Lakers/Jazz: Kobe’s Bad Night + Sloppy Play = Loss

Darius Soriano —  March 18, 2012

So much for building on the momentum the Lakers had going coming into the game. After winning 5 straight, the Lakers lost only their 3rd home game of the season (and gave the road weary Jazz only their 6th win away from Salt Lake all year) by falling 103-99 to the Jazz.

There’s really not much to say about this game, though. Kobe Bryant played his worst game of the season, shooting 3-20 from the field (including 1-6 from three point range) while adding 7 turnovers. He saved his worst for last, as he shot 1-7 in the 4th quarter trying to spark his team when only a couple of baskets could have given the Lakers the control they had sought for most of the contest. It simply wasn’t Kobe’s night, as he missed shots he’d normally make with ease, short-arming bunnies in the paint and rattling out jumpers all evening. Maybe worse than his offensive mishaps though, was how his defense suffered too. Rookie Alec Burks took him off the dribble multiple times in the final frame, beat him for a key offensive put-back, and even sank a jumper in the P&R when Kobe could barely be bothered to fight through the screen. Burks ended the night with a career high 17 points on only 10 shots, and a lot of that was on Bean’s watch. I don’t blame single players for losses (and won’t do it now) but considering how much this team needs Kobe to play well for them to win on most nights, I’ve no problem calling him the primary culprit in this one.

The main reason Kobe can’t take full fault in this one was the fact that the rest of his mates were just as careless with the ball and nearly as negligent on defense as he was. Kobe may have had 7 TOs on his line, but the rest of the team added 17 more, which the Jazz took advantage of to the tune of 22 points. Defensively, the Lakers surrendered 10 offensive rebounds, 28 assists on Utah’s 43 made baskets, and let the Jazz get off 53 shots in the painted area (allowing 52 points). The Laker wings were unable to slow dribble penetration, the bigs were late in rotating, and no one did a very good job of challenging shots. All in all, the Jazz made over 50% of their 2 point shots, with Paul Millsap going off for 24 points and rookie Enes Kanter joining Burks in getting a career high of 17 points on 6-7 shooting. The Jazz certainly deserve credit in outworking the Lakers, but the home team was much too accommodating in letting their opponents get whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted to get it.

Not all was awful for the Lakers, though. The Laker big men were excellent on offense, with Pau tallying 18 points on 8-12 shooting while Andrew Bynum bullied his way to 33 points on only 14 (!) shots. Pau showed a variety of nice moves around the rim and was mostly money on his mid-range jumper. Bynum did what he’s been doing to most opponents lately, catching lobs for easy dunks, posting up with power and finishing with both hands, and flashing excellent footwork and counter moves when the defense tried to take away his primary action. Bynum also displayed excellent touch at the foul line, making 9 of his 12 freebies.

Beyond the big men there were some other good flashes from the team. Sessions’ speed and playmaking for the second straight game made a positive impression. He got his teammates easy baskets in transition and earned 10 FTs simply by using his quickness in the open court and the P&R to draw contact from his defender. Sessions also showed good chemistry with Matt Barnes, hooking up with him for several baskets that helped him get his 12 points on the night.

However, those were the only positives on a mostly sour night. Because while the game was close most of the way, the Lakers simply couldn’t get out of their own way for long enough to seize a game that was there for the taking. The glass half empty approach says that this team still makes too many mistakes with enough below average performers to keep them a tier below, but the glass half full approach says that despite Kobe being awful, the utter carelessness with the ball, and the D being way below where it is on most nights, the Lakers lost by only 4 points. The truth about this team is that they’re still not where they want to be, but are showing some positive signs of getting better. Sessions is helping. Barnes is proving to have good chemistry with both PGs. Bynum has become a beast on more nights than not, and even when he’s not on his game he’s a walking double-double. Yes there’s room to grow, but for the first time in a long time, when the Lakers lose I can still say that things aren’t quite as bad as they look.

Darius Soriano

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54 responses to Lakers/Jazz: Kobe’s Bad Night + Sloppy Play = Loss

  1. Tough loss. Every team has bad games throughout the season. Lakers will bounce back.

  2. Tonight sure looked like the chickens coming home to roost for Kobe playing 100 minutes in back to back nights last week.

    I’m not worried, big picture, though I can’t stand losing to Utah, ever.

