Preview and Chat: The Indiana Pacers

Darius Soriano —  November 27, 2012

Records: Lakers 7-7 (8th in the West), Pacers 6-8 (10th in the East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 105.9 (4th in the NBA), Pacers 96.0 (28th in the NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 99.5 (T 10th in the NBA), Pacers 97.4 (2nd in the NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Darius Morris, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard
Pacers: George Hill, Paul George, Lance Stephenson, David West, Roy Hibbert
Injuries: Lakers: Steve Nash & Steve Blake (both out); Pacers: Danny Granger & Jeff Pendergraph (both out)

The Lakers Coming in: After two bad defeats to the Kings and the Grizzlies, the Lakers came back to dominate the Mavericks. It’s this type of up and down play that has become the symbol of the early season Lakers. Some nights they look fantastic on both sides of the ball. Their offense flows, the defense is dialed in, and the results are what you’d expect from a team with this much talent (even without Nash). Other nights, nothing seems to work and the team looks like it’s still searching for how it wants to play under it’s third coach in four weeks to start the season.

If there’s one key factor for the Lakers success, though, it’s their energy level. Dwight Howard spoke at length about this yesterday after practice when describing his own game by saying, “for this team to be successful it doesn’t matter how many points I score or how many rebounds I get, as along as my energy is there on the defensive end and I’m active.” Dwight can be the leader in this regard as he’s the young thoroughbred on this roster. When he’s energized, the rest of the team also seems to pick up their energy level and good things tend to happen.

The Pacers Coming in: While the underperforming Lakers have been grabbing all the headlines, the Pacers are not playing up to their preseason expectations either. Last season they finished with the 3rd best record in the conference and pushed a (Bosh-less) Heat team as hard as any team did all playoffs. This year, however, they’re two games under .500 through 14 games and post one of the worst offenses in the league.

Their decline has really been due to three factors. First is that Danny Granger has yet to play a game this season due to chronic knee pain. And while Granger isn’t the top flight offensive player he was three years ago, he’s still a key part to Indiana’s attack on both sides of the ball. The second is that the Pacers did tweak their roster in the off-season. Darren Collison was traded away to the Mavs for backup big man Ian Mahinmi. The team has missed Collison’s creativity on offense and his ability to change the tempo of the game. Lastly, Roy Hibbert has played pretty poorly. An all-star last season, Hibbert is only shooting 39% this year while scoring only 9.6 points and grabbing 8.7 rebounds a night.

All of these factors make the Pacers a radically different team than they were last year — especially on offense. And while they look to be changing up their attack on that side of the ball, we’ll see if that is a sustained effort and if they can overcome injuries and start to get more from some of their key players.

Pacers Blogs: 8 Points, 9 Seconds is one of the best team specific sites out there. Give them a read.

Keys to game: I hate to sound dismissive to a Pacer team that defends well and has always played the Lakers well (especially in Staples). but so much of this game depends on what the Lakers bring to the table in terms of energy and focus. As noted, the Pacers have been a bad offensive team most of the year and will try to muddy up the game with physical play and a slowed pace to take the Lakers out of their comfort zone.

The Lakers mustn’t succumb to what the Pacers want to do, instead finding their game and imposing it on the visiting team. At home, this team must find an appropriate energy level, defend with purpose, attack the glass hard, and then take the ball the other way and make the Pacers defend in space. Much like Andrew Bynum exhibited for the Lakers in season’s past, Roy Hibbert lacks the quickness to change ends with Dwight Howard and the Lakers must take advantage. David West is better in that area but no one would mistake him for Josh Smith changing ends.

Once the game settles into a half court contest, the Lakers must use the P&R to further exploit Hibbert. He loves to hang back below the screen and use his size and length to disrupt mid-range jumpers. If you try to attack him at the rim, he can still be disruptive because of his massive frame so ball handlers must be smart about how they go at him. Make him slide his feet and engage the ball handler, take/make smart shots/passes, and make the defense cover a lot of ground behind him. If the team moves the ball decisively to the open man, the Lakers should generate makable shots.

