Lakers v. Rockets: Collapse’d

Phillip Barnett —  December 4, 2012

With about 7:20 left to play in the fourth quarter, Chris Duhon got into the lane and fed Jordan Hill, who threw down a dunk to extend the Lakers lead to 11 points. The Lakers next two possession ended with a missed Duhon three pointer and a Duhon turnover. Toney Douglass followed those possessions with a layup and a three pointer — cutting the Lakers lead to seven points.

Kobe and Dwight check in for Jodie Meeks and Jordan Hill. Still, the Lakers offense can’t get anything going. Antawn Jamison turns the ball over that leads to a Greg Smith layup and a foul. He hits the free throw to cut the Lakers lead down to four. Kobe hits a jumper, extending the lead back up to six, but on the ensuing possession, James Harden — who was having an awful game — find a way to get behind the Lakers defense unnoticed and is given the ball at the rim for an easy bucket. Lead back down to four.

On the Lakers next possession, Ron throws the ball away and Duhon fouls Harden on the other end. Harden makes one of two and cuts the Lakers lead down to three points. Over the next few possessions, Kobe misses a long two, gets to the line and makes one of two free throws, and makes a sweeping layup in transition, pushing the Lakers lead back up to six. The Rockets’ Smith gets back to the free throw line, knocks down both, and then the Hack-a-Howard strategy ensues.

The Lakers next five possessions saw Dwight Howard at the free throw line. In those five possessions, the Lakers yielded five points and gave up seven to the Rockets — then immediately gave up a Smith layup on the Rockets very next possession, completely eliminating the Lakers 11-point lead in just over five minutes of play.

The rest of the game saw Kobe taking shot-after-shot and the Rockets making free throw after free throw. Kobe hit a three with the Lakers down four, but his efforts down the stretch — and really for the whole game — were futile as the Rockets would hold on to a two-point margin.

Despite outplaying the Rockets for 3.5 quarters, the Lakers lose their fifth game in their last seven contests. Furthermore, the Lakers have now given up 73 points in the fourth quarter of their last two costing them wins in two games they could have easily have won with better execution down the stretch. Unlike the game against Orlando, turnovers and defensive rebounding were a huge problem tonight. The Lakers gave up 21 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over, which is essentially 40 extra possessions for the Rockets.

On the plus side, Duhon had a decent game starting at the point. He was able to effectively get into the paint a few times to find guys for open looks and had a few nice entry passes to Dwight that led to easy buckets. Duhon had seven assists to go along with six points and five rebounds.

Jamison also had a nice night for his first start of the year. He shot six-for-11 from the field with 15 points and nine rebounds. He continued his hot shooting from behind the arc hitting three of four from long range. Jordan Hill also had a double-double as well with nine points and nine rebounds off the bench after not seeing the floor at all in the game against Orlando.

The Lakers as a whole seemed to play with a lot more energy on the night, which was a positive after watching the lethargic fest against Orlando, but still, this team couldn’t leave the arena with a win. The Lakers’ didn’t see any new problems tonight, but they haven’t found a way to remedy what they already know is wrong and another tally has been added to the loss column.

Phillip Barnett

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77 responses to Lakers v. Rockets: Collapse’d

  1. If Dwight is suppose to be such a force how did we alllow 21 offense rebounds. The guy is not a winner. Plan and simple. 5 more years of this guy?

    No thanks.

  2. How about David Stern step up and do something that would make sense for once – disallow intentional fouling players off the ball. He adjusted the rules once about a decade ago so you can’t do it with less than 2 minutes left on the game clock, why not just erase that strategy altogether. He wants entertainment, doesn’t he? Which is more entertaining, running clocks and fast breaks or some big man shooting free throws?

    Oh wait, that’s right – he actually can’t do anything that would help the Lakers because it’d “look bad” in the media, despite all the wrongs (see: increased luxury tax penalties, Paul veto, and many others) he’s done unto us.

  3. Or, Dwight Howard could actually learn to shoot a free throw, since throwing the ball into the basket is a rather important part of the game.

  4. Kris – that too, obviously. I’m not letting Howard off the hook. I’m just frustrated by everything this season, as I’m sure everyone else here is. But just saying that league office needs to assess the situation as this can be used against just about half the teams out there with bad free throw shooters. It makes the game boring to watch.

    But yes, Dwight needs to knock down the free throws, no question about that.

  5. Kobe is calling out guys left and right and is suppose to lead by example. He missed 17 shots tonight one less than Jamison and Howard took combined. The way Kobe is playing now is far from the player we saw earlier this season. He is not playing winning basketball. Jamison and Meeks just coming off their best stretch so far amd kobe has nulligied that by ignoring them to feed his ego. You can disagree if you do you either realize this is kobe and resigned to this fact he comes before team or your blind.

    Lakers have turned dwight into a non factor on offense. They went to him out of the half, realizing there needs to be balance to the offense, and built the lead. They stopped and never found him again. This is basically a test run for dwight he didn’t pick la he was traded here. And if kobe keeps alienating him why would dwight choose to stay? Then lakers have no future because kobe who repeatedly calls for others to “adapt” won’t do so himself. Dwight needs to get the ball he’s the best player on this team.

    Lakers defense has been poor. The guards aren’t disciplined then that leads to dwight extending himself and no one backs him up. Seems in some interviews players have mentioned the need to trust. Now how long have we heard that?

  6. Ok so it’s sterns fault Dwight is a stiff? Maybe he should pass a rule that young, athletic teams should not run and jump to much. Or how about clueless coaches should not be allowed to say to the fans who pay his salary have no idea what they’re talking about.

    “This team lacks a champion heart”. Quote James Worthy..

    So far Jimmy evemicelle you have made smells kinda bad.

  7. For all of kobes greatness this is his biggest problem. He wants everyone to adapt to him yet he isnt willing to adjust anything for others.

