still jacks up crap shots.”

    “This team and franchise is a mess and Kobe’s legacy is taking a beating. All he cares about is getting his 30 points a game.”

    “Who would want to play with this coach and this me only player. Lakers are doomed paying this guy $30 mill a year so he can play with his own agendy.”

    Here are three fans apparently able read Kobe’s mind and have reached very strong judgments about his character. This is the ‘criticism’ you’re defending.

    2, I think you’re decontextualizing Kobe from actual circumstances. Kobe is taking those shots while other guards/forwards on the team are not. Would you rather have Meta and Fisher and Blake and Barnes take ten of his opportunities from him? You can’t just dump the ball inside all game, the rules have changed, and so has the NBA. We have roster deficiencies and to blame these losses on Kobe is a bit simplistic.

  47. Rudy: At least in my case, I am not offended by the KB criticism if done in the right way. You listed 5 games in your post. How is that different than what Kareem said @28? And what I am saying is that it has always been this way. Kobe won/lost games back in the Shaq era too, and he will continue to do so. This is not new. He “could” change some if the roster changes. However those hoping for a whole new Kobe, well we have 16 years of history that says otherwise. That is not a defense – it is somewhat of a fact : )

  48. Kevin: I thought you and me were buddies? : ) Remember I stepped in when your guy Pau was getting lampooned, so how bout a little love? : )
    More importantly Kevin, prior to this board focus on KB, everyone of your posts was correctly stating the need for change. In fact you have become somewhat of a “hawk” for change, going towards a full re-build.
    Has this Kobe bashing convinced you that rather than change the roster, if we just get Kobe a shrink, we win the title? : )
    PS: He had a shrink, and he now lives in Montana, so I am not sure what everyone is hoping for.

  49. In the second game of back-to-back game, most of the times road team don’t play well in the first half, they save their energy for second half. We all know Washington will try to run because they have rest and Lakers were tired . The coach’s plan was wrong. Lakers should play closed game with Washington in the first half. Another thing Chuck Person sitting next of Mike Brown, if Chuck is in charge of defense, we knew the result of last season.

  50. Kareem: In the case of last night’s game, we were up by 21 points so you’re comment about “Kobe is taking those shots while other guards/forwards are not” is inaccurate. Unless you’re saying Kobe is the only reason why were up by 21 points which is just not the truth. And while I don’t believe you can just dump the ball inside every game, there are certain matchups where we absolutely can…and last night was one of them. It happened in the Philadelphia and Denver games as well. Bynum was dominating, then Kobe went into Iverson mode and the ball stopped moving.

    Robert – I just don’t find the reasoning that “well this is who he has been for 16 years and he’s not going to change now” as acceptable. All players adjust their games when they get older and can’t get to the basket as frequent as they used to. Look at Paul Pierce, you don’t see him jacking up shots every game. I actually don’t believe the past couple seasons that Kobe has been playing selfish ball. I haven’t seen him play like this since the Smush Parker years when it was absolutely necessary.

    The whole point is that Kobe doesn’t understand that it’s not necessary on most nights. Yes there are games when our team just doesn’t have it and he has no choice, but he has done a poor job this year at identifying which games those are.

  51. Rudy @52.
    You’re missing something incredibly important. The Celtics have someone, Rajon Rondo, that controls the offense for the entire team. He is 25 years old and quick. He is a great ball-handler and can get to the rack. He can run the pick-and-roll. WE DO NOT HAVE A PG. If we had one, then Kobe would not have the ball in his hands so much.

    We have no one else who can get their own shot without being fed the ball in the post. So when our PG attempts to post our bigs, but can’t do it because he is absolute 0 threat off the dribble, then the ball gets swung to MWP. Do we want him to shoot?

