Lakers/Grizzlies: Bizarro Game

Zephid —  November 23, 2012

This game was just bizarre.  In the midst of 4 games in 5 nights, it would be tough to expect the Lakers to beat one of the league’s hottest teams, while lacking one of their 4 best players, and having a new coach.  The Lakers managed to make it respectable in the end, a 106-98 loss to the Grizzlies in Memphis, but there were times when this game was ugly.

In the 1st quarter, the Lakers came out with some energy, garnering 3 early stops on a Dwight block, a Dwight strip, and a Darius Morris steal, twice leading to transition buckets for Morris.  But when the game bogged down, the Lakers began running a very stagnant offense, while the Grizzlies offense kicked into high gear.  Led by Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies jumped out to a 34-18 lead, with Gay going 3-4 from three point range.  With the Lakers giving up 6 turnovers and 4 offensive rebounds, the Grizzlies were able to pounce on them in transition.  Meanwhile, the Laker offense stalled, particularly with Gasol missing a number of jumpers and close shots, starting the game 1-6.

I’m one of Gasol’s staunchest supporters, but this was one of the worst games I’ve seen from him since he put on the Lakers uniform.  He got worked by Zach Randolph on the boards, to the tune of 12 boards, 5 offensive, while getting out-hustled for loose balls, beaten off the dribble, and killed by back door cuts.  His 27 minutes were well below his average this year, and he managed to be -23 in plus/minus in that short amount of time.

Pau’s minutes were low not only because of his poor play, but also because of the excellent play of Antawn Jamison.  Jamison has been a non-factor (to put it kindly) for the Lakers so far this year, and this was by far his best game of this young season.  Jamison came out and attacked the basket (as I’ve been calling for him to do on Twitter @ZephidFB_G pretty much all year).  After two quick buckets and a 3 early in the 2nd quarter, Jamison finished with 16 points on 7-11 shooting with 7 boards.  He also played more than serviceable defense on Zach Randolph down the stretch, far above expectations considering Randolph’s immense skill set down low.

With Pau having his worse game of the season, Jamison having his best, and the Lakers starters getting killed by their counterparts, this game really headed into Bizarro World when the Laker bench came in in the 2nd quarter.  Facing a 16 point deficit, a lineup of Chris Duhon, Jodie Meeks, Metta World Peace, Jamison, and Howard managed to cut the deficit to 3 in under 4 minutes, with Jamison and MWP aggressively attacking the basket.  Then the starters came back in, and the lead again ballooned to 14.  Down 12 going into the 4th, it took another great effort from the bench to cut the lead to 6 in 4 minutes, only to see the starters come in again and lose most of the momentum.

The reserves ran simple sets, posting up Howard, waiting for the double, and making open threes.  While Howard’s stat line is unimpressive (2-7, 7 points, 4 boards, 4 blocks, 3 assists), the doubles he drew on offense in the 4th led to 4 consecutive 3′s, 2 by Meeks, and one each for Jamison and Duhon.  While it’s still no excuse for the Lakers ignoring Dwight for the first 3 quarters, the reserves finally found an identity, one which should continue in the future.  However, the Lakers still refused to involve Dwight in any pick and rolls, an egregious offense considering he was the league’s best PNR big man last year.

In the end, the Grizzlies starters were just too good.  Marc Gasol continually punished the Lakers for overhelping with his passing, while Mike Conley made several crucial shots down the stretch to seal the game.  Tony Allen also did his part by bothering Bryant into 7-23 shooting, even though Kobe missed a number of shots he normally makes.

While the Lakers aren’t quite at the level we would like them to be at, there are signs of progress (things that didn’t happen under Mike Brown).  Darius Morris had a strong game, going 4-6 from the field while playing decent defense.  MWP again had a very good game, with 16 points on 5-9 shooting.  Jamison, Duhon, and Meeks all played well in reserve roles, and the bench finally may have some semblance of coherence on offense with Dwight as their focal point.  If Dwight and Pau play average, the Lakers probably win this game.  But when your two star bigs score 13 points combined on 5-15 shooting, while your star 2-guard shoots 7-23, it’ll be difficult to win any game, and you get outrebounded 39-28, it would be difficult to win any game.

