Preview and Chat: The Philadelphia 76ers

Darius Soriano —  January 1, 2013

Records: Lakers 15-15 (10th in the West), 76ers 14-17 (9th in the East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 106.7 (6th in the NBA), 76ers 100.4 (19th in the NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 102.7 (T 17th in the NBA), 76ers 102.6 (T 15th in the NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Steve Nash, Darius Morris, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard
76ers: Jrue Holiday, Jason Richardson, Evan Turner, Thadeus Young, Lavoy Allen
Injuries: Lakers: Steve Blake (out), Chris Duhon (questionable); 76ers: Andrew Bynum (out)

The Lakers Coming in: For the first time all season, the Lakers are playing good ball over an extended stretch. With Nash back in the fold, the Lakers’ O is generating good looks in a variety of different sets. Their defense, while still needing work, has been locked in for longer stretches of games and getting enough stops (especially on key possessions) to keep their head above water. It’s not the cleanest formula and over time the defense will need to improve, but as we’ve been saying for weeks this team needs every win they can get no matter how they come. The fact that they’ve won 6 of 7 is a nice way to start to make up some ground in the standings (at least against the bottom tier teams in the playoff chase).

One of the more interesting recent developments is the continued growth of Darius Morris as a defensive presence in the starting lineup. Morris is naturally a PG but has been slotted at SG between Nash and Kobe on the perimeter. Against the Blazers, Morris did a good job chasing Lillard around the court and after the game Mike D’Antoni commented that Morris’ contributions on D are really helpful — especially to Nash who can be moved onto a lesser offensive player while Morris chases point guards all over the floor. If Morris can continue to be a reliable defender of PG’s (one of the deepest positions in the NBA), it could really help the Lakers become stronger on that end of the floor. Only time will tell, but the early results are somewhat promising.

The 76ers Coming in: The Sixers are in the middle of a grueling 8 game road trip and are only 1-3 so far. Since they played they played the Lakers on December 16th, they are only 2-5 and have lost 8 of their last 10. In other words, this team is struggling. But don’t take my word for it, from the latest game recap (a loss to the Blazers on Saturday) at Liberty Ballers:

No one should be surprised why this team is struggling. It’s the same reasons as always: bad shot selection, too many long 2 point shots, complete lack of an interior presence on both ends of the court (aka a lack of Andrew Bynum), a low free throw rate, poor shooting %, etc.

Philly still has a fair amount of talent and even sitting 3 games below .500, they’re still right on the verge of being a top 8 team in the East. That said, they could really use that former Laker big man in the pivot (no, not Kwame Brown, the other one with the great hair) to anchor them in the paint. Their perimeter players are finding it more and more difficult to generate good looks on the wing without a big man to draw the attention of the defense (sorry, Spencer Hawes), putting a lot of pressure on Jrue Holiday, Jason Richardson, Nick Young, and Evan Turner to be really good every night. When those guys aren’t, they lose. And, lately, they’ve not been as good as they need to be.

76ers Blogs: Check out Philadunkia and Liberty Ballers for excellent analysis and news on the Sixers.

Keys to game: When these teams met in Philly a couple weeks ago, Jrue Holiday, Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash all missed the game. Tonight all three will be in their team’s respective lineups and that should change the approach of both sides.

For Philly, having Holiday back to orchestrate their offense is major. He’s been their best player this season, leading them in points and assists. His combination of size and quickness give team’s fits and the Lakers will have to be aware of his ability to attack off the dribble and create shots for himself or his teammates. This is where Morris’ aforementioned value will be put to the test. Morris has a similar physical profile as Holiday and his ability to stay with ball handlers in isolation situations is one of his strengths defensively. If Morris can do even an adequate job of keeping up with Holiday on the wing, the rest of the Laker D can focus on slowing down Philly’s other weapons.

Of the remaining Sixer players, the Lakers must really mark Richardson, Turner, and Thad Young. If Morris guards Holiday (as expected), Nash will likely start on Richardson. J.R. is mostly a three point shooter at this stage of his career but still has the ability to work off screens for catch and shoot chances inside the arc, can put the ball on the ground against rushed close outs, and possesses a fine post up game. Nash will have his hands full chasing him around and banging with him on the block, so the Lakers’ help schemes and rotations will need to account for this matchup.