    I will say that if Brown continues to insist on starting Blake, he is tripping.

  3. Re: renegades vs chemists (from last thread)

    Chemists can easily point out the following during the 5-game win streak:

    W @ MIN – won by 3 against a team missing its best player (Love) and losing its second best player before the game ends.

    W vs BOS – won by 3 at home, against an old team missing its two rotation bigs.

    W @ MEM – won by 5 in OT against a team missing its best players players (Z-Bo and Gay)

    W @ NOH – won by 6 in OT against one of the worst teams in the league missing its best scorer (Gordon)

    W vs MIN – won by 5 against a team missing its starting PG

    That stretch did not inspire confidence in fans who can see things beyond W/L column and statistics. Let’s not gloss over anything – this team lacks something. That something is a mix of chemistry and motivation. The team’s play is stale. Sessions is a nice addition, but dumping the pillar of our mental stability does not help our team, which already lacked focus and motivation.

  4. Our big 3 had to play excessive minutes this year because pre-trade the Lakers were awful. Couldn’t shoot, pass, dribble, rebound or defend.

    If Kobe, Bynum and Gasol did not play heavy minutes the Lakers wouldn’t have to worry about a trade because they’d be lottery bound by now.

    Contrary to what some think, a new starter that is reluctant to shoot and turns the ball over will take time to adjust to. The team had just figured out how to win with Derek and MWP’s deficiencies and now they have to figure out how to win with Blake’s deficiencies.

    MB should just go ahead and start Rah-mon. Better to take the poison quickly rather than sip it slowly.

    The Lakers have gone through too many changes this season, it’s hard enough to do it during an 82 game season and far tougher to do with fewer games.

    Shsssh! If you listen quietly you can hear Derek Fisher shooting jumpers and preparing himself to join another team, so he can destroy the Lakers. I just hope its not Miami, but I fear it is.

  5. That something is a mix of chemistry and motivation.

    I don’t think so. I think it lacks three-point shooting, speed, PG play, depth, and talent. Sessions and Hill will help with the last four of those.

    As I pointed out in the other thread, Kobe had the 6/28 and 9/31 games with Fisher on the team. The Lakers blew a 21-point lead in DC with Fisher on the team. Those games you point out just underscore the team’s lack of talent. One way to see this is that Kapono has already been released and Houston didn’t want Fisher. Cleveland only took Walton to get the draft pick and because of possible salary floor issues.

    I think one of the collective blind spots of some of the Lakers fanbase from 2008-11 was attributing virtually every loss to focus and motivation issues. I saw that here over and over again–it was never just a bad game or the other team playing well or matchups. It was always the team not caring, or Pau being soft, or Phil being disengaged, or Kobe being selfish.

    This year, with the talent base thinner, a lot of that has mercifully gone away, and I have seldom gotten the feeling this year that the Lakers are not engaged. I think Kobe’s play tonight was mostly a result of fatigue, age and injuries. The guy plays 40 minutes a night at age 33 with tons of mileage and is doing it in a compressed schedule. Having Derek Fisher around changes none of those facts.

  6. I just hope its not Miami, but I fear it is.

    __

    Miami has two PGs who are better than Fisher, and San Antonio just signed Patty Mills. Riley might want Fisher for his presence, I guess, but if getting burned by Fisher in the NBA Finals is the Lakers’ biggest worry, they will be in pretty good shape.

  7. Lakers last 6 games have given up 102-94-111-101-92-103 points. Defense is failing more than anything. I’m sure Mike Brown will stress that tomorrow.

  8. A couple of those were OT games, but yes, the Lakers’ D is not that good, actually. They are 10th in DRTG. Sessions won’t help that much with that issue, either, in spite of his quickness.

  9. I missed the second half, as I was having dinner with my parents. In the first half, Kobe was missing a lot of high quality shots. And I see from the game thread that MWP had to sit out the 4th quarter with a sore hip. Millsap ALWAYS kills us, and I think it’s because our coaching staff is afraid for some reason to put MWP on him. It’s not like Utah is going to kill us by having Josh Howard launch long twos with Pau giving him room. Coach Brown should just sic MWP on Millsap and tell him to shut down that guy.

