Preview and Chat: The Denver Nuggets

Darius Soriano —  January 6, 2013

Records: Lakers 15-17 (11th in the West), Nuggets 19-16 (8th in the West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 106.4 (6th in the NBA), Nuggets 105.0 (8th in the NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 103.1 (18th in the NBA), Nuggets 101.9 (13th in the NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard
Nuggets: Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos
Injuries: Lakers: Steve Blake (out), Chris Duhon (questionable); Nuggets: Wilson Chandler (out)

What more can be written about this group of Lakers that hasn’t been already? I mean, I am asking seriously.

At this point, until proven otherwise, this Laker team isn’t too different than the one that Mike Brown was fired for coaching to a 1-4 record. And, maybe more accurately, they look like Phil Jackson’s last team (the one swept by Dallas) only a bit older and a bit less together/familiar with each other.

There are reasons the team hasn’t looked its best. These reasons are valid. Dwight Howard doesn’t look like himself physically on most nights. Pau Gasol is either in full decline (which, coming off his Summer in London seems far fetched, but is possible) or is a combination of dinged up physically and being misused offensively. Kobe and Nash are playing well offensively but must be compensated for defensively in ways that compromise the integrity of their defensive schemes. The rest of the roster is unbalanced and inconsistent in their performance from night to night. Add in an early season coaching change and what an upheaval like that means and this is the result.

It’s also not good enough. The season is pretty much at that stage where the team has to start showing what it is capable of being on a more consistent basis, regardless of opponent. It needs to start forming good habits to replace some of the bad ones that have formed in their first 32 games. Strides had been made (5 straight wins!), but then they were given right back (losers in 3 of their next 4). Continuing that type of up and down play will not get them very far this season, maybe not even an invitation to the tournament.

Which makes games like tonight’s pretty important in the larger scheme of things. The Nuggets are one of the teams currently ahead of the Lakers in the standings. Simple math tells us that in order for the Lakers to get into the playoffs they need to win games and they need teams like the Nuggets (currently in 8th) to lose. The best way to accomplish both tasks is to win this game.

The last time these two teams met was the day after Christmas. Both teams flew into Denver after playing in Los Angeles on Christmas Day, but the Nuggets (though arriving later) looked to be the fresher team. They brought more energy to the game (spurred on by their home crowd) and beat the Lakers with a combination of hustle, heart, and skill. They shot the ball well, frustrated the Lakers with physicality on the backboards, and thoroughly deflated them after their win against the Knicks the night before.

Tonight, it’s the Lakers who are at home and only the Nuggets played last night (a win over the Jazz in Denver). How this translates to the game remains to be seen, but the Lakers should be the fresher team — if not at the outset, then be the end of the contest. The key is, however, that the Lakers play with that requisite energy the entire game to exceed what the Nuggets bring.

Furthermore, the Lakers must remain disciplined to their scouting reports and understand the subtle shifts of late. The Nuggets want to play fast and they want to attack the paint both on when shots are taken and directly proceeding them. They will try to get to the rim for their field goal attempts and then crash the glass to collect the misses. The Lakers must build a wall around the paint and keep Faried, McGee, and company from hitting the glass after Iguodala, Lawson, and Gallo attack the paint.

Speaking of Gallo, he’s been shooting the ball well from behind the arc lately, making 15 of his 30 three point shots in his last five games. With Ron back in the starting lineup, it will be on him to chase him around the perimeter and run him off the line. It will then be on Ron’s teammates to step up and help on the ensuing dribble penetration while continuing to rotate after passes are made and shots are attempted.

But controlling the feel of this game is what’s most important for the Lakers. Both teams play fast, but a tempo too quick will clearly favor the Nuggets regardless of who played last night. The Lakers must slow them down enough to make them grind out possessions offensively and then play with enough pace back at them to make them defend multiple options over a single play. This isn’t the easiest thing to pull off but it’s the way to get them frustrated on both ends, and the way to win the game.