As for Turner and Young, both are active on the glass and are best working 18 feet an in with mid-range shots and aggressive drives to the paint. Turner has shown improved range on his jumper to include three point shots, but that’s still the type of FGA you want him taking, so rushing to him out there and allowing him to get by the D and near the paint would be a mistake. Make him hoist long jumpers and live with the results. It’s much better than letting him create take short jumpers or work in isolation where he can be a bear to stop. Young is springy attack player and Gasol will have his hands full with him. Pau will need to box him out and not let him dribble drive to his left hand to get up short shots. If Pau can keep him a jumpshooter, he’d have won this battle.

Offensively the Lakers have two things really going for them: Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant. In the last game, Kobe went off for 34 points on 24 shots. He worked over every defensive player put in front of him, getting almost any shot he wanted from all over the floor. The Sixers don’t really have a wing “stopper” to throw at Kobe so tonight could end up being a similar showing should Kobe remain patient in his work off the  ball and make sound decisions by working for good shots when he has the rock in his hands.

As for Howard, the Sixers have a dilemma in trying to slow him. Two weeks ago, Philly put Kwame Brown on Dwight to good early success. Kwame has always been good at one on one D, and against Dwight he used his strength and wide frame to disrupt DH’s power post play. However, playing Kwame gave Dwight the opportunity to roam defensively and disrupt Philly’s attack. In the 2nd half, Doug Collins adjusted by playing Spencer Hawes (a superior offensive player) but that allowed Dwight to find his offensive game to the tune of 12 points on 5-6 shooting in those final 24 minutes. Tonight, Collins will have a similar issue in how he tries to defend Howard with Lavoy Allen and Hawes, or risk having Dwight be even more of a menace on D if Kwame sees extended run. In any event, the Lakers should look for Howard to dive hard in P&R’s and then seal his man under the rim for deep post ups if he doesn’t get the initial pass on the roll.

If the Lakers come out with energy and defensive discipline, their superior talent should win out. They must play with that urgency, however. If they don’t, the Sixers have enough weapons on O to make life hard on the Lakers and keep this game in the balance for the entire 48 minutes. After a solid win over the Blazers, the Lakers need to carry over that mindset and play this game with the proper attentiveness.

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

Darius Soriano

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116 responses to Preview and Chat: The Philadelphia 76ers

  1. Kobe Alert: KB’s 30 point game string ended at 10 in a row. In NBA history, 15 players have achieved a streak of 10 or more, for a total of 33 such streaks. Wilt did it 12 times; Elgin 3; West 2; Kareem 1; Shaq 1, and Kobe 2. This means that 21 of the 33 times this was accomplished, it will have been done by players whose names are/will be on the Staples Center wall. The top 8 such streaks in history are all by guys who are/will be on our wall. Wilt has 5 of them, while the other 3 are Elgin, Kareem, and Kobe (16 in 02-03 which is the longest streak post 1972). Very early in 2012, KB had a streak of four – 40 point games. He has had 6 streaks of 4 or more 40 point games consecutively. This is a feat that he only shares with Wilt, who of course happens to be in slot #4 on another list that KB is climbing.

  2. Lakers need to keep an eye on Nick Young as well. He always seems to shoot it well against The Show and it’s a homecoming for him as well.

    Hope the team doesn’t look past the Sixers. Big matchup on Friday, but first things first.

  3. First and foremost, Happy New Year to Darius & Crew and to all the individuals whose thoughtful comments help to make FB&G the best Lakers Blog out there.

    As for our Lakers, hopefully they’ll be able to set the New Year off correctly with a victory tonight over Philly. Personally, I’ll be paying close attention to D-Mo’s defense on the Sixers best player, J. Holiday. See if he’s as effective against Jrue as he was against Lillard last game. With the league’s best PG on the horizon Friday Night.

  4. for warren! we need everything at this point

  5. It should be a good win tonight? (not sure what to expect 🙂 )

  6. Based on the Clip-Nug 1st quarter I hope Lakers don’t come in looking “hung over” like those teams are.

  7. Sixers will be seeking revenge. Expect them to play much better than they did in Philly, especially with Holiday back. This is the kind of team Lakers are much better than, but will also lose to if they don’t come out prepared and just half a$$ it.

  8. It would also be nice psychologically (for me, at least!) to finally get over the .500 hump

  9. Can’t believe I don’t know this, but what exactly do offensive and defensive ratings mean? PPG, points per 100 possessions. Or something else?