    It was pretty obvious in the first half that Sessions, despite his poor shooting night, is several orders of magnitude better than Blake at running the team. By inserting Blake into the starting unit, we’re now making two lineup adjustments with Fisher’s exit instead of one. The starting unit had no flow because one of its members was too timid to shoot and it threw off everyone’s rhythm. Sessions better start on Tuesday.

  10. Better get this ‘adjustment’ thing straightened out now, before we feel too good about ourselves.

  11. To think that Sessions and (especially) Hill are going to change our fortunes is to ignore the obvious. We have talent on the squad, the problem is lack of cohesion. The team does not have much chemistry which would solve much of the “three-point shooting, speed, PG play, depth, and talent” problems.

  12. anti Dwyer Abbott March 19, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Good game by Jazz,sloppy game by Lakers.
    Glass half full.

  13. Players, even professionals, do get tired.

  14. Sessions said that he doesn’t really know where his teammates are and he loves to play with Barnes. MB stated that he really fits with the 2nd unit, Barnes running, Murphy w/transition 3 and Goudelock also. Lets wait and have patience for the next 3-5 games and we’ll see.

    About KB24 shooting night, well damn, that was easy good looks that he should’ve made. If you’re taking those kind of shots during practices why not take it during the game?, He’s been making that shot all the time and for 16 years right now. And we know that he is not going to change, get used to it, he’s a scorer and has a shoot first mentality.

  15. Looks like having Aaron so close by unnerved even the Great Kobe.

    I was more interested to hear how Sessions did and it sounds all positive. The interesting thing will be to watch Sessions and Kobe on the floor at the same time and how they interact and initiate plays.

  16. Stein reporting that Clips won’t pursue Fisher, that the Thunder are currently weighing whether or not to extend an offer, and that from Fish’s side, he wants to sign most with the Bulls or Heat.

  17. so he can destroy the Lakers

    ___________________________

    hahahahahahahaha…Fisher will be incredibly lucky to be signed at all, much less play significant minutes or crunch time minutes for a contender. The other teams do have tape, you know.

    Sessions was really good getting to the line. Amazing what changing speeds will do to get the refs to call fouls.

  18. No offense to Blake but I would honestly rather have a PG who isn’t afraid to take shots (FIsher), than someone who is basically a mannequin out there on offense. You miss 100% of the shots you dont take Steve, keep that in mind.

  19. I thank the writer for addressing the obvious, Kobe having his worst game of the season. It does bother me that as well as the big guys were shooting, and as bad as Kobe was shooting, he (Kobe) didn’t act as more of a diversion in the 4th quarter, getting the ball to the bigs. With a loss that close, one basket, one less turnover, could have made all the difference.

    As for Fisher, are the Clippers an option? Remember Fisher returned to L. A. from Utah, for family health issues. His veteran presence could help fill the void left by Billiups.

  20. I honestly think he helps the least with any OTHER team than the Lakers.

    Why would a team really sign him?

    We loved him because he could take a charge and make a three here and there, especially in the clutch, a LOT of sentimentality there.

    Everything else aside without the Lakers bias we have, he wouldn’t be fit for more than 5-10 mins on a regular squad, if that.

    Bye.

  21. P.S. In about 2 weeks, IMHO, Sessions will start.

    At some point, you got to see what he can do with the starters.

    Blake is too unselfish and timid.

    Bye.

  22. Stars minutes need to be addressed. Playoffs are a month away Brown needs to start resting the big 3 more. Instead of bringing them in at the 8 minute mark of the 2nd & 4th fight the urge and bring them in at the 6 minute mark.

    No way should Kobe and Drew average 40 minutes in a 10 game stretch. Ever

  23. “Bynum has become a beast on more nights than not, and even when he’s not on his game he’s a walking double-double. ” Darius.

    I’m in complete agreement. My question, is Bynum eligible for “most improved player”?

    So far this season he’s established career highs in points/game, rebs/game, blks/game, PER, defensive rating, mpg, & currently in the NBA is 2nd in fg%, 3rd, reb/game, & 5th, blks/game.

    Sure injuries minimized his play in seasons past, but does that fact eliminate him from MIP consideration? Has anyone else in the NBA had this type of breakout season this year?

  24. The team does not have much chemistry which would solve much of the “three-point shooting, speed, PG play, depth, and talent” problems.

    ___

    This is just an assertion, quite similar to dr. rayeye’s “mojo” stuff.

    Hill and Sessions will help the team; how much remains to be seen. Sessions’ value is already apparent.