  8. I’m encouraged by the way they played. The best thing about tonight’s lost is that they have issues that are fixable. Kobe simply needs to involve his teammates especially Dwight more in the beginning of the game. The best center in the league should get at least 15 shots thereby making him feel more condident when they employ Hack a Dwight. I think Kobe will do that. On the positive side energy level was higher. They made mistakes trying darn hard and that’s exceptable. Dwight plays so hard on D he deserves more attempts. One thing we have to realize is that the Lakers and Miami are gonna get everybody’s best game. Some guys plan their whole year around the Lakers coming to town. The effort was there tonight.

  9. Solid, even-handed recap. Only good thing about tonight.

  10. 1/2decaf1/2regular December 4, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    just a couple bad losses against inferior opponents and haters showing their true colors.. just pure unadulterated and unfiltered hate… where are our mods when you need them?

  11. I wish Poppovich were our coach. He’d sit Dwight’s ass down. This is the NBA, not kindergarten. We’re here to win games, not build confidence. He’d tell Kobe to stop trying to win by himself — and failing.

    Honestly, I’m not even disappointed to see the Lakers lose like this. I expect it now. I’ve been a Lakers fan since I started watching basketball (that’d be the Magic Kareem era), but for last couple years, it’s been much more fun to watch and root for the Clippers. At least they’re a team, as opposed to Kobe and the Under-Achievers.

  12. To me, the most discouraging aspect is that the core lacks chemistry, and there is no obvious fix. Howard clearly stews when he doesn’t get touches, and that effects his defense. Kobe clearly doesn’t respect the lack of alpha aggression on the wannabe leader, especially when he repeatedly misses the bunnies, which is all mental. Pau is emotionally broken by the perennial rumors, and love or hate D’Antoni, he is not exactly known for his in-game adjustments or shifting his style to meet his players (unlike, say Popovich). Plus, Kobe is thrust into being primary ball handler when, of course, he is going to call his number when the going gets tough.

    My increasing worry is that Nash comes back, and is not able to play at the level, everything REALLY goes to crap.

    The only good news tonight was that Duhon seemed capable running the point.

    I haven’t been this Lakers depressed since the start of the 2008 season…although that one worked out okay.

  13. Time to call Phil Jackson and apologize and beg him to return.

  14. I now along with some other people have come to accept the fact that this Lakers team as constructed, cannot win a championship. They are at best a 4th seed team that will win around 50 games. Howard can be dominant, but lacks mental toughness. That is why he cannot hit free throws, especially at the end of games. And we know Pau is mentally weak too and only hurts this team now. The bench is very weak and cannot be relied upon to play well. Steve Nash will make this team better, but with his age I don’t think he can turn this team into a championship squad. They will HAVE to make a move if they want to have any hope.

  15. Just wondering if anyone’s going to mention what I consider to be the biggest factor in tonight’s loss, which is D’Antoni’s refusal to go offense-defense with Jamison and Hill in the last several minutes of the game. There is no reason to have Jamison out on the court when the opposition is playing hack-a-Dwight. Hill is a great rebounder and defends the rim almost as well as Dwight does. Jamison’s offense doesn’t do the team any good when the opponent fouls Dwight intentionally two seconds into the shot clock. Perhaps somebody commented on this in the game thread. I didn’t see anyone on TV mention this either. All they want to talk about is “the story,” i.e. hack-a-Dwight. The next favorite subject during the post-game show was the team’s poor defensive rebounding and lousy defense. Hill would have strengthened both of these issues.

  16. I don’t understand keeping Jamison in there as Dwight shoots free throws. Why not play defense offense and put in Hill? This seems to be an easy adjustment that can cost us a couple buckets down the stretch as teams are attacking Jamison on the weak side very successfully. And getting offensive rebounds when unsuccessful.

    Edit: great minds think alike :) (and at the same time)

    For the record I mentioned thisOrlando game

  17. Jamison had a sneaky 15 pts 9 reb. He’s found his stride. Duhon wasn’t horrible chipped in 6 pts 5 reb 7 ast. Duhon, Ron, Jamison, Dwight were 16/31 fg 46 pts. Players are starting to thrive in this system.

  18. Please forgive me, but I can’t help imagining Jeannie giving Jimmy a call saying, ” Hi brother. My boyfriend and I just watched a movie and missed the game. How’s Mike’s Showtime working out for you and daddy?”

    Jeannie wouldn’t say that.

    Or would she?

  19. Jamison had a sneaky 15 pts 9 reb. He’s found his stride. Duhon wasn’t horrible chipped in 6 pts 5 reb 7 ast

    ____

    You need to balance that with Greg Smith’s and Toney Douglas’ numbers, as well as Houston’s 21 OREBs. Jamison went 37 minutes tonight, and a backup 4 on the other team. unsurprisingly, had a career night. Jordan Hill, even with his activity bumping his raw numbers, was -11 in 14 minutes, which was the worst +/- on the team.

    That is not all on them, of course, it is a team game. But there is a ot more going on out there than Kobe’s bombs that the ESPN guys like to talk about. And yes, as I said twice already, Kobe shot too many long jumpers in the last couple of minutes tonight.

  20. Many factors tonight but I can’t get out of my mind the fact that D’Antoni didn’t take Dwight out of the game when the Hack-A-Howard was in place.

    Puzzling, to say the least…

  21. Lakers were leading up until in the closing minutes of fourth quarter, until Rockets take a page of the previous Lakers encounter,,,Hack a Dwight strategy,,,again ,free throw is a chance that can get you a win or loss…Again, lakers are close to winning, but in the end lost again,,its time to go back to square one.remember its a long road trip for the lakers,,and to many starters on injured list..another hearthbreaking loss for the laker fans

  22. Nash will get everyone involved which will have the team firing from all angles.

    I cannot wait any longer.

  23. This really is troubling. But Kobe trying to shoot his way out of it is just his only way of dealing with situations like this. So having him as a playmaker is becoming a central problem… which in turn puts more and more pressure on Nash to return, and as a couple of people mentioned, be able to perform at a high level.