Zephid

Posts

63 responses to Lakers/Grizzlies: Bizarro Game

  1. To: Mitch Kupchak

    IF the opportunity arises, trade Pau for a stretch PF and a shooter(s).

  2. The team is old and overrated. Final score doesn’t indicate the paws Grizzles put on the Lakers. As has been the case with many Lakers losses they play catch up and make the final score respectable but it’s all fool’s gold a this point. The team is flawed and not very good.

    You would hope D’Antoni takes it easy realizes this is a old team who can’t keep up with the insane pace he wants to play at all year. Slows the game down and plays out the post some.

  3. I don’t see how a stretch 4 solves the issues. Stretch 4 does not address defense, energy, and rebounding. The starters can score and Nash will improve that. It’s the D that needs help.

  4. Hard to pnr Howard when there isn’t a guard capable of doing so unfortunately right now :P

  5. I agree with Kevin, though the final score was “respectable”, you pretty much knew the Lakers were not going to come back and win this. This team just cannot get big stops at the end of games. With Nash continuing to be out, possibly another month or so, this team needs to pick it up defensively and should not be pushing to just “outscore” teams. Maybe this team is now a little more motivated after 2 straight losses and can get a win in Dallas tomorrow, that is if Pau and Howard can actually show up and do anything other than nothing.

  6. Kevin: I would like to respond with a counter argument, but I simply can;t muster one up. People like you and Ko keep stating facts that suggest that we are not that good. People like me and many others can only respond with hope. I am not crossing over to the dark side yet, but I don;t know how much longer I can stay in denial.

  7. People on the last thread are taking this Pau hate too far. It doesmt matter how Pau looks at 32 years old… It is silly to take sunning away from the player he once was. He was the best or second best PF in the NBA for 6-8 years straight. But players who never take care of their bodies don’t age as well as Kobe amd Nash. Pau and guys like Lamar Odom age much faster. The Lakers are a brilliantly run team. They traded (and Odom) for CP3 at the exact right time before they fell into steep decline. Unfortunately we had to keep Pau and now he has little trade value. For those who dream of trading Gasol for anything of substance those times are no more unfortunately. So learn to love who you’re with.

  8. Frustrating to see two consecutive games where our big men are not being utilized. Both are capable of being all-stars, yet the Lakers insist to let Kobe be the focal point of the offense. Too many times when Howard is playing with Kobe, he has to stay on the opposite side and fight for missed shots. Why trade for Howard if we’re not going to use him properly. Having Kobe take a majority of the shots is not going to be a winning recipe come playoff time (he’ll be tired by then).

    We need to get Howard easy transition points, use him more in PNR sets, and have Pau up at the high post and get it into Howard on the low post.

    Look at how Marc Gasol and Z-bo run sets. Let Pau be the play making big man that he is!

    Offense looked like last year except instead of Bynum not touching the ball, it was Howard.

    On another note, the subs looked great!

  9. It just seems like the Lakers can’t play a complete game. Tonight the starters were lousy with the exception of Peace and Morris. Kobe played hard but very inefficiently. But the bench made a strong showing for a change. They’ve got to get in sync. I’m glad D’Antoni went with the hot Jamison instead of Pau. And the refereeing didn’t help. I wonder what the Lakers’ record is in games officiated by Bennett Salvatore.

    Our team has a long way to go.

  10. @ Robert November 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm, I feel you. Horry with the quote, ‘tough times don’t last, but tough men do’, just what the Doctor ordered.

  11. This team can not win with Pau. He doesn’t fit with Howard and his defense and rebounds are a joke. No way no how. even when Nash comes back this is still a mid round seed. Robert pointed out how that goes.

    Old slow teams can’t win in the league any more. Who in the world other than the Spanish league wants Pau, minus 37 last 2 games. He makes more than Wade and James. Sorry but there are 4 teams much better then Lakers in thebWesr and Dwight losing the ball and bricking FT dosen’t help. If they finish 5th and will get crushed in Tge 1 st round by Spurs, Griz, Clips or OKC I doubt if Howard stays when he dosen’t even get the ball. Reality guys is a ugke thin.