    In terms of “chemistry”, Sessions’ floor game complements Barnes well, and to a lesser extent, Bynum. Sessions working with Kobe will be something to pay attention to over the next few weeks, because it is obvious that Sessions needs to be out there 30-35 minutes.

  25. Follow-up to #23, almost forgot, Bynum also was voted an All-Star starter for the 1st time in his career.

  26. I can possibly see a case for starting Blake and letting him play about six minutes in the first quarter, six minutes in the third quarter, and maybe three minutes in the fourth quarter. That would maximize his floor time with the starters, while still giving Sessions the majority of the minutes.

  27. Mike Brown was afraid to demote Fisher to third string to the point Mitch felt he had to trade him? Now we know Mike Brown is afraid to put the new guys ahead of the established Lakers? Sessions behind Blake for the foreseeable future? Really? Really? Sessions is a legitimate NBA PG and at 25 can play 38 minutes a night. Blake is now the worst PG in the NBA statistically as Fisher is now out of the league. Troy Murphy and McRoberts have been correctly labeled D League level players… But they are ahead in the rotation in front of Jordan Hill. Hill is a guy who was drafted to be a Horace Grant type of player. A it time scorer and dynamic performer in the NBA. So far in his early career he hasn’t been that. His teams have needed a scorer in that four spot. What he turned out to be was a very good defemder, hustler, rebounder, and mid range spot up shooter. The guy has a 15.5 PER. Imagine what he will look like playing next to Bynum and Gasol in his natural position of PF? The playoffs are approaching and the Lakers have D Leaguers backing up Bynum/Gasol and our starting the new worst PG in the NBA… It’s time to start trying to win a championship by taking the front offices lead, this isn’t AYSO, there are on participation awards. Don’t worry about hurting your players feelings and demote the dead weight. Practices will be few and far between, it’s time to get these guys on the court in the spots they will be playing come June and let them learn how to play with their teammates. I don’t care if Session’s can play with Barnes, I care that he is learning to wave off Kobe and turn the other way for a PnR with Gasol. I care to see Ramon shred the defense look back for a flip pass to Pau only to throw a no look lob to Bynum. I want to see Ramon for the first time in his career learn to play off the ball and take a few spot up threes off of Bynum double teams. We have two months before the playoffs. There is no better time than the present.

  28. It still get down to coaching. Brown has no control.

    Leaving Bkake in the end of tbe game who has scored 0 points the last two games is stupid.

    Calling no time out tbe last 3 minutes to call plays other then Kobe chucking is stupid.

    And as I have been saying the past two weeks there is something wrong with Kibe a he is now shooting close to 30% the last 5 games.

  29. rr,
    As we have seen the last two games Blake can’t play With the starters. they don’t respect him enough to let him run the offense and he doesmt have the PG skills to do it either way. He has gone scoreless in two straight games as a starter. I mean wow. Blake for much of his career was laying SG off the ball with Alan Iverson running the show. He could do the same thing with Kobe in the triangle (why he was signed) especially if this was 26 year old Kobe. He cant run a PnR offense with the likes of Kobe, Bynum, and Gasol. In my opinion (and I know the opinion of others) Blake should be playing back up SG with GLock playing 15 spot mins backing up Sessions. This offense needs PnR PGs on the floor as all time.

  30. Ken,
    What do you think is wrong with Kobe? I just think as you age you become less consistent. You think it’s something more than that? I also think for the first time in his career he is losing his confidence. Because for the first time since the Lakers first championship Kobe hasn’t been the best player on his team for a month straight. Andrew Bynum is shooting 65 percent since the ASG. He has been by far the most dominant scoring Center in the league. I think Kobe is happy for Drew and loves him but I think it’s kind of a shock to Kobe to not be the Lakers most consistent player over the course of this post all star break run. How many times have we seen Kobe shoot 3 for 12 and then make 8 of his next ten shots? Now for whatever reason (I just gave you my explanation) he can’t get his shot back on track during the course of the game way too often.

  31. darius: it’s time the mamba lose the mask. his rehab mentality has always been to do the right thing, to maintain a regime unsurpassed in the nba which enables him to continue to play while others sit idle with sprain ankles, sore backs, sprain wrists,toothaches….pms, you name it. With the mask, he has lost his peripheral vision, everything to the side of him is blurred and everything in front of him is tunnel vision.