    I am curious why Morris suddenly is getting very little burn. Was Duhon really that much better?

  24. The lack of adjustments by D’Antoni in this game and the last we’re easy to see. This lakers team has the same bad habits that every other D’Antoni team had. Soft and unable to defend at even a mediocre level. So disappointing to see him let two games get away from us because of hack a Dwight.

  25. why did my comment get removed? No baiting or negativity whatsoever. Just a simple prediction when Nash gets back.

    note to moderator: youre taking yourself a little too serious

  26. Wow. Depressing day to be a Laker fan.

    Just like the Orlando game, the last five mins of the game was a disaster. As pointed out already by many people in the last couple of threads, Kobe was basically playing ‘hero ball’, which most of people will agree is not the most efficient way to win a basketball game.

    But if we go back throughout Kobe’s career we can clearly see that he does have the natural tendency to do that. That’s just how he is built. That’s his first instinct – to shoot, to take over by himself, and then shoot some more. Now, he is a more than capable distributor but he doesn’t have the mindset to do it. He needs to be almost coerced into being a distributor.

    And not very many coaches have been able to do that.

    In fact, all the way from his rookie year when he shot those air balls against Utah in a playoff game, to jacking up shots incessantly during Rudy Tomjanovich’s time as a coach (albeit very brief tenure), to shooting an almost career low 43% while having a massive usage rate during Mike Brown’s reign of failure and now playing ‘hero ball’ in Mike D’Antoni’s ‘showtime’ ball, Kobe has always gone to his first instinct of shoot-first-and-never-even-think-about-it mode with the first sign of trouble. And to be honest, he did that even with Phil Jackson but Phil was still able to reign in his individual play and instill a team mentality in Kobe I’d say probably around 80% of the time (which was good enough to win 5 rings).

    Basically, all this is a round about way of saying that Kobe is the type of player who needs a coach to put the brakes on him time to time. To let him know the value of involving in his teammates. There’s a reason the Lakers win more games when multiple players are getting touches throughout the game and the scoring load is spread out among several players as opposed to one guy shooting almost double or triple the amount of times than the rest of the team.

    And it is the coach’s job to let Kobe know that. I doubt Mike D’Antoni is doing that or I don’t know whether it’ll effect Kobe if D’Antoni did say anything. Kobe has a massive ego (which is both a good and a bad thing) that not very many people can work with. I’d say Phil Jackson’s best quality as a coach, even more than his technical expertise, is too work with and get the best out of some of the biggest egos in the NBA (Jordan, Shaq & Kobe). The only other guy with that kind of weight and guile is Pat Riley. Somehow, when it comes to garnering respect among players in this league, championships still speak louder than anything else in the land of the millionaire NBA players with million dollar egos.

    So, I don’t know what’s gonna happen with Mike D’Antoni and his ability to work with Kobe. I think that is a more serious question than any of the technical issues so far. I’m already seeing shades of Mike Brown/Kobe dynamic with Mike D’Antoni and Kobe, particularly late in games. I hope D’Antoni figures out a way to work with the man with the 5 rings. That”s what might determine if there is a sixth in the horizon for the Mamba and the first for the guy who’s entrusted to bring back “Showtime”.

  27. Dwight Howard needs to make free throws.

    The Lakers missed Pau Gasol’s ability to pass and make plays. Pau needs to heal up and return when he is healthier.

    Pau needs to play center. Dwight as athletic as he is fairly short for a center. He needs to play Power Forward.

  28. There will come a time this season when the Lakers start stringing together some wins and start looking like the team they’re supposed to be. I still firmly believe this team can go all the way, once the playoffs start. Until then, I figure we’re due for a gut wrenching ride, like the one tonight.

  29. D’Antoni on keeping Howard in re: FT’s: “You have a player that’s going to be your franchise player and you don’t do that to him.”

    We haven’t lost because of Hack-a-Dwight. We have turned the ball over two times in the first three possessions of the 4th qtr. And did it throughout the 4th. And defense down the stretch was just bad.

    As for intentional fouling? It gives you a chance to knock some free-throws but it doesn’t increase opponents score. They still have to score and a have a set defense to stop them. Stop whining. You supposed to win games by your defense as defense wins championships.

  30. Lots of bad luck this season so far.Hope it will straighten out sometime.

  31. Kobe’s D has been real bad in the last few games:

    Unable/unwilling to chase his man through multiple screens
    No boxout for def. reb,
    Being blown by his man regularly
    Slow rotation

    It’s really hard to watch as a long-time Kobe supporter.

  32. Im totally disgusted Kobe jacking up shots isnt the answer, Dwight actually did ok in the FT line(for him) but 2 things have to happen if we dont want to see hack-a-Dwight, one Dwight needs to make his damn fts and two DONT BLOW 17 POINTS LEADS!!!!!!!!! Its time to hit the panic bottom when you losing to non playoffs scrub teams. Screw this

  33. I am surprised that there hasn’t been many comments on the coaching. D’Antoni is trying to force feed his system to the Laker team. This is a sign of bad coaching, just like Mike Brown did. If a coach can’t adapt to players’ strength, he is a bad coach. Let’s review the days with Bickerstaff. He had a winning record without so much emphasis on a system. With the talent on the team, Lakers should win most of the games just by rolling out the ball. What a terrible situation we are in right now…..

  34. We had Orlando, Houston and NO lined up nicely to knock them down and generate some momentum for the OKC showdown, but this team cant get it togheter, embarrasing and shameful

  35. Andy i think D’anthony is doing better that Brown not by much but better, but the lack of Nash in the 4th to run this team and settled it down its becoming lethal, and the defense lapses too much

  36. We lost because one of the reasons was Kobe blowing defensive assigments on Harden who you think let Harden sneak under the basket for that practice layup? Kobe didnt won those rings by himself

  37. So what is up with Morris? Is he in bad standing? Or just preparing him for his backup role when Nash returns?

  38. Is there any reason that Dwight couldn’t just stay out-of-bounds after in-bounding the ball? If he can, would that affect the opposing team’s ability to foul him?