  12. I really saw more positives than negatives in this game. The starters playing so bad is an aberration (is that even a real word…) so it wont always be so bad. The big positive ofcourse is that the bench finally looked like something more than a D-League bench and that in the long run will be much more significant that a historically bad Paul gamw and an inefficient Kobe game.

    However hoping that Jamison plays like this is fools gold, i.watched him closely while he played in cleveland and maaaaaaan he truly does more bad than good.

  13. This is the prob w Howard – he can’t necessarily create his own shots or face up in the same manor that Pau, amare or TD can. He needs to be force fed in close and used in pnr sets. Unfortunately we don’t have a point guard able to run the pnr with him properly until Nash gets back. The first couple games Pau was involved and was able to facilite – and get howard moving towards or in good position at the basket. Howard got lots of touches but was out of position and too far away to do much. The first 6 games playing uptempo both howard pau had good games and succeeded so we know they can play better – but the effort and concentration is just not there from either – for whatever reason. And yet there was some positive contribs from the bench and the Lakers were still in a game they had no business being in.

  14. Lakers with Mike Brown

    Opp. FG: 44% (47-50-45-35-44). Avg. 35 rebounds a game

    Since 1st D’Antoni practice implementing system

    Opp. FG: 48% (48-48-41-54-50). 41 rebs per game. Outrebounded 4 straight games.

  15. Here are some puzzle:

    Lakers are good at home but bad on the road.

    Dwight is a dominating Center but the poorest on FT. They can’t pass the ball to him because of hack-a-dwight strategy.

    Pau is 7 footer but keeps shooting on the outside

    Every game a new player shows up but the others are unstable. It is never consistent as a team but rise and fall on their individual curve.

    Kobe saves the game and Kobe could throw away the game too as a one man offense.

    If Mike D’Antoni could solve those puzzles, Lakers could turn ON their switch on the road.

  16. Pau has brought the softness that he displayed in Memphis to LA. Case in point without him Memphis has become one of the toughfest teams in the NBA. Not only is he not the best PF, he is not a PF. His game has no power and when he misses from outside its like having two centers out there. He is and has been the weakest link. If he was a black 7 footer taking 20 footers he wouldn’t even be in the NBA.

  17. What more do people need to see from Pau. 10 reasons to trade Pau ; Blake Griffin, Demarcus Cousins, Zach Randolph, Lamarcus Aldridge, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Bosh, Serge Ibaka, Kevin Garnette, Kevin Love, Josh Smith. Each one is a player that Pau must guard and he absolutely cannot. Every Forward in the league salivates when they play the Lakers. Don’t believe me watch Brandon Wright tomorrow. You may not know him now but you will after Pau trys to guard him. No team that is serious about winning a championship would start Pau at Forward. The championships that he won he played mostly CENTER!!

  18. Pau played poorly but you guys dont give him enough credit

    This is a former star player that is forced into doing ALL the dirty work, and sacrificing his game completely for the team. Kobe is still playing kobe, nash will do nash, D12 still camps the paint. But pau has changed his game from a post playing center in memphis, to a stretch shooter and facilitator.

    And some nights he plays off, but be happy we have him because he is the only one able to adapt and sacrifice his game AND his ego where guys like kobe wouldnt, and guys like D12 cant.

  19. You can swap Pau for any of those names and the problems would still be the same. Defense and Depth. I may be biased but I’m not blind.

  20. Joe Atlanta-

    Giving Kobe the ball all the time is fine if you need to win a few games. I’m talking about having a winning team that has a chance to win a championship.

    You heard me right! We must give the ball to Howard, but not just in post-ups. We need to get him involved with pick and rolls and other actions that will give him room to operate. If you haven’t noticed, when the Laker big men don’t become active participants in the offense, then the defensive effort and rebounding suffers.

    Like Shaq used to say, “if you want the dog to guard the house, then you better feed him.”

    You try playing a pick up game where someone takes all the shots and doesn’t pass the ball. Do you feel like playing defense? Will you run the court? Will you sacrifice your body to help your team? I’m guessing the answer is no.

  21. There are issues with bench. There are plenty of issues with Pau. But if Dwight Howard can’t regain his old form soon, then everything else is moot. If “Superman” doesn’t show up sometime in the next month, then all talk of contending can be muted. His play is the most glaring issue to me.