Defensively, the Lakers must worry about David West from mid-range all the way to the low post. He’s been the Pacers’ leading scorer this year playing the same consistent game he’s had since entering the league while bullying smaller opponents to get to his preferred spots on the floor. One set to look for are P&R actions between West and Hill where the PF pops to open space for his jumper, so the defense must be aware and make quick rotations to take away that open shot. Make West a passer (something he’s willing to do, btw) to make another Pacer beat you.

While he’s been struggling this season, it’s also important to make Roy Hibbert in the post. In past seasons (and selectively this year) he’s shown deep range (out to 12 feet) on his jump hook and is a threat from either block in the post. When he’s got his offensive game going he fights for deep position and then uses his superior height to get off any type of shot he wants. He’s also a skilled passer from the block so perimeter players must be aware of their own man and not lose connection while ball watching.

It would be nice if the Lakers could start to string some wins together. Last week it looked as if this team was starting to find their stride but quickly fell back below .500 with some troubling losses. The Mavs game, combined with some needed rest, should provide them with some momentum and the energy needed to play well. Here’s hoping it happens.

Where you can watch: 7:30pm start on TWC Sports Net. Also listen live at ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

Posts

162 responses to Preview and Chat: The Indiana Pacers

  1. Kobe’s sick and this time, not in the good way. Game time decision:

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/8683539/kobe-bryant-los-angeles-lakers-game-time-decision-vs-indiana-pacers

    if he can’t play, that means three of our guards would be unavailable– any chance Ebanks gets some run at the 2, Mike Brown style?

    Free Devin!

  2. “Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard”

    Steve Nash?

  3. Oops. I’ll fix that. Morris is set to start again.

  4. While it will be good to see Brian Shaw back at Staples, I found his comments in the paper today regarding Phil Jackson confusing. Brian is still upset because he found out about the Mike Brown hiring in the media, but he thinks the Lakers mistreated Phil when they called him as soon as the D’Antoni hiring was official so Phil didn’t have to hear about it in the media. Time for everyone to move on.

  5. Speaking of Steve Nash, I think his injury is also a blessing in disguise. Don’t you think? He can actually rest his back longer. This way, the season is shortened for him. (Less 12 or 13 games)

  6. Hey Guys,

    This is game unrelated but if you wanted to you could enter a contest to win a day with Phil Jackson to discuss hoops and go over championship game tape.

    I’m in Canada so I can’t enter which really sucks because this would be awesome but I’m sure everyone on this site would love to have this chance.

    All proceeds go to charity so its not a for profit venture.

    Take a look here:

    http://www.omaze.com/experiences/relive-nbas-greatest-moments-with-phil-jackson

  7. Kobe will play, i’m sure of it. Whether he needs to is of course debatable, given the immaturity of the season so far and the quality of tonight’s opponent, based on recent results. It’s encouraging to hear Nash is participating in on-court activities again, though as much as I’d like to see his return to the court, I can’t help but think it’d be a good thing to be ultra-conservative with him and gauge his progress as much as carefully as possible. Order some used goniometers from PHX through overnight shipping, and let’s see what results we get.

  8. Meeks is gonna get some serious burn today.

    AYO what’s this I hear about Raja Bell possibly coming to the Lakers.

  9. Watching this old Pacers-Laker playoff game on TW I see that Shaq was simply way better on offense then Howard. Guess I forgot how much better.

  10. Kobe called this a big game and he is correct. San Antonio has more road wins than we have total wins and they were not even supposed to be our chief competition in the West. We are 7-7 and this is a home game against a team that is not playing well, with one of their best players out. Any team who has championship aspirations needs to win these games easily and that is what I am expecting.
    Ko: Shaq was the modern day Wilt. Dwight is not that – but at 100% he is one of the best players in the league – he needs to get there – and Mike D needs to start getting people playing up their expectations. That is why we traded for Dwight and that is why we hired Mike D – well – in the later case – so I was told : )

  11. Ko…

    Shaq was a truly great, unstoppable offensive player in his prime. During the 3-peat he was the most dominant player in the league. Unfortunately, he got the disease of self-satisfaction and allowed himself to let his conditioning slip big-time. You know that he was a bad man because the NBA change the rules (allowing zone defenses) to deal with his dominance.

    But Dwight Howard ain’t bad!

