That feeling of winning sure was fleeting.
Looking to carry over their momentum from a dominant win over the Pistons, the Lakers simply couldn’t get it done tonight. Lots of things went wrong in this one but if there’s one thing that stood out it was the fact that the Lakers played from behind in another game and couldn’t dig themselves out of the hole they found themselves in.
In the first half the Lakers shot an abysmal 34% from the floor while allowing the Jazz to shoot 48%. Add to that nine first half turnovers while allowing the Jazz to score 28 points in the paint and the Lakers got behind the eight ball early and never recovered.
Sure, in the 2nd half they fought hard. Their defense clamped down, their offense started to do some things well, and they showed a fair amount of grit in making a push to cut the deficit to four points. But when they needed to, they couldn’t string together the stops they needed nor execute on offense well enough to get over the hump.
There’s a lot of blame to go around in a game like this:
- The players themselves looked listless for most of the first half.
- The coaches aren’t really putting players in position to succeed by having Antawn Jamison chase quick wings around the three point line and having Ron guard undersized SG’s that run him off picks and attack him off the dribble when he’s closing out on them hard after helping in the paint.
- The Lakers big men, in particular, weren’t active in defending the rim and didn’t read defenses as well as they could have when the Jazz blitzed them with double teams.
- The bench shot 4-15 from the floor and was outscored 36-12.
I could go on, but you probably get the picture. The nine point loss actually looked better on the scoreboard than it did on the floor.
So, ultimately, I guess the best way to describe this game is that it’s the same story as the other losses with a couple of different plot twists but the same ending. Kind of like the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy only worse. If you’re looking for good news, the Lakers have six straight home games that they can try to use to turn change the early season narrative. If you want to still take the glass half empty approach, this team doesn’t look ready to change their narrative at this point.