    Note to Kobe: let’s get back to work.

    Go Lakers !

  32. It is going to take a while for this team to get everything together. To me, there is one downside to getting Sessions: It took too long. I think he is an excellent addition to the team. But it is going to take some time for the others to get used to him on the floor (and vice versa).

    One reason I think he is better with the second unit is he can actually run the offense. Too many times last night I saw him give up the ball to Kobe and get out of his way. That won’t work. He is not a good enough jump shooter to just stand on the wing waiting for a possible Kobe kick out. He has been given room to be an actual point guard. That will be limited with the first unit.

    Lastly, we can’t underestimate the possible emotional impact on Kobe of losing Fisher and Walton.

  33. FISHER UPDATE:

    ESPNSteinLine Marc Stein
    One source says Bulls are right at top of Fisher’s wish list … but whether Chicago plans to reciprocate that interest remains to be seen
    about 2 hours ago     

  34. Chicago has CJ Watson and John Lucas III behind Rose. They have Brian Scalabrine as the 12th man/inspiration guy (he is their Mark Madsen).

  35. FISHER REALITY UPDATE

    tomhaberstroh Tom Haberstroh
    Future employers of Derek Fisher: Think of him as a baseball manager. Let him lead from the bench in a uniform.

  36. You know what bothers me the most, kobe keeps crying about how losing fish was difficult or losing lamar hurt, or whatever. He is the ultimate selfish player. He jacked up 20 shots today more then pau and andrew and he lost the game. point blank. He can’t take not being “the man” for two seconds. It’s really sad he is probably the worst teammate in the league and that is why he will never be ahead of magic or larry in my book. If kobe would pass the ball more the offense would flow, EVERYONE’S stats would be better and yes EVEN Fisher’s. Whenever kobe doesn’t play the ball moves and people get open and comfortable looks. If kobe just wants the team to come down and throw the ball to him in today’s NBA it will never work. This isn’t 1995, he’s trying too hard to be jordan. He is the one crying to management about doing something, well management isn’t going to keep people around and pay double the salary tax( as people like to conveniently forget) If kobe would pass the ball inside and space the floor and actually play defense we would be the best team in the league NO ONE can handle our size, period. Kobe just refuses to adjust his game so whoever plays next to him on the perimeter is ALWAYS going to be pointless. Fisher gone, blake still has the worst stats in the league, it’s funny how when Fisher was at Utah or Goldenstate no one was talking about his defense or offense, even just last year when we went 17-1 post all star break our defense was off the charts with Fisher starting……fans are so petty and fickle. Kobe is at the root of EVERYTHING and it pisses me off how he sits there and cries about his friends on the team like lamar and caron and fisher……bro…if you weren’t making 30 million we could keep those guys no problem hahahah, and if Lakers fans want to know a secret the reason we aren’t amnestying Ron Artest is because we are going to do it to kobe! It’s so obvious, how do you expect the Lakers to max out bynum (because he will be worth that and is arguably playing like the best center in the league) and afford to keep kobe? and sign a promising young star? there is no way Kobe is going to get amnestied folks and then he will retire giving the chicago bulls the gritty, defensive minded, not afraid to shoot sg they’ve coveted. Kobe will at that time accept a grant hill + more scoring roll. We look at the NBA like it’s a soap opera. Today kobe stunk it up and was so selfish he refused to let the bigs win the game. You can’t say they didn’t try being as efficient as you can with the touches they got.

  37. Stop talking about basketball like it’s a drama with all the players feelings and what happened last week. When you move the ball it’s better for everyone we have the most stagnant offense in the league because kobe wants to post up when there are 2 7 footers with GREAT post up games wanting to do the same thing, should they switch spots? pau on the 3pt line? and on top of that he lets a rookie go off on him and basically win UTAH the game, and what botheres me even more is that he calls for the ball when he just got back doored for an offensive rebound and basket and he’s calling for the ball like he’s going to score a 4pter and make it better……Kobe: it’s ok to take a game off and let the bigs win one especially against UTAH man! there is a fine line when your pride and confidence and desire become toxic and dangerous to a team and he’s way beyond crossing that. He doesn’t even respect his 14ft front line enough to give them the damn ball so they can have a 20pt + game it’s like taboo if anyone scores more then kobe I swear.