  12. I get the feeling Dwight only likes to be dominant defensively and catch lobs. And if Lakers are winning that’s really the case. He’ll never have the offense of the past great Lakers centers and doesn’t need it with this roster. When healthy his defense is by far his biggest asset.

  13. After a further review of our schedule – I think we need to go into the OKC game with a 6 game winning streak. That is very possible. Think it sounds unreasonable? Well percentage-wise even if we did it – we would probably barely break into the top 8 in the league. So we need to do things like this – starting pronto. No panic. No drama. Just reality : )

  14. Kobe’s playing. Who’s surprised?

  15. Getting back to on-court activities, starting with tonight’s match-up against the Pacers, this week should be a clean sweep. Tho’ I’m looking forward to Friday’s game with the Nuggets. They’re one of those young & athletic squads that likes to push the tempo who routinely gives us trouble. They’ll be on the 2nd end of a back 2 back, but it should still be interesting because as we all know, EVERYBODY gets up to face the Lakers.

  16. More effort from Pau tonight – he’s making an effort on D and staying up on his man – good run down the court for the lay in, actually showed a lot of hustle there. Dwight needs to stop helping so much – Kobe def looks sick

  17. Jerke

    What game you watching. West might score 40 with slow motion Pau on him. Zero defense.

  18. Is it just me, or is Kobe committing more fouls this season?

  19. Kobe with the and one, off to a very good start tonight.

  20. Lol ko – right as I said that west scored on him. What I’m not getting is this insistence that dwight has to check slower centres like hibbert when Pau and him would be much more suited to switch checks. I know they want dwight to anchor the paint, but they need to adjust. Pau is moving and making an effort to close out – he’s just too slow/not enough lift to stay w West – he should be on hibbert

  21. Funny Pau comes out and they go from 11 down to 4 down.

    Funny! Ha ha ha

  22. Every game inching closer and closer to the trade Pau bandwagon. He doesn’t look good and 5 months from now when the playoffs start he may look worse. It may be time.

  23. Question?

    I watch Dwight committ silly fouls, make silly passes and lose the ball inside. Is it me or does he lack basic fundamental skills on offense?

    Like others thoughts.

  24. They have a good lineup out there now – can come back w kobe and Pau – who isn’t going anywhere anytime soon anyways. They want all the starters to at least play together for a bit. That and no one is taking Paus contract at this point.

    Lack of starting quality pg really shows tonight

  25. I literally cringe when Morris runs a fast-break, his decision making is woeful for a PG.

  26. This is pathetic. We’re back home and nobody can shoot the damn ball? And the turnovers are really getting annoying. It’s a good thing the Pacers suck just as bad so far tonight.

    And it looks like our bench is back to its usual norm so far tonight.

  27. Kobe and Dwight—8 for 13–19 points

    Everyone else–3 for 17–six points

    Yechhhh

  28. WHAT is up with these foul calls?! Offensive rhythm being shaken for BOTH teams cause of these refs…

  29. Kobe with the steal and the slam dunk.

  30. People are trying to hard w the turnovers. Anytime Kobe gets bodied up, he should just start hacking and coughing all over them – he looks like poop.

  31. Just thinking Kobe might be shooting a bit to much?

  32. Frequently I talk about officiating being “uneven” as in “weird”—-not unfair, just strange. This game started out “uneven” as in “weird” but has quickly degenerated into “uneven” in the conventional sense

  33. Where did my comment about Darius Morris’ abilities go?

  34. This is where Lakers miss Steve Nash or a coach who doesn’t think the post up is the most inefficient play in basketball.

  35. How is it that Joey Crawford managed to keep his job again? If I challenged someone at my workplace to a fight and vindictively ruined their work I would be fired in a heart beat. The NBA, where old white men protect old white men.

  36. Ko – Agreed. We don’t need him taking so many shots. The whole team needs to get involved.

  37. 33 points at half. Good job.

  38. West 12 point
    Pau 2 points

    Kobe 15 shots in first half

    Something wrong here.

  39. Refs are not why we are losing but we’ve been getting mugged every trip down the floor with no whistle. Very frustrating

  40. That was not a pretty quarter of basketball by either team. It seemed that every time the Lakers got a stop they turned the ball over or Kobe’s FG attempt was short.