    Unfortunately, I’m not even surprised by Pau’s play. I don’t buy the out of position argument. Pau’s get’s pushed around on the block by smaller players routinely. He is just as hesitant in the low post as he is in the high post. This is who he is now. It goes back to the 2011 playoffs. The 2009 version of Gasol is long gone. I’ve accepted it. It is Dwight Howard I’m starting to worry about.

  22. i expect pau to be in better shape in a month. he’ll be leaner and quicker and have more stamina.

  23. It’s amazing how patient people are willing to be with Pau. Name one reason why the Lakers need him? He has played the same way since he arrived in LA. He is who he is. The Lakers snuck by an old Celtic team for there last title. It will never happen again since the book is out on Pau. The Lakers need a defensive and rebounding 4 not a bilingual nice guy. My biggest gripe is that Pau plays so energized for his country who pays him nothing while the Lakers overpay him for not even close to the same effort. How does a PF never get in foul trouble? By not playing Defense. Pau is the kind of player who can post decent numbers while having little or know impact on the game. Smart player that LA doesn’t need.

  24. So when do we play Detroit again? There is clearly something wrong with Dwight. Either his back is getting worse or there is a simmering problem with Kobe.

    Pau is a lost cause on this team. Nothing Mike D can do turns him into a Dirk, 41%, now under 14 a game, minus 37 last two games and working on minus 100 after 12 games. Benching him was the right thing but doing so where he used to play in front of his brother. Sensitive Pau may niw be lost for the season (see Pau 2 years ago playoffs for example), they have to try and move him now.

  25. Hard to beat a good team without a PG or a PF. Gasol is officially the most overpaid player in the game, and at this rate if he can’t be traded he might be an amnesty candidate next season.

  26. Too bad we can’t get equal or close value for Gasol. That CP3-Gasol trade looked good and is still looking good. Obviously Mitch knew something back then we didn’t.

  27. Will: You mention Pau playing well in the Olympics. Where was he dominating team USA? The paint. Put him in the post with his back to the basket and his talents will be on full display.

    Nobody’s brought up Kobe’s 7-23 or his horrible weakside defense every game. Marc Gasol absolutely putting on a clinic on Dwight. Dwight hasn’t called for the ball all year. Never gets mad or anything just prances along happy that Lakers are losing.

  28. Umm Dwight had back surgery and wasn’t due back til January. Yet he is still the best defender in the NBA ( 3 times MVDP). What is Pau’s excuse? Try scoring with Pau’s man sitting in your lap because he can’t shoot. Ask Bynum it can be quite the ordeal. A seven footer whose greatest asset is passing. That’s like a point guard that can dunk…. How often will he get that chance? Please stop babying Pau…. Mitch Kupchak does it enough.

  29. Chibi Pau is in great shape for what he does….which is NOTHING. Do you also see him getting stronger, meaner, and more aggressive ? Good Luck with that. The parade on South Beach will be over and done before that happens. Wake up…. you are missing a great basketball season.

  30. Lmao kevin_
    I brought up kobes poor night last thread. The problem is that you seem to give pau more leeway than kobe. This was kobes worst shooting night this year man…pau has been more down than up so far.

  31. Kevin are you suggesting get rid of the best center in the league so Pau can post up? If they can’t coexist then I get Pau a one way ticket out of town….simple. Kobe has more spunk in his finger than Pau does in his whole body. Dwight is a perineal All Star. Ask Memphis what it’s like having Pau as your starting center…..forget about the playoffs in this case. Kobe has had three coaches this year and he still leads the league in scoring. He and Pau should not be mentioned in the same sentence.

  32. I didnt watch tonights game but from the box score of the last 2 games you can see that both of our bigs are not getting their touches likes they were in the miny bernie era.

    When we were playing with bernie we would go inside to either gasol or dwight and let them go one on one creating spacing and foul shots when the defense collapsed and either fouled or left a shooter open.

    Now it seems that Kobe is dominating the ball and by acting as the quarterback is deciding who will get the ball the bigs isos are not so much there as once they pass back kobe goes into attack mode right away

    This should ease up when Nash does get back who will get both gasol and howard for easy shots.

    not sure about this game but in last game the play usually went like this – howard would try to set a screen and fade right before it was set where kobe would then feed it to gasol at the top of the key and gasol would either shoot or lob it to howard.