Where you can watch: 6:30pm start on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

Posts

158 responses to Preview and Chat: The Denver Nuggets

  1. Any updates on whether or not Dwight Howard is going to play tonight?

    This has been the most frustrating Lakers team to watch in my life time. I was so looking forward to this season. I think we all have to face the fact that this is not a championship team and we have to start thinking about the future.

    And that all starts with getting rid of Pau Gasol immediately. I’m tired of people pointing toward his play during the Olympics. The Olympics are a totally different game. The game is called differently. Gasol got ticky tac calls that he does not get in the NBA. In the NBA guys fight and push him out of the lane and he can’t do anything about it.

    This is for Warren and hoping I wake up tomorrow morning hearing about a close Gasol trade.

  2. Shelburne has Tweeted that both Hill and Howard will play.

  3. good luck.. im saving myself some grief from now on.. sorry i love LA, but can’t continue to watch this team right now.. maybe if something is done, starting with GAsol, then I can come back watching them again.. all the best LA, and to this site of course

  4. Not feeling confident but I’ll be watching. Go lakers

  5. Joe
    Yeah, I want to see Howard show that he can come out and play decent in consecutive games, and I am tired of him already setting up excuses for why he will leave. Whether he is friends with everybody off of the court shouldn’t matter, when he comes to play everyone needs to have everyone elses back on the court and it is that type of crappy attitude that can lead to teams losing games. Of course, winning a few can do a lot for everyones attitude and hopefully the energy they play with as well. Time to start up another winning streak and play like these guys are capable of. Go LAKESHOW!

  6. mountainman – I am totally with you on Howard. I don’t like his snippy remarks. He’s talking about building team chemistry while saying things that actively hinder that same chemistry. It’s not cool on too many levels.

  7. And don’t let Cory Brewer get open threes.

    The way you turn things around is by giving your all to win tonight’s game, every single night. Sometimes it becomes very simple, what kind of character do you have?

  8. Howard is only saying what discerning fans can see. One thing that jumps out about the Clips is how much they seem to enjoy playing together. You can see it in their on court communication and their hustle. The Lakers act like they don’t even know one another. The lack of camaraderie is obvious. The lack of cohesion is more than just X’s and O’s. Its affecting their play. Howard may as well comment on it. Others have alluded to it. Howard is just being more direct.

  9. I’ve been reading the posts, very little time to express my opinion.

    I noticed some trend against MDA. People say he’s not utilizing the players accordingly with their skills (which I agree), or messing up with the rotations (which I agree as well). But the main problem with MDA is that he fails to understand that he should not impose his SSOL, or ANYTHING. That overwhelms the team. Those guys are trying to figure things out for a long time. Figuring out is not the problem; having to figure something out is the problem.

    That’s the reason the Lakers were playing good under Bernie B; he let the guys play. The lack of chemistry that EVERY TEAM has when they have new players should be something we were expecting. I understand that MDA is being payed to run some kind of “showtime” but he needs to realize that it’s not gonna happen this season. Best thing to do is to do what Bernie B did: NOTHING!!!!

    You might have some good ideas sometimes, but sometimes it’s better just to get out of the way.

    Guys should just go rogue. Lots of scrimmages during practice and less learning.

  10. I don’t know what Howard is talking about. All the guards communicate, ron is calling huddles and everyone looks fine. If anything Pau would be the odd man out but him and kobe fist pump all the time. Everybody is older and not looking up to him the way it’s maybe been in the past. Dwight has to grow a pair and accept the stern serious player that Kobe is on the court. Dwight has to stop whining. Redick and Anderson don’t outwordly praise him, some of his old teammates took shots at him while closing the door and Deron grew tired of his back and forth last year. Dwight seems to be a little self-centered. Kobe talked about bringing that dog out of him but I don’t know if Dwight has it in him. He should just play ball.