  41. Fugly half – but they’re still in it, really can’t play worse anyways. Kobe is just trying to hard but has no choice w the other guards providing nothing. The stoppages are killing the offensive flow – and they don’t have a primary ball handler who can bring it back like Nash. Hopefully this is last game w/o him. Could play Fri if things continue as well as they have past couple days

  42. On pace for another 18+ turnover night, sleep worthy ball by both teams in the first half.

    Somebody other than Kobe & Howard has to show up, Pau has gone back to being passive again.

  43. They scored many many points the last game against the Mavs, 115 to be exact. And what do they do when they come back home with plenty of rest? Of course, they get a 33 point first half on 32 percent shooting…pathetic. After all the hype about how the Lakers were back in gear after the Mavs win, it will be pretty funny if they lose to this bad team.

  44. Lakers have been a terrible come from behind team this year as well as a bad third quarter team, things are not looking too good.

  45. Seems like Kobe’s shooting so much almost because it requires less thinking for him while he’s sick; scoring/shooting FTs (so many of his shots were taken while expecting a whistle) are easier for him than playmaking when he’s not 100%. Mamba version of curling up in bed for 24 hours and sleeping the flu away.

  46. I can never remember the mid range area being a critical part of D’Antoni’s offense. That’s where Pau is relegated too since Howard is the center. That’s why he looks so lost because that area is sort of in no man’s land in this offense. You’re either behind the 3pt line spacing the floor/running PnR or being the roll man and Pau can’t do either playing pf.

    It would absolutely kill lakers frontcourt depth and ability to play back to the basket in the playoffs. But as the head of the Pau fanclub I think it’s officially time to trade him. It’s best for the Lakers not sure about Pau though.

  47. While it’s not totally his fault because there is no other facilitator on the floor, but Kobe is dominating the ball too much. Has Pau gotten a postup opportunity as of yet?

  48. And so far it is pretty clear only Kobe and Howard have come to play tonight, so far, so lets please not get on Kobe for shooting a little more tonight.

  49. D’Antoni was in ESPN’s The Herd this a.m. and he candidly admitted that Pau was not an ideal fit in his system. He ‘hesitated’ to use the word hinder in relation to Pau’s impact on what he was trying to do.

  50. 4 on 1 and Morris gives it to Pau. Really? Nash can’t come back soon enough to send Morris back to the bench where he belongs.

  51. Pau Gasol is really struggling.

  52. Get him out
    Get him out
    Get him out

    He is just terrible!

  53. I wonder if the only way Paul will ever be a great player again is with a change of scenery…

  54. The refereeing in his game is awful.

  55. Kobe Bryant is a turnover machine this year.

  56. Joe,

    Shouldn’t a coach adjust to what personnel he has? It should be Mike’s responsibility to find a use for Gasol, if he cant then why the hell was he selected as head coach?

  57. Ugliest game I’ve seen this year

  58. These officials are the only thing worse than the players on the court. I almost went to this game. My wife and I are here thanking our lucky stars we passed. Holy toledo. We need a point guard, we need a bench, we need oh… I give up.

    Still not gonna be too worried until we get a Steve or two back, but damn if this team doesn’t have some MAJOR issues.

  59. This would’ve been a game Shaq maybe Bynum would’ve been begging to take over on offense. Too bad Dwight isn’t a alpha.

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  61. The refs’ lack of foul calls turn the game into something other than basketball. Very difficult to watch. And I’m not just talking about non-calls against the Lakers…these refs are allowing entirely much contact on shots and it is distorting the game.

  62. Those booing Pau when he checked in just need to shut it. He may not be playing very well in this latest stretch but he’s no Kwame and certainly doesn’t deserve to be treated as such.

  63. What are the odds of the Lakers breaking 15 points this quarter?

  64. This is worse than a preseason game. Also, there’s a guy behind the Laker bench wearing a Clippers jersey and it’s annoying me.

  65. Kobe Bean, keeping us alive… while he is sick. Get it together, team!

  66. On the plus side – the Lakers defensive stats will receive a boost today – offensive not so much. If its a loss though, no need to pick on just one guy – this is very much a team loss – and just an ugly game all over for both teams – the kind you just throw out and move on. Its so bad its not even representative of any true probs this team may have.