    I would like to see more plain jane pnr with either kobe/nash and dwight – where dwight actually sets the pick instead of a direct fade – it is kind of getting to the bynum point last year where there never really is a screen and he just yells for the ball.

    We cant do this to dwight as this is what the problem was in orlando when nelson/turkolu/richardson all would go iso on the perimiter instead of giving dwight the ball and he left – if we relegate howard to a screener/dunker i dont think he will see his game growing and might bolt.

    Its good to read that jamison played well but I would also be concerned that Hill did not get hardly any playing time when he is our best bench player.

    Happy to see positive comments on morris – hopefully blake wont steal his minutes

  33. KenOak: trying to be fair and spread this loss on the whole team not just one player. Everybody could’ve played better.

    Will: I’m saying give Pau more post touches. First play of the game was a set out the triangle. Pau drove baseline forced a double found Dwight in the paint he missed. Never saw the ball in the post again. On the other hand Dwight gets the ball down low and faces up like he’s a guard EVERY TIME. Instead of going through people he goes around them. If Dwight is the center he’s expected to be a force which he hasn’t been.

  34. Guys what do you think of Jamison starting and Gasol off the bench?

  35. Formalhault: As long as Pau is not starting I am with it. He deserves a demotion and if that doesn’t work please TRADE HIM!!

  36. I still don’t understand why we don’t run Jamison at the four and Hill at the five though.

  37. Achieving team unity is not easy–and each coach has his own pixie dust. So far, Mike D looks a lot like the now banished Mike B of last year: “Bad” Kobe emerges–one against the world for the first time this season, neither Pau nor Dwight get shot opportunities in the paint, and defense becomes a four letter word–no more free Taco’s at Staples this year. Meeks is in and Ebanks is out. Hill plays four minutes. The Steve’s aren’t even suited up.

    How many games have there ever been in which Pau was -23 and Kobe -22? It’s not Pau or any other individual player that we should dump on–at least not yet. Our current Mike needs to prove that his pixie dust can bring this team together with the players that we have–at a championship level.

    By Christmas, we’ll probably know.

  38. I was thinking the other day a good move would be to put Pau on the bench and start Hill. This way Pau can play center with the second unit and we would play his at his best position. But I really don’t think this is happening. I don’t even know if it’s a good idea to begin with. It was just a thought I had.

  39. Repetitive comments will be deleted. Read the commenting guidelines for an explanation. Thanks for respecting the site and, if you can’t respect the site, please move on. Thanks in advance.

  40. Shawn

    Griz were very well coached and has a plan. If you watch the replay in the 2nd half every time the ball went in ti Dwight he was doubled. Instead of quickly kicking he held and tried to get around Gasol and Z. Very similar to Andrew last year. AB had more moves and could shoot a jumper. It was frustrating to see and Kobe tried to take on the world. Only time offense worked was when subs were in as they moved the ball. Forget about DH in the post as scouts are smart. P&R and keep ball moving. As for Pau he just looks confused right now. Still no excuse for few rebounds from Dwight or poor defense. It was very similar to last year when Andrew would pout and stop trying when he
    didn’t get the ball. Will improve when gnash returns but right now Mike has to come up with a plan B.

  41. Kevin: Did you hear that Dwight had back surgery and wasn’t due back to January? Pau is good in the low post but not good enough to replace the best center in basketball. Bring Pau off the bench….it can’t hurt. Why doesn’t he state the obvious that he is no good away from the basket.

  42. Maybe one could say that Kobe was due to have an off night in the efficiency category. Pau surely looked a step too slow out there. He was uncharacteristically hesitant with his decisions, passed up on open shots…was nowhere near what he’s capable of and what I’m used to from him. Strip-a-Dwight seems to be a common theme. This could have been a severe blowout had the bench not caught fire, buoyed by 3s.

    Some questions:
    How much did the Grizzlies’ defense contribute to the Lakers woes?

    How much did Tony Allen bother Kobe?

    Randolph with his strength and activity (5 offensive rebounds) were never a good combination for Pau. Should Dwight have guarded Randolph when Jamison wasn’t on him? (I would suggest MWP also, but he needs to check Gay)

    Marc’s a big body to counter Dwight’s power game. Were the Grizz doing something in particular to disrupt any pick and roll activity?