  39. Sorry fellow Laker fans, the simple truth is…this is not a good team, and it really may not be fixable. It may be time to lower expectations for this year. This Laker team is not a serious contender. Personally I’m tired of hearing how a 2012 Steve Nash is going to turn this team into a champion.

    A few points:

    - Lakers were 5-5 in their 1st 10 games. They are 3-5 since, meaning at the 20 game mark the best they could possible be is 10-10 (just have to beat the Hornets & Thunder…on the road).

    - Lakers are 7-5 at home, 1-5 on the road.

    - Kobe is averaging a league leading 27.9 ppg. Lakers are now 2-9 when Bryant scores more than 25 points but are 6-1 when he scores 25 or fewer.

    - On the season Kobe is taking more than 24% of the teams fga’s (19.3 of 78.4). Last night he took 38% of the teams shots.

    - Effort wish, is Howard starting to resemble Bynum? Could it have anything to do with ball bypassing the low post? Something to keep an eye on.

    -Lakers have the highest payroll in a salary capped league

    You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see this isn’t working. Bright light here says Lakers are much better (6-1) with balanced scoring.

    And there is great news for the “Kobe can do no wrong crew”, only 13 more points to 30,000 and less than 50 more games at his current scoring rate until he passes Wilt for 4th place on the NBA all-time scoring list. :-) or :-( depending on what’s more important to you, the Lakers…or Kobe.

  40. Waylander – depends on if he gets far enough out of bounds that he’s out of the refs’ line of vision. If he can make it all the way back to the tunnel, he should be safe.

  41. Kobe takes 30 plus shots.Dwight takes 9 10 shots? Losing formula.when will kobe realize yes..he’s great, hands down. people can say what they want.but we don’t win like that.I’m officially dubbing this start as the curse of 500.when we fail to get above it or drop back to it or beneath it, all laker fans should say the curse of 500 continues.in fact I’m changing my screen name to that.

  42. The Commissioner could easily fix the Hack-A-Shaq (now Dwight issue):

    Do what the NFL does. If the other teams foul on a non-jump shot, give the team with possession the opportunity to decline the free throws (but accept the foul).

    The team who was fouled would then just get possession with a full shot clock.

    Or: The Commissioner could just say – if a team intentionally fouls a guy 3 times in a row in a non-basketball act, thats 2 FT’s plus the ball plus. The 4th time would be 2 FT’s plus a Technical + the ball. Etc.

    Knowing that David Stern won’t do either of those things, here are the Lakers Options

    If they foul Dwight while he’s out of bounds, I think thats Free Throws + the Ball. Dwight should be the inbounder, and then stay out of bounds until the Lakers get the ball up court. He could then sprint to the front court and if the other team intentionally fouls him, another Laker can be in shooting motion (meaning its 3 free throws). The officials arent buying the half-court heaves, but players standing outside the arc may be able to take legitimate shots.

    2nd Solution – When teams are going to foul dwight intentionally, have a better FT shooter get in that teams way. Make them foul the better FT shooter to get to Dwight. – Just call the play (Box-And-Dwight)

  43. @Snoopy2006 – LOL!!!!
    I agree with everyone who has stated that D´Antoni isn´t coaching well; it´s like he´s slowly moving toward being more & more inflexibile in his decisions, which of course plagued our last coach; though righting the ship, as he´s said, doesn´t seem that far off – still, he´s chomping at the bit for Nash to get back (despite not saying so last night)
    & I´m in total agreement with JoeAtlanta regarding Mamba.
    Let´s get a g********ed win tonight!

  44. Two other sobering points:

    - pertaining to the Lakers current 8-10 record (1-5 on the road). Spurs, Grizz, Thunder, & Clips look like locks for the 1st four slots. Meaning Lakers will be a road team for the post-season and will draw one of those teams in the 1st round. Don’t mention Nash’s return. Other teams have returning players also. Clips just got Billups back 3 games ago, and are expecting Grant Hill soon.

    - Dwight can walk away at the end of the season…and Brooklyn is still interested. A note to all D-12 bashers. Dwight to the Nets in a sign & trade for Brooks Lopez, returning to Cali (Stanford U). If you don’t like that scenario, the Lakers better come up with a better way to involve D-12 in the entire game…including more low post fga’s.

  45. It’s starting to look like the only coach who could semi-control Kobe was Phil. Like to see a shots under Phil to now.

    Good idea in Dwight taking it out. Gonna call my friend with Lakers to suggest it.

  46. Kobe took a few too many shots last night, but people are too worried about that. The Lakers have given up 74 points in the 4th in the last two games. People were calling for Jamison and he had a 15/9, but the Houston backup 4, Greg Smith, had a 21/9 in 24 minutes, and the Lakers gave up 21 ORebs. No knock on Jamison; players have limits–but that is who he is.

    Kobe does need to put out more effort on D–deserves real criticism for that.

  47. Good point Don and Dude Abides—during hack-a-Dwight, play Hill. At least Hill got some clock this game. Irks me when MDA goes away from what is working and when Kobe quits trusting and goes solo. Hardin showed how to play the role–break em down (way too easy), draw DH, and pass for the dunk. Kobe can break em down, but he’d rather put it up himself–remember Ron being stunned that Kobe shared the ball and Ron made the playoff winning three?

    Our biggest problem is a lack of gravitas, Kobe and coach included. Give me Sloan. Drill that D.

  48. Snoop2006 – lol! That was a good one.

    Cdog – That’s what I was thinking. If he’s fouled out-of-bounds, I think it’s two shots and the ball. I like your second solution as well.

  49. RG

    Well thought out and well said.