  11. @Rudy Agreed. Its obvious that Gasol is not playing even close to expectations, because of Mike D’toni’s offense or age so just trade the man already. Lets all move on. We may even get decent players back from the trade.

  12. Just wondering. Did the team have chemistry issues last year? Did they hang out together? Were they best buds?

    Seems to me the issue is the new guy Dwight. Sure as heck isn’t Nash. Losing can get on everyone’s nerves. Just ask my wife.

  13. T Rogers: Exactly. Call it synergy, cohesion, or camaraderie – we do not have it.
    rr: Yes – Warren does want Pau gone as much as I wanted DH here. This does not bode well for the future health/performance of either Pau and whoever they get for him.
    Jerke: No revisionist history here : )
    Kooo: Very few people fess up to mistakes on here – so kudos to you for doing so. Besides – you were among the first calling for MB’s head, and eventually everyone was on that bandwagon – so you still have a positive balance : )

  14. I think it is likely that Howard doesn’t want to be here, and doesn’t like his coach or his teammates, particularly Kobe.

    The main plus that I saw to the D’Antoni hire was that I thought that having him here with Nash would get Howard going make it fun for Howard, etc. and make him more likely to re-up. Nash, like Howard, is a “Happy Warrior” type of guy, unlike the Dark Knight persona that Kobe projects, and I thought that would help their P/R synergy. To date, it has not.

  15. Maybe Mike Brown wasn’t the problem.

  16. I hope the Lakers put in a good night’s work tonight and pay attention to detail. They should be just a little angry after the whipping they got in Denver. Denver sure whooped it up during that game. It would be nice to see the Lakers get a little payback.

    Go Lakers!!

  17. Dwight Howard is the last guy to be commenting on what it takes to win. The Lakers did just fine with two stars who flat out hated one another off the court but coexisted on the court to the tune of three titles (and a fourth trip to Finals), and I’m sure that Kobe can’t help but get annoyed by these “expert” opinions being offered by such a mentally weak player who hasn’t touched the O’Brien trophy until he walked into Kupchak’s office this summer and touched the FIVE that Kobe won….

    The Clippers look like they are having more fun because they are young, emotional, and successful. The Lakers, by contrast, are old, more settled, and awful. Those aren’t the ingredients of an outwardly fun-loving group.

  18. Winning, like money, can disguise alot of problems. Anytime the Lakers actually win a game they start acting as if the world is returning to its proper order. The relax and are all smiles.

    I don’t get the sense that they move forward as a unit.

    Alot of people are being unrealistic with certain players, and the environment they need to be successful. Telling people to suck it up only isolates them even more.

    There is alot of obstinance is this Lakers team. They are kind of a joyless unit.

  19. What Dwight needs to remember is that Kobe is capable of selling out completely to win. In the 2009 Finals, during the final minutes of one the games in Orlando, Kobe refused to let Dwight have a dunk right under the basket. Instead, the Mamba pulled Dwight out of bounds, forcing foul shots from D12, which were missed. The Lakers held on to win and that play by Kobe was a big reason why. That’s the kind of effort and desire it takes to win it all.

    Dwight says his team doesn’t have a tight, cohesive approach? Maybe he’s right. But I haven’t seen him leading the cheers or showing much emotion on the court, either. We understand that that he’s not 100%, but his comments do more harm than good, IMO.

  20. Oh Pau oh oh oh oh

  21. Lol robert – you’re totally right- no revison from you:)

    Sigh Pau – for all that bball iq, 2 horrible bounce passes that should be easylobs to Dwight

  22. Dwight’s feeling that you need to be “court buddies” to win is infantile and displays a lack of professionalism.

    That being said, Dwight’s lack of maturity should be no surprise to anyone, he displayed it in its full glory last year.