    And they’re still only down 5.

  67. Yeah – wow this is the 1st of the past 3-4 games ive been able to see and yeah – Pau doesnt fit with the system but at the same time he needs to be given his touches in the post.

    I liked the jamison, dwight, hill frontcourt though was nice to see all the activity at once.

    Crawford is just terrible – completely killing the game

  68. Literally no one not named Howard or Kobe has stepped up tonight and that’s with Kobe with a flu.

  69. Kobe finally gets his technical foul.

  70. 8 turnovers for Kobe

  71. Best call by Joey all night, called the T on Kobe to break up Indiana’s 5 on 1.

    Awesome job…clap…clap…clap.

  72. Kobe’s on his way to a quadruple double if you count turnovers. Unbelievable. At least he’s busting his butt.

    And it looks like the real Meeks and Jamison are back.

  73. I think a big thing we are not seeing is that Kobe tends to hold the ball compared to nash to who pas out to the open man – a lot of times we are seeing kobe just go for the kill – the bal lis too sticky tonight

  74. How has every single starter not fouled out yet? These calls, my goodness…

  75. Yeah, Kobe is also the only guy who is making shots and all of his are hotly contested. No one else on this team can hit wide open jumpers or even FTs.

    So Kobe’s TOs, while not helping, are hardly why we are losing.

  76. Lol – this game is just ridiculous tonight.

  77. The 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats season just called to say that this game is unwatchably putrid

  78. ”in 2008-09, Gasol’s first full season with the Lakers, 44 percent of his field-goal attempts came at the rim. By comparison, just 16 percent of his attempts came on shots from 16-to-23 feet, commonly referred to as long twos. So far this season, 47 percent of Gasol’s attempts are long twos while just 27 percent have come at the rim. That’s a massive shift away from high-efficiency shots to low-efficiency shots, a trend that slowly developed over the last two seasons before accelerating this year as the Triangle Offense became a memory.”

    For the full article :http://nba.si.com/2012/11/27/pau-gasol-mike-dantoni-los-angeles-lakers/

  79. Through 3 quarters:

    31 percent shooting
    18 percent 3 pointer shooting
    54 percent free throws
    19 turnovers

    That is about as worse as it gets folks.

    Can you imagine if Kobe did not play tonight where we would be? Because I can’t.

  80. What a game! You can say that Kobe is shooting too much, you can say that his turnovers are far too many, but you can’t say the man isn’t giving it all he has. He’s a real baller!

  81. The fact we have to put Morris back out tonight (he has had by far his worst game this season tonight), shows how badly we need at least one of the Steve’s back.

  82. Kobe might lead the NBA in turnovers this year. 9 this game.

    Need to seriously expect a trade before Xmas.
    Morris is not good.

    Anderson and Varasque looked darn good shooting 3s last night against Clips. Guys like that would open things up for Dwight.

    Salaries match for you know who.

  83. You know your backup SG isn’t performing when Kobe has the most minutes played in the game. While under the effect of a Flu, those not named Howard & MWP should be utterly ashamed tonight. Woeful tonight the lot of them.

  84. Jamison is officially ice cold.

  85. Even if the Lakers win this game, we will all have lost for having watched it :p

  86. Gene Simmons is sitting behind the Lakers bench. Weird seeing a blackhaired troll doll sitting behind steve nash

  87. It’s like watching last nights Bobcats play themselves.

  88. Lol D’antonis expression says it all

  89. Kobe Splash

  90. This has to be the worst shooting game of the year – right now under 30% -thank god for Kobe Ball

  91. Horrendous! Someone with no arms could probably shoot better! Everyone not name Kobe or Howard 5-37!! Wow

  92. Can’t understand why Kobe refuses to give up the ball this game. He’s just chucking away.

    Nobody has a chance in this offense unless KObe gives them one. He’s not this game.