  50. rr,
    I don’t want to harp on Kobe’s shot selection either, but I think in this discussion we also need to acknowledge that there can be (and is, at times) a correlation between bad offensive possessions and bad defensive ones. Just as the Lakers’ D has suffered the last two games after teams have started intentionally sending Howard to the line, it can also be argued that bad offensive possessions (via Kobe or whoever else) lead to poor defensive possessions as well.

  51. Big City Sid,
    Luxury Tax teams can’t participate in sign and trades any longer under the new CBA. If Dwight really wanted to go to Brooklyn, he missed his chance.

    As an aside, I’ve been sick the last two days and haven’t been commenting much. But I’ve noticed there’s been a lot of baiting, insults, and trade speculation in the comments. That needs to stop or the comments will be deleted. Even if only part of your comment is one of those things, I won’t take the time to save the part that’s okay. I’ll just delete the entire thing. Just pointing that out now so I don’t get questions about “where’d my comment go?” down the line.

  52. People mentioning Kobe’s name r showing their lack of basketball Knowledge. That game was a win until Hack a Dwight. I don’t blame Dwight, I blame Mike D’Antoni. The smart coach of Houston himself said, they went to Hack a Dwight to get the ball out of Kobe’s hands. So keep fooling yourselves by talking about shots, the opponent wants the ball out of his hands. SMH

  53. Just as the Lakers’ D has suffered the last two games after teams have started intentionally sending Howard to the line, it can also be argued that bad offensive possessions (via Kobe or whoever else) lead to poor defensive possessions as well.

    That is correct–and yet one more reason Nash may help. But Kobe’s offense is in my opinion very low on the lengthy list of Lakers’ problems.

  54. let’s do the math shall we? say we have 10 defensive stops in a row and yet the opposition intentionally fouls dwight howard 10 times in the ensuing laker offense. let’s be generous here, we’re up five points?

    let’s say we have 8 defensive stops in a row and yet the opposition intentionally fouls dwight howard 8 times in the ensuing laker offense. let’s be generous here, we’re up four points?

    let’s use the converse here, let’s say we had no defensive stops for ten consecutive plays and the opposition scored a minimum of 5 points (one free throw made, one free throw missed). scored tied and game boring beyond belief. at this pace and on the average, we’re gonna squeak out a few games and lose out on a few games. this stragedy will continue to work no matter how many hall of famers we roll out every night.

    note to dwight: in the back, front, side and middle of your mind, tell yourself; put the ball over the front of the basket; over and over again until it becomes muscle memory.

    until then, we are getting sleepy, sleepy, sleepy…….zzzzzzz

    Go Lakers, for tonight is another game.

  55. “So keep fooling yourselves by talking about shots, the opponent wants the ball out of his hands. SMH”
    —-
    No they don’t. They want him shooting 25+ shots. The Lakers have dominated when the scoring load is equally distributed. It keeps everyone’s heads in the game. It doesn’t tax any one or two players too much offensively, and thus leads to much better team defense. Plus, it makes it more difficult for the opposing team to defend them.

  56. I can summarize succinctly in this manner:

    1. No tactical substitution when Houston employed hack-a-Dwight – no win
    2. No points production from DW12 in 4thQ whether FT or FG – no win
    3. No ball distribution, no pick and roll, no inside game in the 4thQ – no win
    4. No switching defense, no rebounds at the last Q – no win
    5. Benching Gasol or Hill in the 4th who could help the team by subbing DW -no win
    6. No discipline, no cohesiveness, no mutual trust among players, prolonged injuries, coaching on auto pilot are ominous signs of failure to the ultimate mission of Championship – no win

    IMO, this is karma after disrespecting our legendary coach who gave us 5 rings. He could have helped in the transition to D’Antoni if only they properly communicated with him their coaching intentions. All this chemistry issues, egos and forcing square pegs to fit in round holes (uptempo basketball with slow players, bad FT shootings, showboating by superstars) are the defining moment of a dysfunctional team. This is no Showtime, it is Slowtime with poor defense on highly paid players. Dr. Buss, save your franchise it’s melting gradually faster than global warming.

  57. UHHH… DELONTE ? Anyone, anyone ? Bueller ? Anyone ? Let’s see, a point guard who is actually not terrible at point-of-attack defense, but is actually a strong + defender there, who can bring up the ball for Kobe, and spot up for 3′s at a high percentage off him, who can drive to the hoop and create a little offense… and who makes the team younger and more athletic… sounds like there’s just NO REASON LA would want him, right ? Especially because he’s looking for the full vet’s minimum of 1.6 or somewhere about there…. much better to rely upon Duhon, who’s been washed up for about 4 years, and wasn’t competent even before that, or Darius, whom I like, but should be limited to garbage minutes in preparation for year 3, at most. Don’t say we can’t handle crazy in LA, either. In any case, we lose the season if we go for another month with no PG defense, and no help running the offense.

  58. I bet if it was Hill in during a hack-a-dwight, it’s not much of a downgrade defensively. Hill was blocking shots, rebounding very well, and even making dunks in the 4th Q.

    Other teams have figured it out, and its becoming a trend already since the past few games.. that if LA is only up by less than 10 pts in 7-8 mins in the game, hack-a-dwight works..

    Dont know why is it so hard for MikeD to let-in Hill for D12 during this time, stubborn? I see semblance of NY Knicks last yr.. I wish we have kept Bernie B as the head instead..he was winning games, by making it simple.

  59. Im with andy in terms of coaching issues

    Dantoni was very strict in the way he wanted to play in new york and it got him fired

    We initially saw this in LA with Hills benching while being our best sub – and arguably the ineffectiveness of Gasol in his system – I would say that Gasol is hurt or his conditioning is off but the numbers show that his attempts at the rim and long 2s have swapped from the championship years when he shot 40+ % of his shots near the rim to 20% now under Brown/Dantoni – If gasol is playing iso on the block he can score on most PFs in the league in that set and could easily pass it to a cutting howard or passing it to him out of a double team instead of spacing the floor at the top of the key

    Questionable substution patterns have already started showing up with the tail end of our bench as well but with limited practices and time with the team we should expect that Dantoni will test a bit to see what he has.