  38. A little patience should be exercised with the change of landscape of the Lakers, the same way with posters here who have the tendency to jump on one success or failure after seeing one game. When Lakers beat the Heat everyone is talking of C’ship until reality bites them back in losing to non-contenders during the road trip. It is again a repeat when Sessions joined the team, everyone was excited as though inconsistency has been solved overnight after changing the PG. The sample is too small to make conclusive remarks. It is best to wait and see and take every game seriously. The new attitude may be pervasive with a faster pace but others has to join the campaign. It may start with Ramon new mojo but how many can he influenced in running and gunning without getting tired. New Lakers need to hone to their plays get accustom with their teammates and lastly, everyone should do their homework. There is short cut to success.

  39. rr,

    A renegrade makes snap judgments. A chemist has more patience.

    Ramon is a spicy chile pepper added to a simmering stew. If it’s the right amount and it simmers for the right amount of time, the stew will win a gourmet prize.

    Too much chile and it will be too caliente to win. Too little and it won’t have a chance.

    The judge hasn’t yet seen the final product, and the stew hasn’t even made it to the first round of testing yet.

    It was the the taste of choice garlic that always came through just before the final test so many times before.

    Time will tell.

  40. Defense has been failing the Lakers as of late Last 7 games:

    Lakers are giving up an avg. of 100 pts per game.
    Opponents are getting 12 offensive rebounds last 7 games
    Lakers give up the MOST shots per game 86 due to all the offensive rebounds.
    Opponents average 40 paint points per game

    Speights & Gasol 45 pts 18 reb 7 off.
    Pek & Love 47 pts 27 reb 12 off
    Milsap, Kanter, Favors 53 pts 27 reb 8 off

    Defense is failing the Lakers more than the offense.

  41. A renegrade makes snap judgments.
    __

    Fisher is 37 and has been in the NBA 16 years. Blake is 31 and has been in NBA 10 years. Saying that they can’t get the job done anymore is anything but a snap judgment.

    Also, I have said several times that Sessions is not a cure-all. There are specific ways that he is not a perfect fit for the Lakers, and although I was strongly behind the move, I am not as excited about the possibilities offered by it as some other guys are.

    Fisher made a certain amount of sense when he was 30 and the team was playing the Triangle. He makes no sense now. That’s why he’s gone.

    One thing that you need to remember: even with Fisher’s presence, “mojo” , leadership, or whatever term you want to use, the Lakers got swept out of the playoffs in the conference semis last year, losing the last game 122-86–after one of Fisher’s speeches.

    Derek Fisher is a tough guy and a team leader. He made some huge shots. Lakers fans should always remember him fondly.

    But it was time to move on, regardless of what happens from here on out.

  42. 41: I guess my point is offensive rebounds are killing the Lakers more than anything. Don’t know if it’s a product of slow footed, not hustling to the ball or Kobe and Ron not boxing out. But if that goes down Lakers defense becomes far more effective.

  43. I’m disappointed in the sloppy play and in Kobe’s poor shooting, but still encouraged by some positive signs:

    Sessions’ speed and quickness on offense (and his burgeoning chemistry with Barnes), AB’s continued dominance, and the fact that we still have two of the most skilled offensive players in the WORLD on our team (though one couldn’t shoot last night).

    I am looking forward to the playoffs!

  44. darius: since this is a slow day for lakerland as we know it, let me just throw this out there. the buffoons, i mean the bartender bunch plus the coaching staff are doing the right thing in the right order so it will be just a matter of time (little time) before ramon sessions is the starting point guard for the lakers this season. except for ten games that he started, wasn’t steve blake a back up point guard for the clippers when the clippers were the clippers?

    go lakers !

  45. Ramon Sessions is a dramatic upgrade at the 1, plus he’s young and healthy. Why not go for broke and give him 35-40 min? He is by far their 4th best player. Just because fish/blake split time doesn’t mean the same should go for Ramon. The whole point of dropping fish and signing this guy was so there was someone out there to create and alleviate the burden of the big three. Meanwhile, Brown rides the core three and surrounds him with scrubs. Let Ramon play.

  46. Kobe rarely has a “bad” game in terms of performance; instead his sub-par games are the result of, let’s say “controversial” choices. This game featured reasonable Kobe choices, and just crap performance. For those games, you just move on.