  93. Lakers shooting 29%and still in with a chance!

  94. Go get us a bucket Kobe!

  95. @ Kevin:

    I know it seems that way—but please see Kobemoney’s comment right above you—that is NOT a typo….everyone other than Kobe and Dwight is five for freaking thirty-seven…..I didn’t think that was possible–that’s like 13.5%

    On a completely unrelated note—this crew is absolutely horrible tonight. LA has gotten drilled by the zebras here in the fourth…not the reason they are losing, but you shouldn’t have to feel like you are playing in Utah in your own freaking building

  96. West just got the call that Kobe was not getting all night.

  97. You can’t win mire then half your games with this team.

    Inconsistent bench.

    Terrible PG pay

    Less then nothing from Pau

    Kobe shooting every time down or a TO.

    Kobe going to shoot 40 times tonight.

    Not a very good team.

  98. mindcrime: 16 missed shots and 9 turnovers is not playing well. Nobody on the Lakers have played well and no one has a chance unless Kobe gives them one and he’s not tonight.

  99. Weirdo stat of the night – our entire bench had a positive +/-

  100. Kevin:

    I didn’t say Kobe was playing well. I’m just saying, if I was shooting over forty percent and my mates not named D-12 were shooting like this—I might be tempted to believe my less-than-mediocre forty percent still gave us the best chance to win….

  101. @Kevin: There are certainly games where Kobe overshoots.

    This is not one of them.

    FACT: Other Lakers are just throwing the ball into Kobe’s hands and standing around. No one even wants to shoot.

  102. It pains me to say this but Laker offense has looked worse since Mike D took over.

    Perhaps Mike did not create a offense.

    Perhaps Nash created Mike.

  103. Exactly which of those ten commandments did my comment break, Darius? I have seen you allow far worse offenses on the site. I am genuinely surprised and bewildered.

  104. Yeah that Kobe guy is terrible.

  105. Pau makes the correct decision and makes the pass to Howard who slams it for the tie game.

  106. Ok–Pau’s had a bad game at times–but late in the game, having the ball in his hands has made some good things happen–he’s gotten to the line and gotten his teammates some chances to score….the list of bigs who could have predictably threaded that pass to Dwight reads like this…’

    Pau Gasol….

    That’s it.

  107. Joey is such a tool.

  108. Joey Crawford is a worthless POS!!!

  109. That was just a flat out terrible block call by Joey Crawford.

  110. Joey crawford should be fired – that was very obviously a charge and then his jumping up and down in joy to call it a block was totally uncalled for

  111. (*&@^@&@!!!!!! Pulling my hair out at Joe Crawford right now!!! (For reference, that “blocking foul” on Duhon threw me over the edge.)

  112. Dwight should have taken those shots fkn karma.

  113. Woo!! Kobe is special

  114. WOW Kobe’s three ties the game.

  115. Yeah, that Kobe guy shoots way too much. Whatever.

  116. KOBE BRYANT!!!!!!

  117. D’Antoni seriously looks like he wants to quit. He can’t work with this. 23 of 43 from the FT line.

    That is like a stat from a junior varsity game.

  118. And this guy was a game-time decision. Technically.

  119. I want to marry Kobe right now.

  120. Lakers deserved to lose this game.

  121. Yeah, I’m actually ok with a loss here, because a win would let the team gloss over their utter failure to execute Basketball Offensive Fundamentals 101. Ah well, probably not gonna shoot any worse the rest of the season, right>

  122. @ Joe — so did the Pacers.

  123. Turrible referees this game… Free throws lost it for us though.

  124. So much for forward momentum. This team is so frustrating no identity and flaws all over.

    Jamison came crashing back down to earth hard. 1-7 fg 3 pts.

  125. Hard to consider this a professional basketball team when they miss 20 free throws. Can’t claim fatigue, can’t claim back to back, can’t claim a great opponent, can’t claim injuries. Bad effort, atrocious execution, abyssmal foul shooting, and only one consistent player. This team doesn’t have the character to win a title.

  126. Inconsistent again, look like world beaters one night and terrible the next night.

    One of the worst games I’ve seen this year.

  127. I always wonder in situations like these – can the Lakers not appeal for more time?

    When Hill’s layup dropped through the basket, I thought there was 0.3 to 0.4 seconds left on the game clock, and I saw D’Antoni walk towards midcourt before his timeout to talk to the referees (presumably to plead this case).