    Our defense and inability to get timely stops was a bigger concern.

    Marc’s ability to hit the J kept Dwight out of the paint limiting his work on the boards. 4 boards a piece for our star bigs. Randolph, several times easily slipped by Pau to get better position.

    While a lot of this can be attributed to the Lakers having an off-night, a lot of can definitely be attributed to the Grizzlies being a tough team with some very good pieces. The Grizzlies have always been a tough matchup for the Lakers (anybody, really), but let’s not forget to mention that a few years with their current core has their team playing well together.

  43. Regardless of the results so far d’antoni is at least a great quote – forgot how good his interviews were in phoenix lol

    Instead of shuffling his coaching staff, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni plans to retain all of the assistants who previously worked for Mike Brown. “What kind of Thanksgiving would it be to send somebody (home)?” D’Antoni said. “I didn’t steal Christmas or anything. We’re good.”

    Ken Berger: D’Antoni: “I hate when guys say, ‘I didn’t get my touches.’ That doesn’t make any sense. Everybody gets touches. The ball should go around.” Twitter @KBergCBS

    Janis Carr: Ouch @Ramona Shelburne to D’Antoni: What was the thinking of leaving Pau on bench in crunch time: “I’d like to win this game.” Twitter @janiscarr

    Gasol had six points on three-for-eight shooting, continuing to toil in D’Antoni’s push-the-pace offense. He also posted a dud two days earlier against Sacramento, scoring eight points on three-for-10 shooting. Maybe it’s a conditioning thing, the 12-year veteran never required to run as much as in D’Antoni’s system. “He’ll be rested for [Saturday], that’s for sure,” D’Antoni said. Los Angeles Times

  44. Oh man we quickly panick around here.

    Good news is that there still is hope for the bench. Hill seems to be a safe bet, Morris too… and now Jamison and Meeks are waking up, while the Blake and Duhon have been very solid all along.

  45. This team can’t make defensive stops when they need them. Red flag.

  46. No surprise the Grizz won, they are a legit contender this year. I am bothered by the fact that the Lakers are “trying” to win utilizing an offense basically called “Kobe”. Fans are blaming Gasol & Howard for not being productive. Big men need to get the ball where they are most productive from the guards controlling the ball. For the most part that’s Kobe. Now I know it’s not in his DNA to pass down low on a consistent basis. Yes I know the Kobe motto “I eat 1st”. And I know Kobe is having a great year and Kobe worshippers will defend his game by saying “if not for Kobe….”.

    But the bottom line is it’s not working.

    -Lakers are on their 3rd coach of the season and are under .500
    - 0-4 on the road
    -Grizz & Clips appear to be legit. Spurs & Thunder are as expected. Unless Lakers win approx 50 of their last 69, they won’t finish as a top 3 seed, meaning they will open the post season playing one of these teams, possibly as the road team.
    -The top two goals for the Lakers this season are: win the championship and sign D-12 to a long term contract. The way D-12 is being used in the offense hurts the Lakers chances on both of the franchises top two goals…this is insane.
    -But there is good news for those who feel Kobe is fine & blameless in this mess. At his current scoring rate he will easily pass Wilt Chamberlain for 4th place on the All-time career scoring list and setting him up perfectly in his last season next year to catch & pass his idol Michael Jordan for 3rd place. Of course the Lakers won’t be any good, Dwight will have moved on, D’Antoni will have been fired, but the “what else can Kobe do” crew will be ok.

    Yes I am know Steve Nash is out, but if you’re telling me that once Steve Nash returns, all will be well in time and the Lakers will be a legit contender for the title this season, then forget LeBron, Durant, ‘Melo, or CP3. Steve Nash should be the MVP, because our beloved Lakers are currently a mess.

  47. “You try playing a pick up game where someone takes all the shots and doesn’t pass the ball. Do you feel like playing defense? Will you run the court? Will you sacrifice your body to help your team? I’m guessing the answer is no”

    Mr. Howard is getting paid $19,261,200,this is not a pick up game,but professional sport,for that amount of money yes,he must feel like playing defense,yes,he has to run the court,yes,he has to sacrifice his body to help his team.
    and much more

  48. The Dane: Blake has been solid? Blake is the worst defensive point guard in the NBA. He never goes by his man but his man always gets pass him. I wouldn’t say he has been solid. Nice guy though.