  23. Kobe to Gasol for the oop slam dunk.

  24. Cos it’s in L.A now. “It’s my team.” like Kobe said. Everybody who came to the Lakers adapt to Kobe, not the other way round. Dwight, however is a superstar and maybe he thought differently. No one’s gonna question his work ethic but he will not be a leader if he conducts himself the way he is currently. There’s just too much expectations and pressure for the team to handle. Dwight seems to crumble heavily and he should know better to keep his opinions to himself or maybe talk to his team mates about it before venting every displeasure he has to the media.

    GALLO IS STRUGGLING

  25. After first few minutes I will now guarantee a win tonight.

  26. What is with this line-up: Kobe, Hill, Duhon, Meeks and Jamison??? This is a very weak defensive line-up.

  27. There is zero rebounding or defense out there with this lineup. Da nice rotation Mike.

  28. Defense looks absolutely terrible right now.

  29. 34 points allowed in the 1st quarter?? Not really all that surprising anymore.

  30. It’s all lay-ups and dunks for Denver – and they are not even playing that well, just making simple basketball plays. Lakers rotations are non-existent, still.

    This terrible spat began with D’Antoni deciding that the aforementioned Duhon, Meeks backcourt made sense playing with Kobe at the 3, Jamison at the 4 and Hill at the 5???!!!

    MDA’s rotations are so Mike Brown-esque that it is making it hard for me to determine how much of this is the team and how much of this is the coach just using the talent badly.

  31. Man, we’re just terrible defensively. We couldn’t guard a statue one on one.

    And it’s amazing how we make guys who should be scrubbing toilets for a living look like perennial all-stars. Corey Brewer again? Really?

    And a defensive rebound would be nice once in awhile.

  32. Lakers: 6 TOs, Nuggets 0
    we gotta clean that up quick

  33. Lakers 59.7% from field and down by 8 after one quarter. 6 turnover (6 points for Denver) and 7 ORBs for the Nuggets for 7 second chance points.

  34. And that’s with Denver missing their first nine shots. This team is physically incapable of playing defense!

  35. Wait. Lakers shooting 60% but still trails? what??

  36. Pau 3′s and MWP on the fast break – pretty much sums things up.

  37. My god this is one of the least intelligent teams I have ever seen. 5th time they stepped out of bounds all ready.

    Amazing!

  38. Meeks is getting owned by Brewer…badly.

  39. Is #13 on Denver Michael Jordan? Sure seems to play like mj vs the Lakers.

  40. NO Defense. Enough said.

  41. Dantoni is the worst defensive coach i have ever seen. Players still have no idea what our rotations are, where we are supposed to be forcing the ball etc.

  42. Nash to D12! Mcgee double dribble!

  43. Dwight came to play tonight. Wish he would do that every night.

  44. Nice defense. 30 points in the paint in one half.

  45. @Zirk – agreed, hope he keeps it up – for at least the rest of this game!

  46. Lakers offence is running differently (way less Kobe centric), and efficiently – and we are still losing because our D sucks so bad.

  47. So for all you guys out there that say Kobe shoots to much!

    How do you like us now. 2 shots.

  48. This team saps the life right out of me. They have very little margin for error and they play with a helluva lot of error. At least they are back in the game.

  49. When was the last time a team scored less than 60 at the half…smh.

  50. This team always hang around playing catch ups. They just need stops and continue with this energy. Today our big men seems focused and pumped. What’s very important is to finish the half strong.

  51. Hill is playing some fundamentally good D on missed shots, boxing out and making sure we don’t continue giving up O-boards. It’s nothing but effort.

  52. If the Lakers could even play even average defense they would have a better record.

  53. Wow Nash hasn’t missed a single FT this year.

  54. Fire Mike D’Antoni! If this doesn’t happen, Lakers has no chance. They are laboring, falling behind on almost every game regardless of their shooting percentage. This is mentally draining. Fans should chant “Fire Mike D’Anotoni!” ” Fire Mike D’Antoni!” at every home game. Otherwise, this will be another year wasted.

  55. Some of the defensive problems stem from line-up issues – that line-up of Duhon, Meeks, Jamison, Kobe and Hill (with most of those guys playing out of position) was sheer idiocy.