    I’ve never seen the time changed, however, unless there was a blatant mistake in the timing of the game clock, like forgetting to stop it altogether, or if shot clock wasn’t reset, or whatever. Is this an NBA policy or what?

  128. I feel sorry for Kobe….what garbage he had to play with tonight, besides Dwight. Everyone else should have stayed home.

  129. Dwight is now officially making less than half his FTs, which is significant because he takes a whole lot of them.

    This loss in some ways reminds me of the loss to Dallas to start the year. Team played bad and deserved to lose, BUT, if we had just hit free throws like an NBA team we would have won.

  130. All kinds of reason for the loss—but no excuse for D’Antoni having Pau in the game in another guaranteed Pick and Roll defensive situation….needed a situational sub there….I thought Jordan Hill was resigned in part because of his perceived advantage in such situations….his better quickness/footspeed would have made a difference, as Pau had zero chance on that play….

  131. Didn’t know that a comment could be stuck in moderation for almost 3 hrs. Hey, it is what it is.

    This is a game that we could have stole. Questionable officiating, turnovers and all. Free Throws killed us. Simple as that.

    Hopefully, I’ll have better luck tomorrow playing the Powerball Lottery.

  132. Did not think Pau playing defense at the 4 worked before, and still don’t think so. Even the announcers were saying they were going to run Pau off the pick and roll before it happened.

  133. well we all know the hatred Joey Crawford has for the lakers. Kobe was mugged on almost every drive..no call whatsoever. But thats not a good excuse. The lakers just had too many turnovers(which happens every game) and the free throws were not falling. Maybe Dwight should just throw the ball in one-handed?

  134. We’ll win nothing with Kobe taking 28 shots in a game, that’s an absolutely pathetic number with a so called super team we have. Besides D12 and MWP everyone else looked passive.

    Pau’s defense on that last play was pathetic.

  135. I’m stunned and shocked by the Lakers’ performance in that game. They simply couldn’t shoot the ball. Refs I won’t waste my time commenting about. I predict that somebody will get fined for post game comments about that so-called officiating.

  136. This is going to be an easy team to defend down the stretch when we can’t give the ball to the SF who can’t create his own shot, the PF who is afraid to shoot and gets rejected when he does, or the center who is maybe the worst free throw shooter in the game.

  137. Lakers consumed too much turkey and it was reflected in their game. Afraid to go inside and too dependent on Kobe’s outside shooting who was practically exhausted. Well, if Gasol, MWP, Jamison would only penetrate half of their shooting inside or execute mid jump shots in the shaded lane then they could afford to miss more FT’s and still win the games. Secondly, Lakers need to have another preseason in the middle of the season exclusively for free throw shots. It is mandatory that every player except Kobe to go 500 free throws per day tied to their monthly drawing on their contract because the Dwight syndrome is becoming contagious and they lose games because of FT shots.

    I thought we found the 2nd team on the road, what happened? Are there any consistent shooters outside of Kobe? You can’t fault D’Antoni on these miscues, it shows that there are some players who are lazy to practice and attain perfection as a professional. They are always dependent on somebody and they become perpetual passer than initiator of offense.

  138. The effort was certainly there, but the results…..This just seemed like it was meant to be an Indiana victory. So many shots by the Lakers that went in and out. A very disheartening loss for this fan.

  139. Some tweeted: “looks like everyone but Kobe had the flu tonight.”

    I like that.

  140. Bad coaching. Worthy showed Pau trailing that last shot by Hill. If Jordan is there instead of dead foot this game is tied. How can Mike leave Pau in there at the end.

  141. I gotta admit that I am officially worried about this team. I hope that Nash will solve our offensive problems, but the defense is particularly worrisome. Free throws are going to haunt this squad.

  142. Funky, think on the bright side.

    Hopefully in a few games, down the stretch, we can go to one of:

    1. The most proven, and arguably still the best, closer in today’s game… or

    2. The best creator and pure shooter in the game.

    That’s not all that bad.

  143. This is the most wildly unpredictable team I have ever seen, on any level. Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Will the real LA Lakers please stand up?