  49. Three more losses and Bernie will be warming the seat for Mike Dunleavy.

  50. What we’re missing right now, more than anything, is a ‘True’ Point Guard. A floor general who can not only facilitate the offense, but initiate it from the jump. Kobe, a natural assasin, is being forced to play outside of his element. While doing a decent job as the facilitator, his natural instincts entails him to take over and revert to ‘Mamba Mode’ once he realizes the initial set breaks down.

    Once this occurs, what you have are players standing around watching him. No cutters. No ball movement. Just ‘The Kobe System’ .. Which can have moderate (3rd qtr against the Kings Wednesday Night), but not lasting success. Dwight (flaws and all) becomes an afterthought, when in reality, he’s accustomed to being the focal point of an offense. Unfortunately, when this happens, there’s a strong possibility that individuals who are not engaged offensively, slack off defensively. Honestly, over the last 2 gms, this seems to be the issue with Dwight. As Travis Y referenced earlier with the Shaq quote.

    At the end of the day, if we can get ‘General’ Nash back, healthy and in NBA shape, he’ll be able to alleviate a significant portion of our problems. He knows and can run this offense in his sleep. He’ll add a dimension, among other things, that a team can never have enough of, which is shooting. This will help free up the paint for Dwight (and possibly Pau). His mindset as a pass first PG will allow everyone to get their touches AND scoring opportunities and therefore actively engage Dwight, which will neccessitate him being more in tuned defensively and on the boards.

    Btw, for those who are stating that Nash looked old in preseason and 1 and a half reg season games, he was playing out of his element. Trying to learn an offense which was not structured to his skill-set. The PO had him balling in handcuffs. Lets see how he looks (once healthy and as I mentioned earlier, in NBA shape) within his relm before we write him off as a washed up has been.

  51. I can’t believe what I am reading here. The voice of reason is no where to be found. Trade this so and so! Fire the coach! Howard is a bum!

    My goodness. Some of you seem to live in a world where the word patience does not exist. SMH.

  52. Travis Y

    You try playing a pick up game where someone takes all the shots and doesn’t pass the ball. Do you feel like playing defense? Will you run the court? Will you sacrifice your body to help your team? I’m guessing the answer is no.

    Well I agree somewhat. But here’s the thing. Pau is being paid 19 million!! D12 getting paid astronomically as well. So it’s there JOB to “guard the house” no matter what the circumstances are! It’s pathetic that players act like cheerleaders. The NBA is a professional sport that requires its émployees to perform their duties to the best of their capabilities (talent). I’m a huge supporter of Pau but he’s no PF. Place him on second unit as center & watch him dominate. Howard is rubbing me the wrong way. So is he saying that if he doesn’t get touches even if he’s losing the ball, not in position, or being lackadaisical the team should feed him!! Hmmmm. This is Kobe’s
    house! Granted we need him. But c’mon lets be real. Kobe wants to win not babysit.

    As for Mike D. Has he started coaching yet? It’s HIS job to select plays that best utilize the team we have. I’m not seeing that. Is he so in love with Nash that he’s waiting like an ex for him to return?

    I suggest a lineup of Morris, Meeks, Kobe, Metta , Howard. (This lineup creates spacing & none of them are afraid to shoot).

    Bench: Morris (he’s young he can go 40moms a game), Duhon, Hill, Jamison, Pau) allows Pau yo operate as center while facilitating to active movers.

    Just my 2 pennies

  53. How would this team look if Jamison started for Pau. Then, Pau and Hill would essentially be the first two guys off the bench with Pau at center for Dwight and Hill at PF for Jamison. I’m just trying to come up with a way to make Pau more effective by getting him time at center for post touches. He just hasn’t seemed comfortable in this stretch 4 role that he’s currently playing.

  54. Funny but in an interview before the game Jordan Hill said I am here to defend and rebound, that’s my job. Soooooo he plays 4 minutes last night?

    Does Mike know his players yet?

    Also funny how they were scoring over 110 and Dwight and all were getting the ball under Weekend at Birney’s. What the heck happened?