  56. Dwight Howard takes a 3 and misses, Andrew Bynum would be jealous.

  57. Why is everyone smiling and high fiving Dwight? That was ridiculous, that type of behaviour is barely acceptable when you are winning most of your games.

    Part of me wonders whether Howard, even when fully healthy and with all the talent he can being, is not worth it as the attitude he brings is not a championship winning one. It is not an atittude of sacrifice and “no matter what the cost”. Concerning…

  58. Ok Andy you can pay the 2 Mike’s salaries the next 3 years. Would not it be easier to find a defensive asst. coach.

    Or go find some younger, faster players?

  59. Well Gasol finally brought his game today. Wonder if he can keep it up for the second half?

  60. Feels like forever since we’ve had a lead, any lead, in a game. A tie at the half feels like a victory.

  61. Ko: The younger, faster players would be sub ins for Kobe and Nash. Simply amazes me that people here think that this team can play good team D if there is near zero guard defense.

  62. the offense is noticeably better in that first half. Quick ball movement. Kobe playing team basketball. Their D is still pretty bad, though.

    When Kobe shoots a ton, the offense really labors. The D gets to set up and get comfortable as Kobe isolates. Even if he makes it 50% of the time, they are able to reset on D. This makes the Lakers even slower.

    How do people not see this?? Don’t you see how different the offense is when Kobe passes and only takes a few shots that come to him?

  63. Nash only took 6 FTs prior to today’s game,that’s why. He will always hover around the 90% plateau and also notably Meeks who made 35 of 37 (almost 95%).

  64. And, Ko, that’s a problem with O boards as well. Since the opposition is penetrating at will, so the team is already outnumbered down low, and when a big has to help on the penetrating PG, SG, and SF, then an opposing big is open for the O board. And Koufos and McGee each have 3 O boards,

  65. Do we miss Bernie?

    At the beginning of the game we were playing more iso-post up ball and allowing our stars to be stars and much less SSOL Ball – and things went well – the game slowed down, we were up – Pau and Dwight got the touches they wanted and even for the Kobe haters – Kobe went back to facilitator mode a la 2008

    then our bench came in and it was running up and down the court taking fast shots which lead to long rebounds and as we were playing fast turnovers which lead to denver FB points

    Then towards the half we played D- slowed down the game again – played to our strengths and shared the ball and got back into the game.

    Does it really take a genius to see how we should be playing?

    This is why I thought Phil was always the right choice and it becomes obvious when you see the team playing well that hsi style would work a lot better with this team – Hopefully MD can stop focusing on his system and actually coach to the strengths of the team.

  66. Does this team practice? Ever? 4 TO Nash. 5 times stepping out of bounds.

  67. One of the few times you’ll ever see Nash gets a T

  68. @Shaun – excellent comment

  69. umm….these are some weak t’s being called here by this crew

  70. Ko,

    No, having D. assist or new player won’t work for D’Antoni. D’Antoni is not known for adapting to players. When he was in NY with Mike Woodson as assist. They lost. When Mike Woodson took over this year, NY performed to their potential. Mike D IS the problem. I think some of the comments here blaming the players are just wrong. For a brief period this season when Bickerstaff was the head coach, the lakers did well. As soon as D’Antoni took over, the team went back to the mood of Mike Brown days…players were lost on the court.

  71. What a shot by Nash

  72. Kobe having his worst shooting night of the year along with 7 assists at least…

  73. This is just a poorly coached team.

    Anything think this is a playoff team?

    Really?

  74. Well the downside of Kobe starting the game in facilitator mode and not being agressive with his shot is that he’s not in rhythm and having a cold shooting game so far. But then again, it is Kobe so getting it going at any time shouldn’t necessarily be an issue for him.

  75. Im fine with everything Dwight has been saying because it is what is obvious to everyone else

    chemistry is an issue and defense is an issue – what do we know about both?