  10. This Sixer’s match up somewhat puts things in perspective. I think it is safe to say that the expectations for the Sixers were a little lower than they were for the Lakers coming into the year. They have had their top player out all year, and Holiday – their 2nd most important player – has been out recently. We have used the injury excuse, because our 3rd and 4th most important players have been out. We are exactly 1 1/2 games ahead of them. Perhaps we have not dealt with our situation as well as they have? Or perhaps some of you may feel that their roster is better than ours (both at full strength)?

  11. lil pau,
    It’s points per 100 possessions.

  12. Lakers will go 40-12 to end the regular season and darius morris starts in the playoffs turning into tony allen and goes on the 09 ariza run. Calling it now.

  13. Nice start. Sleep walking right now. Get Metta in there niw.

  14. Lakers look old against the Sixers

  15. Lakers playing with all the energy of residents of an old folks home the day after bingo night.

  16. Call a darn time out and get Morris out of there. My gosh are you blind Mike.?

  17. Jordan Hill and MWP instantly add energy, Lakers instantly get back in the game. At some point MDA is going to have to concede that starting Morris is a mistake.

  18. I say get Morris off the team Ken. He is BAD

  19. Thank you Mike. Starting every game down 6 to 10 points with a 12 guy starting makes no sense!

  20. 2 words. Jordan Hill.

  21. D’Antoni starts Morris to lessen the burden on Nash and Kobe to be two way players. It worked vs Lillard not so much vs melo. Morris will help the defense given time.

  22. Jordan Hill with another cleanup dunk, active on the ORBs.

  23. That reverse jam by Kobe was sick. Jrue is not great defensively so really need to abuse him when he is out there.

  24. Denver crushing Flippers by 18!

  25. @ Keno

    Knew that streak would end eventually, and it makes sense that it might happen in DEN—the Nuggs are playing lights-out at home this year.

  26. Kevin

    Not buying him. Lillard had a bad game aganist everyone 4 for 17. You start your 5 best players . Metta has lost his flo since this dumb experiment started.

  27. Howard looks bad tonight

  28. Yep Dwight having another lazy, fumbling crap looking game. Must have been New Years Eve?

  29. Like it or not,we need Morris for D. And since Duhon is out,he will have more playing time.

  30. Keno: metta’s still getting minutes and it’s either morris, blake or duhon. I’ll take the guy with the most upside. Plus he has no choice but to get better going against nash and kobe in practice.

  31. I understand guys. I just see a out of control player and my cry is for a trade to upgrade.

    Denver has 13 of the next 15 at home with best home record in the NBA. Ouch.

  32. Gasol is now officially a 3 point shooter. What can I say, only under Mike D!

  33. Gasol full court pass to Kobe, Touchdown!!

  34. Lakers only have 4 turnovers this half so far, and Nash has 2 of them – yet he is the primary reason we are well below our average right now, he is handling the ball for at least 50% of the shot clock on most possessions, making passes where guys just have to shoot or have an open drive, no need for anyone else to make any complex ball handling plays.

  35. Dwight is a complete no show again. Get Hill in there and sit him.

  36. Lakers play an absolutely incompetent and lazy last minute to ensure they go into the half down.

    Howard and Gasol have been absolutely terrible, how in the world Hill and MWP are not getting more time at the 4 and 5 is anyone’s guess, its not like Philly is deep or big at those positions.

  37. Happy 013 everyone-
    it´s good to see the bench has been picking up the slack tonight (+ no TOs off the bench either!)

  38. Ugly first half stat: Howard/Gasol combined 1-11 FGs, 5-8 FTs and 7 points.

  39. Pau and Dwight struggling good time to play Jamison. The bench has taken huge strides and continue to impress. Team struggles when the 3s aren’t falling, maybe Jamison can help this game.

  40. Lakers must be quicker to help when Holiday and Turner are working in isolation. Both are among the league leaders in scoring on that play type. Defensive attentiveness overall must improve. Lakers bigs are doing okay at helping at the rim, but transition D, rotations to shooters, and showing early help on drives to not expose the bigs have all been poor.

    On offense, I’d love to see more ball movement. Lakers only have 8 assists on their 20 made field goals. Good to see Jordan Hill and Ron making a difference with their activity.