    At this point they would be better with Jamison starting and Pau at center and Hill PF on the 2nd unit. But will management allow Mike to hide $19 million and admit he has slipped thereby lowering his perceived value? Kind of like painting over the rust when you want to sell a car.

    Life would be boring if we were 10 and 2. Looks like we all have a lot of work to fix this team! Good news was the Jersey fans yelling “overrated” at Blake last night! Thought he was gonna cry.

  55. Memphis is a team that will be there in the end so I’m not mad at the loss but there are some concerns.

    First, Gasol looks like he’s moving in quicksand and it’s only 10 games into the season. I’m a huge Pau guy and I’d like to see how he plays when Nash is back but I thinks he’s just completely out of position and it’s starting to really effect his energy level and morale. I think a change of scenery for Pau might be good for all parties involved.

    Second, Dwight is gonna have to find a way to be effective when he get’s a hard double. He’s a good passer out of doubles so that helps but he’s needs to at least hit the offensive glass

    Lastly, the team was really moving and flowing for a stretch now it’s starting to look like how it did last year, Kobe has the ball and everyone stands around watching. That’s partly on Kobe but also on the coaching staff

  56. Mike D’antoni should give a go to Pau at centre on bench when they play a lottery team. Its very obvious Pau is playing outside his comfort zone. Hopefully he will embrace his role, I know he’s a good guy!
    From my personal POV, D12 doesn’t seem to be enjoying the time with lakers, he seems to be very formal in his interviews. I hope that’s just the way he is normally.
    Kobe deserves his 6th, for the other-worldy hardwork he puts.

  57. Lakers offense isn’t the problem it wasn’t with Brown it isn’t now. It’s depth and defense.

    Lakers team last 5 games

    vs Suns 114 pts. 47% fg. 38% 3pt. 48 reb. 25 ast. 48 paint points. 17 fbp

    –defense gives up: 102 pts. 48% fg. 35% 3pt. 38 reb. 27 ast. 64 paint points. 21 fbp

    vs Hou 119 pts. 54% fg. 45% 3pt. 41 reb. 27 ast. 60 paint points. 23 fbp

    –defense gives up: 108 pts. 48% fg. 39% 3pt. 42 reb. 30 ast. 56 paint points. 21 fbp

    vs Bkn 95 pts. 47% fg. 28% 3pt. 43 reb. 23 ast. 36 paint points. 7 fbp

    –defense gives up 90 pts. 41% fg. 30% 3pt. 46 reb. 24 ast 26 paint points. 26 fbp

    vs Sac 97 pts. 44% fg. 46% 3pt. 33 reb. 16 ast. 22 paint points. 4 fbp

    –defense 117 pts. 54% fg. 46% 3pt. 41 reb. 23 ast. 50 paint points. 13 fbp

    vs Mem 44% fg. 44% 3pt. 28 reb. 19 ast. 24 paint points. 8 fbp

    –defense 106 pts. 50% fg. 54% 3pt. 39 reb. 23 ast. 40 paint points. 10 fbp

  58. Baiting comments or ones that insult other commenters will also be deleted. We want a civil conversation here. If you can’t be part of that, I won’t miss you when you leave.

  59. It’s unanimous BRING PAU OFF THE BENCH. This would make all Lakers fans happy. He would be forced to play hard in this role because he would be essentially fighting for his NBA life with only 1 yr remaining on his contract. Jordan Hill will protect the basket for him and Jamison can start and get hot from the outside early giving Dwight more space to operate. Problems solved, Championship won.

  60. Kobe is shooting 51% and 44% from the three. Why shouldn’t he take shots. He can create his own shot, it’s not his fault that others cannot. I wish he gave Dwight the ball more but there is so little space with the two Bigs out there. I got my fingers crossed that Jamison starts tonight. If so D Antoni is a genius .

  61. I can agree to that Will, fellas i’m hearing reports that Lakers are intrested in Pietrus. What’s up with that?

  62. Pietrus would be a great fit. Kupchak must know that his work is not done. Delonte West is also a good fit. I know he has had his problems but heck nice guys finish last. Memphis took other teams head cases and made a #1 team out of them. Are the Lakers trying to win a Citizenship prize or a World Championship?