    Mike D seems to be inept at doing both and the need to hire someone like a fisher as a player coach, or Magic and we should have went after mcmillan or I would say JVG (but i know that would be weird for Dwight) just to be a defensive assistant

    Phil was great at chemistry and managing egos which would have been great for this team and during our 2009 campaign we were like top % in defense in the league and really we dropped to about average and now below average defense with Brown/Dantoni – our defense was what brought us to 3 finals in a row and it needs to be taken out of MDs hands because hes not dong anything and I can totally believe that he just walks through defensive assignments as other players have discussed.

    Ko – do you have any insider insight into that – are we actually practicing defense?

  76. Meeks and Duhon are just terrible.

    Who’s fault is that Lil’Pau?

  77. Meeks is like Shanwow Beta

    Just cant drive and doesnt have the athleticism to really play that spot

    Or maybe like a 1.2 eddie house

  78. What a flop by Faried, but as long as refs call it, hey why wouldn’t you.

  79. Geez, when Dwight goes out and the scrubs come in, we just fall apart.

    And I hate to say it cuz he plays hard, but I’m pretty much over Meeks. How many WIDE open 3′s can a supposedly “good” shooter miss? I mean, seriously??

  80. Don’t NBA refs call traveling anymore? I’ve seen about 6 tonight commited by both teams.

  81. Faried got hit hard last game. Obviously these 2 teams don’t really like each other that much. Could be the first game when Lakers showboat too much,could be the 7 games playoff series last season. I think Denver turn up a gear again,can the Lakers match their energy??

  82. Can’t win many games giving up 89 points in 3 periods. This Lakers team reminds me of the offensive minded Nuggets teams of the 1980s losing games 132-128.

  83. …and that is what happens when we get Dwight his ‘post’ touches, he gets the ball poked out and stripped more than any other “all star” center I can remember in some time.

  84. thx purpleblood

  85. People who are expecting Howard to be a good teammate must have missed the scorched earth approach he took in Orlando. We’re almost midway through this season and we’re still awaiting the first game where one could say, “Man, Howard really controlled that game tonight.” He’ll put up numbers now and then, but he’s yet to be The Man in any discernable way for a full half, let alone a whole game. Not once in nearly 40 tries.

    This team will be lucky to make the playoffs, but won’t win a series even if it does back in. Why anyone would want Howard back at a max deal is just unfathomable. Let him walk and try to spend the money on some people who actually show up every night.

  86. I wish the team would follow MWP’s intensity at the defensive end. Hes not fast or quick just good basketball fundamentals.

  87. This team is like a washed up fighter. When they bring their best effort, they still can’t beat many teams, and when they don’t bring their best, they lose to everybody.

  88. Yet another loss at home. This could be a winless week. Something needs to change asap. Another new coach? Bernie maybe since they played best under him. Or a big trade shipping gasol or Howard out?

  89. I can’t believe what a fight this team is having against the Nuggets. What can this team do to get better? How much longer before people horrifyingly have to talk about firing the coach? Again? Oh, well. At least the Kings will be back soon.

  90. The Clippers (and I’m sorry to use them as an example) blow good teams out. How far away are we from that? These cinematic Sportsnet commercials AIN’T HELPIN’!

  91. Lakers won’t fire D’Antoni after giving that clown a four year contract. We’re stuck with him. It’s painful to see being a Chargers fan and seeing Norv Turner turn a 14-2 team into a bottom dweller, and seeing the same thing happen to the Lakers. Norv Turner is known as an offensive genius with a career losing record. Does that sound familiar??? D’Antoni isn’t an offensive genius. He’s just offensive.

  92. There might be a difference between reading players stats and actually scouting players.

    Just a thought for the day.

  93. So Kobe has had an awful shooting night, and yet he is the only guy I want shooting the ball right now unless it is a lob to Howard or a wide open Nash.

  94. Well, the last game against the Clips I thought the difference was simply talent. Tonight, the difference is intelligence. We are just a stupid teams sometimes. Our lack of basketball IQ amazes me. Constantly making the same mistakes game after game after game.