    The triangle would have been awesome with this team – it may have limited nash – but who knows when nash will be back and if anything he would have been a 3X better version of Kerr

    Shaq was dominant under Phil, Gasol was dominant under Phil, and Howard could have been a 3X better Bynum in the system or could have had the opportunity to shift his career into shaq territory with Phil – on inside the NBA Shaq said they should go after Phil and that Phil transformed his career and his perspective on basketball and would do the same for howard – we lost this in going with dantoni

    I also feel this is somewhat Karma for trading away our heros – fisher, odom, Gasol (attempted) – and key coaching/scouting staff under Phil – which lead us to championships to go in a new direction

    We would seriously need to see a 10+ winning streak to break the curse and be considered contenders

    and if things do not go well …… I would not be surprised to see Howard walk – we may not be able to do a sign and trade but teams under the cap can and getting certain players, picks, other assets to deliver Howard to a team he wants to be with is not entirely out of the question

    We need to see chemistry being built to see this team have a chance and it is just not there right now

  60. What Tim Legler of ESPN said was entirely true.

    Kobe shot 31 FGA’s last night, while the other 4 starters shot a combined 31 FGA’s. That’s a recipe for a loss majority of the time.

    If we want to be a better defensive and offensive team, EVERYONE has to eat on this team. Not just Kobe.

  61. i think nash coming back will make a huge difference…its hard for me to judge this team without him…its obvious with an elite point guard, known for getting jarred dudley and marcin gortat 20 points a piece, running out there with D12, Kobe, PG and the others we should be doing quite well….so I wait…hoping i am right….kobes being asked to do a lot and is doing too much at times…id love to see nash penetrate than hit a slashing kobe for a free throw line jumper…we just really need nash…we have the same problem as last year right now…no point guard

  62. That’s a recipe for a loss majority of the time.

    ____________

    So is 19 TOs, 21 OREBs, and however many FTs they missed. Howard missed 8 by himself. So is allowing 34 points in the 4th quarter. So is allowing Greg Smith and Toney Douglas to score 43 points.

    Kobe deserves some blame. but since no one will listen to me, check out Darius in this thread and chck out me conceding his point.

    It is OK not to like Kobe or the way he plays. It is not OK to make that the basis for “analysis.”

    One good thing about Nash coming back, even if it doesn’t help as much as I hope it will, is that Kobe will be, as he said himself, shooting less off ISOs and more off catchgos, curls and catchshoots.

  63. The Lakers have dominated when the scoring load is equally distributed. It keeps everyone’s heads in the game. It doesn’t tax any one or two players too much offensively, and thus leads to much better team defense. Plus, it makes it more difficult for the opposing team to defend them.

    __

    It doesn’t seem to occur to you that guys like Duhon and Meeks and Jamison make the money they make and play the minutes they play because they can’t do the job every night. If they could, they would be making 7-10 M a year and starting some place. Everybody plays well sometimes. Guys on that level will have good games and bad ones, and none of those three guys, except Jamison at times, can create his own shot. If they could, they would be starters and making more money. That is how the NBA works.

    As to Howard, he can be defended. There were games in ORL in which he was held to 10 shots or less, and like I said last night, it is hard to go to a guy in the 4th quarter when he is shooting 47% at the line.

    The problem with the type of argument you are making is that you attribute everything every player does or doesn’t do to what Kobe does and doesn’t do. If their heads aren’t in the game because Kobe is shooting too much, then D’Antoni needs to deal with it, and the other players need to look in the mirror. Blaming it all on Kobe is an emotional argument, rather than an analytical one.

    Where Kobe gets into problems is late in the game when things aren’t going well, and he ISOs too often. Since he has seven working fingers and is 34 years old, he doesn’t have the handle or the hops to make that a good idea. But if Nash comes back, the ball will start in his hands in those spots most of the time.

  64. Let’s stop blaming our franchise player for what is everyone else’s fault but his. Kobe wants the Lakers to win more than anyone. He shoots too much when his confidence wanes about what his teammates are doing. To show he shoots more in losses means nothing, as Kobe shoots v. pass when no one else seems able. Without Kobe, this is a lottery team.

    I am with Andi and a few others, this was a coaching issue. Hacking Dwight was again disruptive, but missing the momentum shift that doomed us was a bigger problem, and that one is on Antoni. Turns out there is a reason one coach has more rings than fingers and the other has none. Lakers still need Phil, only he ain’t coming this time.

  65. most of the post game comments from players mentioned “moving the ball.” That is usually code for kobe shooting too much. But is kobe shooting too much because he gets the ball with 5 seconds left and no one else creates, or is it he’s holding it for himself and making it easier for defenses to key on him? DH doesn’t seem to grasp that yet and how his foul shots feed into that. Pau is simply too mentally soft to step up on a regular basis and create that space. Maybe the new guys will step into that void, because our outside shooting was not so great last season (another reason to give kobe the ball). A real defensive philosophy (which is a lot more than effort, communication and wheaties) would help out – especially in close games. You need to have confidence on both ends of the floor. Lets hope the coaches figure it out, because the players have not. That’s not an easy thing to do because PJ or MB couldn’t consistently do it in their final seasons, and Kobe doesn’t help when he freestyles during clutch situations. You have to lead by example on both ends of the floor, and he has not done that.

  66. Not entirely sure what people are surprised about. D’Antoni has shown no history of flexibility or even willingness to adapt to personnel during his time in Phoenix or NY. However, I think he’s getting hammered here for decisions that I find perfectly reasonable:

    -I’m amazed at the short-sightedness on display as people call for Hill to sub in when teams try Hack-a-Dwight. Benching Dwight will show teams exactly how to take the best center in the league out of the game in the playoffs. Forget Popovich – every coach we face in the playoffs will use it against us, to get Dwight out of the game at key moments. This really is an easy decision. We – not only Dwight, but the entire team – has to learn to play through this. Even if Dwight doesn’t improve his FT shooting – likely – the more times our team plays through the Hack-A-Dwight, the more they’ll learn to adapt and play through it without it affecting their defensive or offensive flow (on full possessions); the biggest thing I’ve seen so far with the H-A-D is that it takes our team out of rhythm and we end up no longer running an offense.