    If you want to say that Kobe has had two really bad games…then I will agree with you. If you wanna say that he shot too much…then I will agree with you. All of our problems do not rest on Kobe’s shoulders, however, and (to steal a line from one of our Fish bashers.) an average NBA PG would solve many of our issues. He would take the ball out of Kobe’s hands more and be a better distributer to our bigs.

    You know what else might help? Someone at the 3 position that can hit a shot. Someone that, when Kobe kicks him the ball, will not brick it every damn time.

  52. While I agree that a complete grade can not be assigned to Jim Buss until more time has elapsed it is clear to me that much of the blame for our current position is his.

    He was the one that selected Mike Brown as head coach. He made the decision to go virtually 180 degrees away from the type of coach and offensive style we were running under PJ. He did this knowing there would be a lock out, knowing that there would be a compressed training camp and excluding the team’s most important piece, Kobe.

    The right selection would have been Adelman. He runs a motion offense, he’s been around the block and can handle a veteran team plus since he’s older the liklihood is that he would only want to coach through Kobe’s contract.

    Clear and simple the Brown hire was a not made based on what was best for the team. It was a power play by Jim Buss. And it was a poor decision on his part.

  53. I suggest a lot of you commenters go read the commenting guidelines. Specifically those guidelines regarding multiple posts in a row and baiting comments. Losses are frustrating, I know, but this board will maintain its standards even if it means I have to delete comments.

  54. Ok Kareem, Robert and others:

    15% of the time Kobe MISSES to much.Since he averages 25 shots a game misses is .correct.
    80% of tbe time Metta is worthless on offense.
    75% of the time Fisher is bad on D and O.
    90% of the time our bench is the worst in NBA.
    25% of the time either AB or Pau is loafing.
    100% of tbe tine Brown makes excuses and dosen’t change or adjust a thing.
    100% the front office is silent.

    Based on the above it does appear Kobe is the least of our problems.

  55. Excellent point above by KenOak. When you think about it Chris Paul would be the guy to control the ball and would not be scared of Kobe.

    Our anger should be focused at David Stern not Kobe who is just doing what comes natural.

    I completely see it different today. After my hot headed Laker anger slept.

    Kobe Good
    Stern bad.

  56. Apparently Kobe
    1) Doesn’t have the self-discipline to control himself because “he’s a scorer, and that’s what scorers do”, or
    2) Doesn’t have the basketball IQ to understand how to take advantage of positive mismatches that teammates are experiencing, or
    3) Has personal goals that are overriding the team goals, or
    4) Some combination of the above.

    You can talk all you want about the quality of the other players, and whether or not the coach and his system are the best fit for this roster, and those are certainly valid points. But they are not issues that can be rectified immediately. The way Kobe plays could be changed immediately. And the team would see an immediate improvement. And that’s why he is appropriately receiving the brunt of the criticism lately.

  57. Is it March 15th yet?

  58. I’ll continue to say, you can’t judge Mike Brown or anyone else for that matter until you give a guy a chance to implement a system he believes in based on personnel capable of operating within it.

    We play with two centers. As a consequence we are the slowest, poorest transition team in the league. We fight and grind for every point and get nothing easy.

    It was evident we were turning into to this horribly one dimensional team last year when Dallas blew our doors off!

    And still the Laker faithful insist on attempting to resurrect the ghosts of championships past.

    We can’t win playing two centers no matter how good they are. Re balance this team and give the new coach a chance to implement something he believes in that more than likley involves a skilled point guard.

    I said “skilled” as in the the kind that can only be had for a significant price. Not some second division team’s backup point guard who isn’t even good enough to win the starting job on a terrible team. That’s no solution at all.

  59. Robert: I just want to see the Lakers win. Don’t know why but when the Lakers lose I’m in a bad mood for the rest of the night. Kobe has the ultimate confidence in himself. I would rather see the big 3 equally shoot around 18 shots, but I don’t care too much for Kobe amount of shots it’s his shot selection. Kobe needs to take quarters off then turn it on like Shaq used to do save his energy for the 4th. But that’s not in his DNA he never cheats the game people come to see him score and that’s what he does.