  41. Good point on Jamison. But first,Mike D better have Hill in. Dwight is actually doing a good job at D but keeps fumbling the ball. Meanwhile, Kobe with a quiet 17. And the Nets.. my goodness 5 point 3rd quarter?!

  42. Morris, Dwight and Pau 1 for 14. Who was in charge of Laker wake up calls this morning?

  43. Gasol, DH, Morris are a collective 1-15. When you look at the shooting percentages (1-11 from 3 for example), it is amazing we are down by only 4.

  44. Or perhaps some of you may feel that their roster is better than ours (both at full strength)?

    Robert, IMO you need to stop hinting about D’Antoni and look at what Pau and Howard actually do when they are on the floor. If you think the way that Pau and Howard are playing is D’Antoni’s fault, just say it. But, again, this team was based on the premise that the Core Four would play 65-80 games each and would play at their recent historical levels. Hasn’t happened. Tonight is yet another example: playing the 76ers without Bynum, Pau and Howard are 1/11 from the floor. If you think that is D’Antoni’s fault, please say so and explain why.

    If you want to get specific about D’Antoni, then the best place to question him is the decision to bench Ebanks and Jamison, play Morris, and play only 8 guys. The idea is to get some badly needed quickness on the floor, but I think Morris is so limited as a player that it is a questionable move. If you think D’Antoni is wrong to play Morris, again, say so, and explain why.

  45. Emogh enough. Get Metta and Hill in there, guys who actually want to pay.

  46. rr: Did not say a word about D’Antoni. I merely said that the Sixers have had more injuries than we have. Could you argue otherwise against a Sixer fan? That said – either we have not adjusted as well as they have, or perhaps there roster is indeed better. I mean at this point, if you add Bynum to this game, where are we?

  47. Unless Pau or Howard can contribute ANYTHING to this game, the Lakers are on their way to losing

  48. I mean at this point, if you add Bynum to this game, where are we?

    That is a team design issue. The Lakers are affected differently than other teams are by injuries, since they are so top-heavy. If that is what you are focusing on now, then your complaint is with Kupchak and Buss, not D’Antoni.

  49. Every time Ron dribbles, bad things happen

  50. Finally Howard gets a basket on a putback dunk.

  51. Also, the problem in this game is Pau and Howard.

  52. Too many elite players on this team for it to be so few game changing plays. Everything shouldn’t be so hard with all this talent but it is.

  53. Now Spencer Hawhs is out playing Howard. I am running out patience with this guy. Something must be done!

  54. Dwight playing as if this is the second end of a back to back and our free throw shooting has been atrocious.

  55. I love Dwight and I think his 2nd half will make us forget many of these games, but hypothetically, does anybody think the FO has CONSIDERED talking a move with a certain in-state capital city team with the fear of Dwight walking?

  56. ‘nother bad back night for howard – but everyone aside from hill lookslike theyre missing lift tonight including nash and kobe

  57. What a pathetic, poor effort by this vastly overrated over paid team. Way to have your team ready to play there Mike.

  58. Gasol’s play would look even worse if Dwight wasn’t out there making him look good.

  59. Like I have said and will continue to say. Lakers are fighting for an 8th seed right now and probably will be for awhile.

  60. Scary stats: Lakers have 17 more FT’s, 6 MORE offensive boards and 3 LESS turnovers and yet are down by 9.

  61. This has been a terrible year as a sports fan for me. My teams are USC, dodgers, steelers and obviously lakers. The lakers are my last hope and they are awful as well. It’s just sad

  62. All it takes is one good run to win this but lakers can’t keep playing catch up every game.

  63. All the fining in the world won’t stop flopping as much as replacing brutally incompetent refs with qualified ones. That sell job by Young wasn’t even Dolf Lundgren quality acting yet the official ate it up.

  64. Joe M what makes you think this junk is even a playoff team. Look how worthless Dwight Howard is. The guy is a joke. Pau appears to be done as a player and still this great coach refuses to play Jamison as his bigs stink up the court.


  65. This game is over. Pathetic games from Gasol and “Mr. Future Franchise”

  66. Joe M: We battled for playoff spots in the 05-06 years. Kobe is playing at that level (some would say better). So do we need to start comparing Smush, Kwame, et al, to the rest of our current roster? Wow.

  67. Stu Lantz asks a good question: on a night when most of the team can’t hit the broad side of a barn why WOULDN’T you try Jamison. MDA has a history of killing teams with a stubborn adherence to his system and viewpoints even when it is clearly not working.