    -His rotation patterns have been odd, because as the new coach he has the right to give each player a shot in several situations before selecting a lineup. If he’s still tinkering like this in February, then it’s more legitimate.

  67. Lets me 1st state that Kobe is Jordan. Unfortunately he has never had a Pippen. even in the triangle, Kobe had to rotate between being the roles of MJ and Pippen (on our championship teams). People think that is an easy thing to do. Fastforward to One Trick Tony’s offense and once again Kobe has to play the role of Steve Nash and Shooting Guard while Steve Nash is injured. How people can complain when he has to carry that burden is beyond me. Please go watch tapes of Phoenix from the Nash days and show me where he was playing stellar defense once. I will wait. People complaining of Kobe’s defense are drunk in my opinion. Are you blind to the offensive burden he has to carry??? You talk about Shots, well when a team has no capable PG and they ask the most prolific scorer in club history to play PG what exactly do you thin he will do when in doubt??? Last I checked he is still leading the team in assists and if not for people missing shots he would have even more. (Lets not even bring up his hockey assists). The Lakers have lost 5 games so far this year because of poor free-throw shooting. This is a new team (top heavy too) that is dealing with a lot of injuries. Anyone expecting them to be hitting on all cylinder is unrealistic. That is why when they have freebies they need to cash in. That is why MD seeing as the lead kept shrinking should have preempted the Rockets and taken out Dwight (same way Phil used to do with Shaq). The margin for error at the present time is slim and Coaching is supposed to make up for that. With starting PF, Starting and Backup PG out and Starting Center at 75% the coach is supposed to be taking a by any means neceassry approach to these games. That is why Bernie was 4-1, he took it one game at a time and worked with what he had each game. If u cant protect the team from Howard’s poor freethrow shooting why in the world are you the head coach????

  68. Dwight’s 8 missed FT’s are getting more coverage than Kobe’s 17 missed shots. Incredible.

  69. Dwight’s missed 20 FT’s last 2 games. Kobe’s missed 32 FG’s last 2 games. Dwight’s left 20 possibel points Kobe 64 possible points. Let’s keep blaming the hack-a-dwight.

  70. 1/2decaf1/2regular December 5, 2012 at 11:06 am

    “We – not only Dwight, but the entire team – has to learn to play through this”
    ———————————–
    agree. it took a little wind out of their sails but dwight was making 50% and more importantly made last 2 FTs to give them a lead.. the game was lost on the defensive end with horrendous team defense and poor rotations down the stretch which everyone is to blame including kobe… this can be easily fixed.

    what cant be fixed is if coach benches dwight and this becomes routine EVERY game this season and especially in playoffs… so until dwight makes at least half his FT like he DID last night he must stay in the game and everyone including the fans are going to have to ride this out and be patient.

    before the meltdown at the end there were still plenty of positive takeaways.. lakers were holding much of their 10 pt lead for the entire game on the road.. they controlled the tempo until the hack-a-dwight.. i dont believe you can question d’antonis substitution except the very end.

  71. the lakers just pooped their big boy pants is how the announcer in houston described the ending of last night’s loss to the rockets. pretty funny stuff.

    it’s better to be lucky than good is meant as one who is gifted with good fortune is better than being simply good. good not great. with future hall of famers on board, this team was meant to be gifted with both good fortune and greatness. such has not been the case so far. there are so many reasons on so many levels why misfortune and weakness is the current status quo. but why?

    because is my single word answer for all that ails the lakers.

    now go out there and buy some big boy belts because what are we waiting for, christmas?

    win tonight because with another back to back loss, falling on our pants will spell further misfortune and further expose our weaknesses.

    Go Lakers

  72. The answer to Hack-A-Dwight is here at the 0:47 mark:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMK4UXr3XrU

    Note the leg/knee bend and the shorter arm stroke (all in one fluid motion). And so, Ko, if you know anyone in the Lakers organization, please have them watch this and other footage from his rookie season and get him back to that shot. You can save the Lakers some time and tell them to look at December, January and March, when he shot at or over .700 from the line (with March the best at .770). I’d like to see him at 70+, but as Shaq demonstrated, anything at 67%+ or higher will stop the hack-a-dwight (2 of 3 at the line seems to be the point at which some stop the hacking).

    For another word of advice that you can pass along, again, have them track his first 2-3 FT in practice. If it mirrors his game %, then the 80% means nothing (since he won’t be standing at the line to repetitively shoot 50-100 FT at a time during the game). And if they don’t want to wait that long, they can simply call fake fouls, i.e., during their scrimmage they call fouls and have Dwight go to the line every couple of minutes. Again, if he mirrors his game %, then the 80% over 50-100 mean nothing. If he’s able to shoot a better or satisfactory % in either scenario, then it would be “mental insecurity” and he’ll need to see a head-shrinker.

    For a, by the way, I read a blogger post and a Ken Berger piece arguing that 1.0 point per possession is okay, so it’s okay if Dwight goes 1-2. Funny that, since rather recently, the Hawks were at 100.7/100, so a rather small fraction over 1 point per possession (.007)(1.007 points per possession). Their rank was 18th in the league. The Bulls were at 99.8/100, which was good for 21st in the league. So, no, blogger who shall remain nameless, and Mr. Berger, 1 point per possession is not good enough. The Lakers at the time were at 105.1/100, good for 5th in the league. Compare 1.051 to 1.007. May not seem like much, but the .051 is rather larger than the .007, i.e., .007 x 7 = 0.049. And what the blogger and Berger also miss is the fact that a team isn’t limited to 2 points, as there is the made 3. And I’m not just talking about the other team making a 3, but the Lakers can’t themselves make a 3 at the FT line. So there’s an opportunity loss here as well (more of a loss when Nash returns, owing to his 3 PT %). That’s why you need to make .67% or better. So it’s 1.5 points per possession, which would lead the league, and by a handy margin (i.e., 1-2 and 2-2 from the line = 3 points in 2 possessions for 1.5 points per).