    I still think the core is done together wish I knew about this forum last year because I felt the same way. Bynum is turning the corner while Pau is the balancing act between him and Kobe team needs to move on.

  60. Kobe is the problem. Really, how can he be defended when this continues to happen night after night? It’s the story of his career. For every good thing he’s ever done, we can point to as many nights where he’s shot his team out of games trying to prove something. If he were as smart a ball player as we would be led to believe, he would always work to find better shots and not just jack jumpers through an entire fourth quarter.

    It’ll never happen, but I wish the Lakers would ship him out. I’m tired of his antics, regardless of what he’s done.

  61. exhelo,

    Kobe deserves a lot of flack for last night, and he’s getting it. But like a lot of other guys, you focus on him too much, and it compromises your ability to be objective. For example, you make unsupportable assertions about the team would score X more points if he fed the post more, etc. Here are some other things that can be fixed “immediately”:

    1. Fisher can be benched.
    2. Bynum and Gasol and the rest of the roster can do a better job protecting the defensive glass. Trevor Booker had 8 OREBs last night; the Lakers are 22nd in OPP OREB.
    3. MWP can be given fewer minutes when he is not doing much.
    4. Ebanks and McRoberts can be given a little PT to add some youth to the rotation and to give Kobe, Pau and Drew some more rest.
    5. Bynum can do more film work/practice so he can improve his passing out of doubles–he had 7 TOs last night.
    6. The staff can insist on running sets that get Kobe working off the ball more. One more time: Brown has three guaranteed years on his deal; he can confront Kobe if he has the spine to do so.
    7. Jim Buss can probably raise the payroll and take on a player like Sessions if Buss so chooses.

    I expect Haters like Abbott to ignore all these issues and talk about Kobe’s psyche all the time. I expect better here.

  62. If a deal or multiple deals are to be made by our team, when does everyone think the dominos start to fall? I know we’re waiting on the D12 situation to pan out first, but are we really looking at as late as March 13 or 14 before any moves happen?

  63. 56,

    The reason why it is a pain to see the Lakers lose to below .500 teams because we are expecting too much from our team after they the Mavs and Heat. When they beat the Heat last Sunday, we all imagine of b2b Championship, forgetting we’re in the middle of ride of roller coaster season. If we accept that they are just above the .500 mark, needs some help from role players and should have a good Coach who could discipline Kobe like Coach K, his former buddies Byron Scott or Brian Shaw, Jerry Sloan perhaps we’ll not be in a funky feeling today.

    Again, I’m not justifying what Kobe is doing but he’s that good competitor and one of a kind that he blocks all kinds of criticism including ours. The best way to discipline Kobe is to surround him with great teammates that he could trust like what happened during ASG or Olympics, a great Coach whom he respects, then we can penetrate his Kobe-know mentality. It is like dealing with a recalcitrant genius who’s fond of making fool out of his superiors. What is impossible to us, to himself it’s ordinary and another challenge. If you criticize or chastise him, it is a challenge for him to prove you wrong. What are the remedies? Everybody should be in the same page with the spoiled Kobe by removing the blockage that is currently bothering the team such instability due to: trade deadlines, the political subterfuges with F/O or the new owner Jim Buss, missing his former triangle mentor, Phil Jackson, Shaw et al and maybe his communication with MBrown and his coaches reached to a halt or stalemate.

  64. Darius: and the frustration continues. How do i put this w/o offending bartenders.. ..jim buss must be falling off his barstool trying to figure out what to do with “his” lakers.

    By definition, we laker fanatics are in an uproar because we just lost two games in a row, on the road to two teams that overachieved to a laker team that systematically underachived. Emphasis on the “we” because as fanatics, we live and die as though we are the players out there on the floor. When the lakers underachive, we underachieve and that gets our gull. When Kobe makes that shot, we make that shot. When Kobe misses that shot, we miss that shot. Literally, we can’t help ourselves. Sound familiar?