  95. Freddy Krueger can’t pop out of the television quickly enough. If the L’s can get a win, I’ll take it but this is a bad movie with some really bad actors.

  96. Kobe was having an awful shooting night, he is 9 of 22 right now, up from 4 of 16.

    Howard…good lord why??!!!

  97. Howard is just a fundamental very dumb player. Can’t remember one worse.

  98. That wad a travel by gasol before he got knocked out. Game over. Go to bed ppl.

  99. Pau was absolutely invisible tonight after the 1st Q.

  100. Season’s over.

  101. It’s official. I don’t see us making the playoffs. Time to blow this team up.

  102. Dwight does have 25 rebounds though… His energy’s been there this game.

  103. It’s over…the session, I mean.

  104. Let the rebuilding begin.

  105. That Great play/Boneheaded play by Howard is the Lakers season in a nutshell. I’m at a loss for words for what is wrong with this team. It’s something new every night from possession to possession.

  106. Get rid Of D’Antoni NOW

  107. Fellas Fellas. Hope is not lost! I mean come on, we are holding them under 20 points for the 4th quarter! 20 points! That is a milestone for this team!

  108. How unlucky can we be??? WOW This really sucks

  109. Amazing. We somehow turn garbage shooters on the opposing team into Larry Bird.

  110. Jamison
    Meeks
    Duhon
    Blake
    Pau
    Clark

    Send them anywhere.

  111. This team should only practice defence and only defence.

    As long as we continue to worry about our offence and who is getting touches, etc. the more games we will lose.

  112. That’s why Bill Russell was great. He knew that blocking the ball wasn’t enough. Rather that slamming the ball into the stands, just block the ball to your teammate.

  113. Still “intimidating” to block shots that way, Dwight?

  114. NVM, they have scored over 20 now!

  115. I don’t know if anyone realised. Kobe scored all of Lakers 4th quarter point except for the 4 free throws by Hill and Clark. Nobody except Kobe has scored a field goal since Meeks when score was 78-80. Lets see what Kobe naysayers have to say

  116. It’s so obvious that this D’Antoni style is a fiasco. I’ve never seen a guy go to team’s and erode their defense the way that D’Antoni does. Everywhere he goes the defense gets worse. Not a coincidence. This team ain’t getting better till he’s gone or he decides to play to the team’s strength, and he hasn’t adjusted very much in his coaching career, so don’t count on that. So dissapointed that we would hire such a clown.

  117. this has been an exhausting season
    take care everyone

  118. Night after night, game after game this team suffers from the same problems on defence:

    1. Quick guards carve us up;
    2. Our bigs don’t rotate;
    3. We don’t rebound well;
    4. We our bad at guarding the perimeter.

    When do the Lakers decide to make these issues priorities instead of balling about how Dwight needs his touches or Pau needs to be at the elbow.

  119. Kobe should ask to be traded so he can get his 6th ring he is the only one on the team showing any heart

  120. Ko, time to get on the radio and start bashing this front office for this terrible no defense coach they got us!

  121. Now we all complain how Dwight blocks his shots?

  122. 40% of the starting lineup in the all star game, plus Steve Nash and Pau. And we’re going to miss the playoffs.

    Another loss to Denver. Another home loss. Another loss to a team that was on the 2nd game of a back to back. Another loss to a team ahead of them in the standings. Another bad defensive game.

    Somewhere Mike Brown AND Phil Jackson are laughing.

  123. I am on hold now.

  124. Blocking it directly to your opponent is exactly the best thing to do. Who would dare question that? I also advocate saving the ball directly under your basket and driving while only concentrating with tunnel vision.

  125. Something DRASTIC has to happen for this team, the little bit of hope I had left in me before tonights game has been wiped out.

    This team is going nowhere with this current line-up.