    And on that note, I’ll never understand why some foul Kobe on anything other than a lay-in or dunk opportunity, i.e., at 100 trips to the line (so 50 possessions), Kobe would be good for 86.8 points (FT% = 86.8, so for every 100 FT, he makes 86.8, so 86.8 points), whereas if he went 2-3 from 3-8 feet over those same 50 possessions, he’d be good for 66.66 points. Which is better, to surrender 86.8 points or 66.66 points? To round it out, if Kobe goes 3-4 from 3-8 feet over 50 possessions, well, his FG% would be .75 , and so that’s .75 x 50 = 37.5 x 2 points = 75 points, which is still less 86.8, so why are you fouling Kobe when it isn’t a dunk or lay-in chance for Kobe? And for someone like Nash, who has always had a better FT% than Kobe, even less reason to foul Nash.

    Almost forgot, but the other thing that our nameless blogger and Mr. Berger forgot. What are Dwight’s and Shaq’s “at rim” FG%? And so how does the opposition know whether the next Lakers possession is Dwight or Shaq “at rim”? In which circumstance, the FG% is likely to be .650 or higher, which is better than .500 from the line. And so that’s something else that our nameless blogger and Mr. Berger left out, since that “at rim” FG% is why we always heard, in late, close games, pound the ball down low to Shaq (so he can go .650 from the field)(Dwight’s had seasons at over .700 “at rim”). And so that’s why they fouled Shaq and that’s why they foul Dwight. And that’s the misdirection from the Rockets’ coach, by the way, since Dwight and Shaq are more likely to score a bucket at rim than Kobe is anywhere else on the floor (so he wants the Lakers to think that he’s afraid of Kobe but he’s really afraid of Dwight getting the ball and putting in a series of shots at rim).

    Oh, and by the way, this is not, repeat not, to disrespect Kobe, but for the inefficiency in having your SG be the volume shooter, note where MJ is and Kobe isn’t on this list:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/leaders/fg_pct_career.html

    This is also why, when Funky Chicken wrote something about Kobe being the driver of those 3 in a row, I spat out my soda all over the keyboard. Shaq is 1 and 2 on the relevant lists. MJ is down in the 120s (tied for 128) and Kobe isn’t even on the list. And that’s why it was crucial that Shaq always got more FGA than Kobe. Shaq’s exit may have been unsavory, but let no Lakers fan ever forget who was the driving force for those 3 in a row (the original Superman, and he had the logo on his shower stall at home to prove it). And note the A-Train, ole Artis there. His problem is that he simply did not shoot enough in the NBA (as opposed to the ABA). Ole Artis is why I wrote in a prior post about Dwight never taking all that many FGA (and even if we take FTA and divide by 2 and add that number to his FGA). In other words, if Dwight is going lead the team and us to the promised land, he needs 18-21 FGA and 10 FTA per game. And if he can do that and get his FT% to an even 70%, he’ll be the best (most valuable) player in the game. And I had a post that didn’t make it to the board, and I’ll spare Darius or whoever my critique of that decision, but taking Dwight’s latest quote that made the rounds, well, Dwight, if you’re reading this, that’s how you accomplish both goals, champion and the best, 18-21 FGA and 10 FTA per game, along with an even 70% from the line.

  73. didnt need dwight or nash…..both bad signings

    once again we bring in players who need to play their way or will pout. all we needed was selfless energy players and we got the opposite.

    dwight is no shaq
    nash cant defend his shadow

  74. Kevin, if Kobe’s missed shots are to blame why did Kevin Sampson say that they went to hack a Dwight to get the ball out of Kobe’s hands??? I guess Kobe’s missed shots are also the reason Dwight cant rebound?? Kobe was taking and missing shots and we had the lead. We lost the lead during Hack A Dwight. Keep faking yourself and looking for other reasons why the Lakers lost.

  75. Dwight’s 8 missed FT’s are getting more coverage than Kobe’s 17 missed shots. Incredible.
    ____
    As long as you are posting here, people letting Kobe off the hook won’t be a problem. I think you would be better off on a non-Laker board at this point. Criticizing Kobe is fine; obsessing on him is not really productive in this environment. Saying anyone who doesn’t see his shooting as the main problem with the team is “blind” or a “homer” or is “incredible” is simply not useful and is going to cause flack here, whereas there are many places around the net where it will be well-received.

    Even if you are right, it is simply baiting many Lakers fans, whether that is your intention or not.

  76. RR is right. While you can criticize some things Kobe has done, he still has the team’s highest PER by a wide margin, and for those who fail to acknowledge the virtue of the metric, he is shooting over 60% from the field, while leading or nearly leading the league in scoring. This ain’t the problem for a team under .500 after 15+ games. And to suggest that people who disagree with the criticisms vs. Kobe are not thinking straight, is to kill discourse. I still think the problem is manifold, with the top 3 fixes coming via time (Nash’s return, Dwight’s athletic and defensive recovery, and adaptation to the coaching change), and the next 2 fixes needing roster tweaking (a better backup point – I say Delonte, but a trade for Calderon would also work on the offensive side/ and the other issue is that Pau can’t play the 4 – not fast enough for the younger and more mobile position on D, and certainly not worth very much as a stretch 4, though he’s still a top 3-4 center – he’s got to get traded as well, for Calderon + change, or Dunleavy/Mbah a Moute/Dalembert expiring). The silver lining on the Blake surgery is that LA will be forced to make a move that has been pending for too long…