  68. As I post that, Pau barely gets rim on a wide open 12 footer.

  69. we still have Kobe

  70. Wow are the Lakers ever regretting not trading Pau to the Hawks for Josh Smith this summer or what. Smith crushed it again tonight – would love to see our D with him and Dwight on the floor.

  71. Robert,

    This roster is probably worse 5-10 than the rosters on the 2006 and 2007 teams were. That might be OK if the Core Four were firing on all cylinders; they’re not.

    Part of tonight is bad shooting luck; 1/16 on 3s is an outlier.

  72. well…its finally happened

    the fans and the media begged for more nash gasol and howard…we now have taken on their identity and nobody fears this team.

    our edge was we had kobe…and kobes aggresion was our identity…now…look at us

    a team with no toughness that resembles the magic, suns and gasols grizzlies

  73. Why the heck is Pau out there and not Hill?

  74. Pau is killing our defensive rotations right now, stuck in quicksand.

  75. MWP giveth, MWP taketh away.

  76. New year, same flawed team. Making the playoffs merely means missing the lottery in order to lose in the first round….

  77. Can’t believe only Nash & Kobe play to win. The rest perhaps just play for a check.

  78. Gasol…sigh.

  79. and we just witnessed the Lakers completely quit for the first time this season (as opposed to just playing bad).

  80. Now Lakers are seeing why just letting Jrue dunk was such a horrific act of quitting. Philly is not exactly killing it at the line tonight.

  81. Worst coaching I ever saw. Leaving Pau in there, starting worthless Morris, not fouling at the end. Not playing Jamison when bigs were worthless.

    Now we know what the D stands for in Mike D.

    Not a playoff team fans!

  82. Hoping for OT!

  83. Why is Gasol still out there?

  84. An open letter:

    Kobe, you’re my favorite athlete ever. I pretty much grew up watching you become one of the greatest players of all time. You’re the 2nd best basketball player I’ve ever witnessed. Watching you try to play hero-ball at age 34, when you have Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol on the floor with you is getting excruciating. We don’t need you taking 30-35 shots a game. C’mon man, lead this team. There’s too much talent to be 15-16, its ridiculous.

  85. Damn! Dwight & Pau need to donate their game checks to charity after their performances tonight. All I ask for after ANOTHER home loss is for no finger pointing among the players and coach.

  86. dwight will not resign…he does not want to be here

    i guess we will keep up with the back lie and let him waste this season for us

    just look at his face…he looks like i kidanapped puppy

  87. I don’t know that we can blame Kobe’s hero ball on this game. He kind of had to because nobody else could make a shot. I think we all need to face the facts. We’re an average basketball team. When we’re shooting the ball well we look like a good team, but overall we just aren’t a good shooting team which is a direct contrast to the style of play that Mike D likes to play. Unless we make a move to get at least 2 shooters on our team, I don’t see this team succeeding in Mike D’s system.

    Oh and how many times is Pau Gasol going to be late on a defensive rotation?

  88. 15-16……Man that is just pathetic when you look at this roster…..this is a dark time for this team, a very dark time….

  89. Seriously, someone is seriously trying to blame Kobe chucking for this loss. Is Henry Abbott posting under aliases again? The last thing that cost us this game was Kobe. Pau, Dwight and MWP shot a collective 9 of 36, Kobe was 14 of 29 and that included the couple misses that were just desperation 3’s at the end. So Kobe was shooting over 50% most or the game and the rest of the major shot takers shot a collective 25%. Yeah pass it to those guys…

  90. Guard play wasn’t the issue here, it was our bigs who didn’t show up.

    Some of the decision making at the end of games also leaves a lot to be desired..considering this is a veteran team.

  91. James Worthy: Game was “disgusting,” and Kobe’s shots down the stretch were “ridiculous.” Worthy actually questioned how D’Antoni could let Kobe get away with those shots. Sad. Season is slipping away bit by bit.

  92. New year, same flawed team. Making the playoffs merely means missing the lottery in order to lose in the first round

    They traded the pick–you probably know that.

  93. Down 4 with 30sec to go and not only did they not foul but they gave up a dunk. Never once look like they gonna get stops anyways. The bigs always try to ‘help’ D on Holiday,leaving Hawes open midrange and ofc late rotation ends up him knocking down the shot.