    Note to bartenders: we laker fanatics deserve better. pass it on.

  65. What’s this, fans overreacting to a loss?

    If we’re going to look at Kobe, lets at least try to be nuanced, shall we? In recent games he shot 24, 23, 26, and 25 times. Those were his totals against the Kings, Heat, Blazers, and Suns where the Lakers won every game.

    It’s not the shots, it’s both the quality of them and whether or not they go in. Where Kobe could certainly be better is in his three point attempts (18 over the past two games) and in operating so much in isolation outside of 18 feet.

    Last night on twitter I said that I wouldn’t blame Kobe if the team lost (this was in the 4th quarter when the game was still in question) but that his gunning in the 3rd quarter started the mess that ensued.

    The Lakers were up 14 when Kobe went to the bench in the 3rd quarter. They were up 2 at the end of the period. The bench turned the ball over in bunches and forced shots when they didn’t. This allowed the Wiz to get out in the open court, cut the deficit, and gain a boatload of confidence while shifting the momentum. None of that was Kobe’s fault.

    This team wins and loses as a team. Every player was part of the problem last night. No one is immune. So to sit here and lambast Kobe as if he solely lost this game is bogus. It just is.

  66. rr,

    All excellent points, though I’ll disagree on one. I don’t think Abbott’s a Kobe hater. He’s an opportunistic smart aleck who knows more kobe-posts = better readership. Its like all mainstream ESPN: overblown and extreme stances to shock people into viewing.

    Darius, BOOM

  67. rr,
    If you want to say it’s unsupportable to say that some of Kobe’s shots going to Gasol and Bynum would result in more overall points, OK, you’re right.

    We shouldn’t make any claim to how well any proposed change would work.

  68. Dave,

    I was talking with my father about the Lakers this morning and because he doesn’t understand the X’s and O’s or even all the rules it’s in a very interesting way freed him from looking at the game tactically and instead he looks at the game purely from a strategic and operational construct.

    I say that because he thinks the Lakers fundamental problem is they are trying to play with two centers who both need the ball and it’s forcing everyone on the team to overthink (who should I pass it to?, When should I pass it? When should I shoot?) He think it’s especially effecting the point guards (even though he acknowledges Fisher is finished).

    Anyways he thinks the Lakers would be better off if they gave up Bynum or Gasol even if it was for basically nothing. He thinks the players roles would be more clearly defined and everyone would immediately play better and with more confidence.

    I admit it’s counter-intuitive but I’m starting to see that there is a lot of truth in there.

  69. Darius: I was thinking this through and decided to put ALL the blame squarely on Mike Brown for the offense. It’s almost identical to Cleveland. I’ll coach up the defense and let LeBron take care of the offense in this case Kobe. Brown has no offensive mind.

  70. exhelodrv: rr is not saying that. Look at his post @62. He is saying that there are a number of causes for this situation and therefore there could be a number of fixes. Where the Kobe bashing has gone too far is by saying that Kobe’s shortcomings are causing most of the other issues. Ex: Drew/Pau loaf due to KB; MB is not respected due to KB, The O and the D both are out of sync due to KB. Conclusion – fix KB’s attitude and all is well. That conclusion is what rr is disagreeing with + certainly I do as well.

  71. What kills me about the media, NBA fans in general, and Lakers fans in specific is how we treat Kobe different than every other player. Let’s take Lebron for example. (pre-decision)

    The guy could do no wrong. When his teams lost it was because he had horrible teammates. When his teams won, it was because he made them better and brought every last bit of excellence out of them. He was never blamed…

    Then you take Kobe. A guy who has been to the mountaintop 7 times and was victorious 5 of those 7. When his team wins, it’s because we played great team basketball. When his team loses it is because he is a ball-hog who takes too many shots. This is a proven winner who gets hardly any slack from even Lakers fans?