    Mike Brown is competent, but just not a great thinker. Beyond substitutions, too many minutes, poor offense, etc., his quote about Sessions/Blake just killed me: He said something like ‘Sessions isn’t familiar with the other players, so we’ll keep him in the bench.” Whaaa? How in the heck is he going to get familiar if you keep him on the bench? jeez.

  47. Kobe took good shots in the flow of the offense. Unfortunately it was the worst game if his career on both ends of the floor.

    Stephen A Smith was just on ESPN 710 and basically took back his thoughts on the Fisher trade. He said his inside sources told him it was almost a certainty that Fisher would have been a clubhouse cancer if he was demoted to 3rd string. That he basically told the Lakers as much over the course of the last couple years. Smith also said its a no brainer Session’s should be starting right away. But he said Mike Brown is a meticulous coach for better and for worse, he said Brown needs to dot the I’s and cross the T’s before making lineup changes. He expects Ramon to start very soon.

  48. Don Ford,
    What do you want Mike Brown to say? Steve Blake is so bad we can’t even start him for two games while we get Ramon caught up to speed? But I agree he should have started last night and needs to be thrown in the fire eventually and we can’t afford to drop games like last night with a PG going for zero points and two assists. The question is if Ramon started and played 35 minutes plus… Would Kobe shoot 3 for 20? I doubt it.

  49. Aaron, I’m all for diplomatic coaches, and maybe I’m just unfairly nit-picking on a hastily worded statement, but the logic of the statement just struck me as doltish.

    Here it is (and it’s a paraphrase at that, admittedly): “Coach Mike Brown said he had no quarrel with the shots Sessions took but said he is still getting used to his new teammates and they’re still learning about him. Until that process is more advanced, Brown said he’s inclined to keep Sessions on the bench.”

  50. “Derek Fisher is a tough guy and a team leader. He made some huge shots. Lakers fans should always remember him fondly. But it was time to move on…”

    Agreed, though many would argue the time to move on came much, much sooner than last week.

    The lack of solid PG play killed the Lakers in last season’s playoffs. Team should have let Fish walk after the 2010 win against Boston — would have been bad for public relations, no doubt, but if the money and minutes could have been given to a younger player (like Farmar) the team would have been in a better place last season, let alone trying to adjust on the fly in March 2012.

  51. Every man wears a pair of pants, a shirt, socks and shoes. Yet every man puts them on differently. Some put on their pants first, then their socks and shoes, then their shirt. Some put on their shirt first, then their socks and shoes and then their pants.

    So too, does each coach have his own way of handling substitutions, his reliance on his star players, his use of players on the team.

    At the start of this season everyone was comparing the Clippers to the woeful Lakers. Saying how the Clippers had three new players and were winning games and the Lakers had the same starting unit and were out of sync. No one took into account that the Clippers schedule gave them practice time that allowed the players to adjust to each other. On the other hand, the Lakers started the season with a new coaching staff and played more games than anyone else in the league in the first month. The Clippers were winning and the Lakers were losing.

    The Clippers lost one player Chauncey Billips and the team fell apart with what some claim is the best pg in the league, all while still playing under the same coach and offense from last year. Contrast that with the Lakers trading LO at the start of the season; playing with a coaching staff that knew no more about the players in their charge than the average basketball viewer and the players adjusting to the coaches. My point is that with all of these changes the Lakers are 3rd in the west (just barely), but not bad.

    Kobe shoots sometimes when it’s not in the best interest of the team. But hasn’t he always? But after 16 years, sixteen, XVI years he is still one of the best SG’s in the league. Was he fatigued last night, maybe. I didn’t see Kobe having a problem with Andrew or Ramon, he just didn’t have any bounce in his step. One thing we know about Kobe is that he’ll be baaaacccckkkk!

    When Kobe was on the floor and Ramon threw a good pass to Barnes, Kobe jumped off the bench and cheered. When Ramon drove to the cup and got fouled, Kobe cheered. When Ramon hit Andrew with a pass on the break for a dunk, Kobe swung his towel and cheered. There’s no problem there.

    A young Kobe would have loved playing in MB’s system with a guard like Ramon. Just saying.

  52. Anyone saying Ramon should be playing – just wait. It takes a while for a player to meld into a team. I’m sure once there have been a few games of Ramon finding his feet, he’ll be in there. We’ll be fine. Calm down Lakerland!