  94. This team can survive a poor shooting night from outside if the bigs are at least working or vice versa – but not both, and definetly not when Howard has a physically horrible night. Him and Pau may have grabbed 23 rebounds – but they were all almost entirely inconsequential ones, nothing in traffic or that would’ve helped this team climb back in via second chances etc…
    Forget blaming kobe for trying hero 3’s as the reason for this loss. Lakers shot 14% or 22% below their average from 3. They missed a lot of wide open looks – especially from Nash and Meeks that normally should have gone down. Sure it was ugly – but it was an awful shooting night. And when your primary rim defender can’t show up in any fashion – offensively or on D well it just looks a lot worse.

  95. I wasn’t referring to the whole game, just the last 4-5 possessions. I will never ever ever question Kobe’s heart or desire to win because he has those in abundance. He has been an enormous part of my sports fandom over the past 26 years. I haven’t followed any athlete more closely. But we have Steve Freakin Nash who can create a shot like no other Point guard in the league and he’s playing OFF THE BALL. He can get better late game shots for Kobe rather than Kobe allowing the defense to load up on him. Kobe may very well cost us Dwight long term. He has to let Nash control the ball more in late-game situations, he can’t elevate on fadeaways the way he used to and that’s what he takes the most of due to swarming and double teams.

  96. It’s funny how comments get deleted when they are right on point. So every comment has to be of a constructive nature? Newsflash, damage control aint working…

  97. No one could make a shot….at all. The team was like 1-50 from 3 and Pau and Howard did absolutely NOTHING the whole game. So yea, in times like that where the offense is not clicking, Kobe needs to play Hero Ball. He needs to force the issue a little. Not that it normally works, but here is almost no choice. Howard and Gasol were just absolutely pathetic tonight. Both did not show up to play tonight. Say what you want about Kobe, 36 points on 14-29 shooting. Howard and Gasol: 3-19! Wow! How can that happen against a team with a weak frontline!

  98. I refuse to give my nights watching a team who refuses to fight (except Kobe, Nash, Hill, Meeks).

    This is ridiculous!

  99. Lakers went 3-22 from 3pt territory – and a lot of the misses were good looks for Nash, Meeks, Ron. If they hit their average of 36 % – they go 8-22, which is another 15 pts on the board – turning this into a comfortable win even despite the minimal contributions from Howard/Pau who were a combined 3 for 19 from the field tonight – and getting killed on defense on everyturn.

  100. everyone defending DH12 after last game raise your hands. pathetic.

  101. 3-19 Pau D12,
    Pathetic I guess.

  102. dwight is a joke..over rated.. he cant be the next franchise player for LA..

  103. Lakerlord,

    From the “what FB&G is about” link above:

    “Everyone is welcome here. I have been exceedingly fortunate with this site to have attracted some intelligent and clear thinking basketball fans and more are always welcome. I don’t expect or want everyone to agree on topics. Just be respectful and be ready to back up your arguments.”

    From the commenting guidelines:

    “The goal of this site is to have a fun, smart, and thoughtful discussion of what has happened and what could happen (or maybe should) with Lakers basketball and the NBA.”

    So, yes, your “Lakers’ suck” comment was deleted. Feel free to go vent somewhere else. Thank you.

  104. For what its worth lol…

    From @ JustinVerrier Justin Verrier
    RT @SherwoodStrauss: The Dark Knight Rises set unrealistic expectations for Dwight’s back rehab…

  105. If Dwight ever gets to 100%, his play will make us forget about these bad games.

    If you don’t think Dwight has been the second best player on this team this season (while recovering from back surgery) then you don’t know basketball.

    If you think that, 2-30whatever from 3 and no production from your starting 4 and 5 while only being down by 2 possessions late in the game, is reason to throw in the towel… then you don’t know basketball.

    15-16 is terrible, and it bothers me (almost as much as Keno’s comments). 15-16 also is a large sample size… HOWEVER, If Dwight ever gets to 100%, this team has a chance… I honestly think this to be true… :/ … honestly

    (btw, Jerke, love the comments)

  106. I’m w you Scorch – if the team wasn’t 15-16 then this was simply a bad shooting game w a center that is recovering from a back injury, and a pf in Pau that is hampered by plantar facitis. It sucks given that they’re still trying to recover from the train of a start to the season – but the Lakers just have to get on to the next one on Fri and get some rythm back. Keep in mind – Philly isn’t a bad team eiither, they went thru a rough stretch w/ Jrue – their leading scorer etc.. out w injury. So this wasn’t like lakers just lost to a garbage team etc…

  107. Dwight Howard, with a bad back:
    17.6 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 57% FG%

    What a terrible player, how dare he have a bad game.