    Look. Kobe deserves blame for these last 2 losses. He does. Maybe even the lions share of the blame, but there is plenty of blame to go around. Kobe wasn’t defending Stuckey in Detroit. Kobe wasn’t boxing out the Wizards bigs who crushed us on the offensive boards.

    Kobe doesn’t dictate the substitutions. Kobe isn’t responsible for ‘Drew turning it over 7 times. Kobe isn’t responsible for our PG and SF being as bad as they have been.

  72. Buzz Lightyear March 8, 2012 at 10:00 am

    The current Kobe-centric Lakers present an interesting conundrum.

    There are many times when Kobe dominating the offense is the best option the Lakers have at their disposal.

    But this dominance comes at a price.

    The first price is one I have seen in basketball games at every level for decades. When one player is dominating the ball on offense, the other players lower their effort level. They know they won’t be involved, so they don’t try as hard. That bleeds over into other aspects of the game, such as passing and transition defense.

    The second price is that other players quit having confidence in their own offense. On the rare times they get the ball, they think “I’d better make it this time. I’m not going to get another shot attempt for a long time”.

    This situation tends to feed upon itself. Kobe jacks up too many shots. As a consequence, his teammates lower their effort level and shoot poorly when they do get offensive opportunities.

    Kobe, unwilling to tolerate lack of effort and poor shooting, takes it upon himself to “rescue” the Lakers from their doldrums, so he starts dominating the offense even more.

    So his teammates react with even lower effort and less confidence in their own offensive abilities.

    Round and round the cycle goes.

    Either Kobe’s “supporting cast” has to keep up their effort/confidence in the face of Kobe’s ball-hogging, or Kobe has to be willing to let his teammates fail on offense long enough so that they rediscover their abilities.

    I don’t know which situation is less likely…..;-D…

  73. Buzz Lightyear-
    That’s not a bad assessment Buzz. How did the Bulls overcome that problem with Jordan? He dominated as much as Kobe.

  74. Kobe just hasnt been able to motivate this team, as the leader, in the past two years. The first three years of the Gasol era in LA, players bought into the Kobe will take an abundance of shots and do his own thing from time to time. Teammates did the little things to help the team win games and championships. Starting last year it seemed the players began to buck the
    notion of Kobe doing his own thing and the rest follow there way to no touches and doing the dirty work for the king. The trust issues that Drew talked about last year during the playoffs is still lingering. Phil, the master of manipulation, couldnt solve it and left town before the storm came. What remains is a bunch learning a new system,without the proper personnal, and a new coach with the same expectations of years past glory. Hard to put a finger on what it is, but this team sure looks as if it needs an enema.

  75. KenOak

    How did the Bulls overcome that problem with Jordan? He dominated as much as Kobe.

    Simple. The Bulls FO was able to acguire two seperate championship teams with different personnel other than Mike and Pip. The rest of the team was assembled on a need basis only: shooters, rebounders, and defense. You can only keep a team together for so long before the roof caves in and personal agendas get in the way of thinking they are better than they truly are.

  76. Pau should be traded to Houston for Scola, Martin & Lowery; if possible. Andrew (no hustle, bank in every city) Bynum should be traded during the summer for Dwight. Brown should be fired simply for not standing up to Kobe.

  77. Ok, so the Lakers lose against the Washington Wizards, who are considered the worst team in the NBA; they’re the ultimate anti-team. Being out-rebounded by the undersized Wizards is unacceptable. Being outplayed in the paint is not acceptable (52-36). That should not happen to a team with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

  78. Frank the Tank March 8, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    All that i have to say is Kobe was not on the floor when the bench lost a 20 point lead.

    look at the OKC game last night. Durant shot 10-27! thats pretty damn close to what kobe shot.. but fortunately he had 30 points from both Westbrook and Harden, so OKC won.