  144. Lakers lost this game way before Hill blew by Pau and shot over HOward. That was a really tough shot.

    Kobe had 10 TO’s but I’m sure the made 3 negates the bad game in the eyes of many. Howard missed 2 FT’s and Metta missed 2 FT’s in a close game. Game was over before the last shot.

    The whole team contributed to this loss.

  145. Limit turnovers and make freethrows, Lakers win. Team deserved the loss.

  146. Simonoid, with only one passing option for Nash down the stretch, I’m guessing that his ability as a creator will be limited in end of game scenarios.

    What is potentially fatal in my view is that Lakers without the flu scored 37 points in a home game with a few days rest. Nobody stepped up and said “I got this” and instead did the opposite. Guys totally deferred to Kobe, forcing him to step up time and time again.

    This looks like a bunch of guys at the YMCA who just met each other. Terrible floor spacing, bad ball movement, and no “sync” whatsoever. Steve Nash is going to have to be MVP to make this team a title contender at this rate.

  147. Let’s just say that I appreciate Shaq more now.

    It seems NOBODY can really show up and take the load off Kobe’s shoulders consistently other than Shaq. And that’s with him not really trying that hard.

    Oh boy.

  148. Not really much has changed from last year the team is still old and slow just more talented. Bench was an issue again tonight and D’Anotni’s reluctance to use Pau as a post up player is an issue too. Pg play left a lot to be desired and Lakers took 28 threes and they have 2 skilled 7 footers. Have to find an identity.

  149. Without Kobe the team shot 25% from the field. They were 1/17 from three. They were 12/30 from the free throw line for a whopping 40%. Of course, they also would have only had 9 turnovers instead of 19. Bright side is that Kobe picked up his 2nd triple double of the season!

  150. The comments by Funky Chicken were right on point.

    Also, please hurry up Nash, Morris-Duhon were complete GARBAGE TONIGHT.

  151. Kobe played 43:44 mins, a guy under the effect of a flu. Goes to show how much of a back-up we have for him.

    I’m still going to wait on Nash to return before I conclude what I think of this team, if things don’t improve.. A trade better be on the horizon for this team.

    So much inconsistency right now.

  152. My son just came running to the kichen: “Kobe had another tripple double! With 40 points!”

    I wish it had been one without turnovers though…

  153. I am just somewhat more concerned that Howard may just walk, if the team does not show hope in the future. Yeah, I guess Kobe did get his 2nd triple double of the season.

  154. Kobe should have stayed at home recovering. The man has the flu, plays the entire 2nd half without a rest to the tune of better than 43 minutes and yet folks want to quibble about his number of shots and turnovers. Half of those turnovers were on non-calls where he was fouled. Sure, he wasn’t blameless, but nobody else on the team stepped up and played well. What we had was a total team effort in ineptitude.

  155. Is it just me or is pau becoming an awful defender. He’s slow footed and can’t defend the pick and roll. He’s to slow and lacks insticts to be an effective help defender and normally gets beat one on one. I’m not blaming the lesson Pau. Just making an observation.

    At what point does Pau’s talent and capabilities no longer outweigh his offensive inconsistency and defensive liabilities? Idk but that line is getting thinner and thinner and I don’t think Nash is going to solve gasol’s issues.

  156. Not not concerned if Dwight leaves. When you have a guy who is 3 for 12 on free throws you will lose many close games. Other than dunk, get stripped and get fouls that make ni basketball sense. This team can be easily beat by good coaches.

    Double Kobe
    Wear a scary mask to make Pau cry
    Let everyone else shoot bricks
    Foul Dwight and get a Big laugh.
    Talk about how good they would be if Magic or Nash (couple old guys) was playing after the game.

    Only chance is to get rid of old, slow players. Otherwise this is barily a play off team.

  157. Lol don’t you guys understand? Pau Gasol is SOFT…mentally soft & physically weak as can be…weakest in the league…can’t stand guys who won’t even attempt to bang & I won’t mind at all if he’s relieved of his duties…19 million

  158. @Ko Everything great after the Mavs game, everything apocalyptic after this one. SIGH…

  159. Please check the standings. Good one day, not good the next. I said on this site after seeing 8 pre season games and talking to several ex-Lakers this team would be 10 and 10 after 20. How am I doing so far?