  108. I dont see all the “Dwight Howard is a joke” or “kobe is a ball-hog” comments being deleted. Generally speaking, the Lakers do indeed “stink” right now. If you want to keep sterilizing your website it’s gonna become boring.

  109. Didn’t watch the game but followed it online. jerke seems to hit it on the head…with such awful shooting and a clearly subpar game from Dwight and Pau you can’t expect much more.

    Re Worthy’s comments….I am a Dantoni fan overall, so with that said, Dantoni while stubborn is not a disciplinarian who will control this team and change peoples natural instincts. So he is not the type to rein in Kobe and neither is Nash. I noticed overall very few assists tonight except for Nash and it didn’t seem like Nash was running many high screens with Dwight or Pau. So if that is the case, the fear is that not having post ups, just opens up the possibility of Kobe shooting even more and that is a concern. That can not be the only reason Dantoni is here. And with all the pressure on Dantoni and his style and the huge local preference for Phil and the somewhat dinosaur style of heavy ISO and post ups, I can see Dantoni seems to be working overtime to appease the masses and the players.

    To my mind, the concession away from true SSOL ball needs to be a few more post ups, while maintaining more insistence that a few more high PNR’s are run for DH (and even Pau) every game. That is the only way, to even out the offence and keep this from turning into too much Kobe/hero ball.

  110. other observation…Philly with Jrue is the prototypical team that will give the lakers problems…a lot of youth and team speed, a dominant and skilled point guard and dangerous scorers at almost every position. With those type of teams, we need to play smaller, imho rather than try to stuff them with power ball. So it was no surprise to me that WMP and JH were effective tonight…the thing is Dantoni seems to have promised Pau a lot of PT and to keep him out there in the 4th which so goes MD’s instincts especially when facing this type of team.

  111. I love Pau for what he has brought to this franchise. For a couple year stretch it was arguable that he was on par with DH for best big man in the game, and was certainly one of the smartest and most skilled. But those years are gone, and he does not fit into this team. Part of me is victim to nostalgia, and would rather trade Pau to a winning team if possible, but frankly he should be moved. (edited for trade speculation)

  112. I just can’t understand how Morris is starting for any team in the NBA. 0 for 4 and a minus 18 with zero D against Drew. Metta went from starting and making 3’s to going 1 for 14 off the bench?

    How can you allow Pau, who shot 2 for 12 with zero Defense, on the court at the end while Hill was playing 5 times harder?

    How can you have your bigs go 2 for 19, stink up the court and not at
    least try Jamison who is suppose to be a offensive guy?

    These are questions the FO must ask as clearly Mike 2 is not able to see the simple reality of bad play. And to think I thought Mike 1 was clueless. Perhaps hiring coaches that got ran out of town in their last
    job should be not considered in the future Jimmy!

  113. Wait, is there no trade speculation at all allowed, or is there a format for doing so?

  114. Keno,

    Mike D benched Gasol when he struggled and faced enormous push back from Gasol and the fan base. As for Jamison, its not MD’s style to use a cold and unused guy in such a pressure situation. Can’t say I blame him…

    This is not a Dantoni issue, but this is a very tough place with this bad start and the enormous expectations for this roster and from this city. He needs to be cut some slack. With such a top heavy squad suffering so many injuries, people’s expectations need to be really reined in. In Phoenix those 60 win teams could hardly win a game when Nash went down. Time for just a little patience.

  115. Greg,

    Pretty much not allowed. You can talk about possible deals that have been reported by reliable sources, and you can speak in generalities (It is time to trade Pau) but you are not allowed to just post trade ideas that you yourself create that involve specific players.

  116. Bad loss, plain and simple. These are the type of games they’ve got to win if they have any hope of doing anything noteworthy this year. Could’ve picked up a game on the division leaders as well. No energy and no defense. No tough home court atmosphere for other teams. I think teams like to play the Lakers at Staples. I just don’t think the bench is good enough. And when our starting frontcourt struggles, so does the team.