  126. D’Antoni needs to adjust to the players on the team & scrap his “no defense” system.

  127. 60 points in the paint for Denver, 101 FGA 19 more than the Lakers who had 82 FGA. Nuggets with 17 ORBs There is something rotten in the state of Lakerland.

  128. I’m done with this team. If they don’t care, why should we?

    Blow this team up. I don’t care who’s on it next year or who’s coaching. As long as it’s not what we have now.

  129. D’antoni all O and no D What a waste of a great game by D12 Jim Buss needs his head examined not hiring Phil bwe dont have the roster for D’Antoni’s offense and he has never coached D thats why his teams have never won anything Why wont we all just say it he need to resign or be fired

  130. Really…. man … the ball is really just not falling our way this year.

    I have posted about it a few times but does anyone know if we have lottery protection on our pick next year?

    realistically with our upcoming schedule .. if we continue to play like this we could possibly be something like 10 games under 500 – with what maybe 50 games left and in the west will we be able to make the ground we need?

    I would say that OKC, Clippers, Spurs, Memphis, Golden State, Houston, and possibly Denver are all playoff locks which leaves us fighting for 8th with minnesota, utah, and portland – of those 4 we should be able to get by but that would put us in a hard 1st round but hey we would need to play the big boys at some point so even if its in the 1st round who cares.

    but if we dont….. I wonder what could happen in the lottery?

    If we do get a lottery pick to keep – then trade market will really heat up and depending on our picks position we could team that up with what most people are asking for to reload with another younger front court player.

    If anyones knows please mention it.

  131. Kobe is the only one besides Nash who can acually hit a shot in the 4th quarter. Im not surprised Lakers lost a close game against a better team.

  132. Kobe Bryant is the greatest offensive player in history! It is truly amazing what he’s been capable of his entire career. y’all saw those back-to-back three’s right? I mean, there’s maybe two guys in league capable of that right now, Durant and James. However one’s in his prime, the other entering his. The season is all but lost, but at least we get to watch him display his unbelievable basketball prowess.

    If we lower our expectations to what they should be this point: you can’t get mad at world peace dribbling for ten seconds to shoot an off balance jumper, or Howard turning the ball over on both sides, or any of the other bone head plays this team is totally capable of on concurrent possessions.

    Enjoy Kobe!

  133. Although you can’t really blame Kobe for the loss, there were a couple of 50/50 balls that he normally goes after that he didn’t in this game. Gasol just isn’t moving well at all. He needs to be shut down for at least a few weeks. He’s hurting the team more than helping at this point, like Karl Malone with his ankle injury in 2004. It’s like playing 4/5. Nash needs to shoot more, because he can’t rely on anyone besides Kobe. Howard did his best, but unless he’s back to 100%, which he may never be, he needs to refine his game, learn post moves, protect the ball better, etc. As Kobe lost some of his athleticism throughout the years, he developed other aspects of his game to continue his domination. Howard needs to do that as well. That’s why I brought up the way he blocks the ball. I knew that it would cost them a game one day. Lakers may still have lost, but it’s little things like that that each player must focus on so that the Lakers could be better collectively.

  134. D12 wont stay if they keep D’Antoni I’m just saying

  135. The pick is not lottery protected.

  136. Interestingly, in previous years when the Lakers D has been this bad (which it only ever was in spurts, nothing extended like an entire year as it seems it will be this time) EVERYONE talked about it, every guy mentioned it in their interviews.

    This year it is all about incorporating guys into the offence, getting Dwight his touches, getting Pau back to the elbow, blah, blah, blah.

    It’s the D stupid. As in try to play some occasionally.

    Lakers need to make a trade, but not for offence, they need to trade for defence. They need to get 2-3 guys in here who are only concerned about stopping other teams from scoring.

  137. Something will change before the short road trip–either personnel, schemes, or coaching (they won’t fire MDA, but I could see some sort of reorganization of some kind).

    I notice that Morris didn’t play at all tonight. Nash needs to be more assertive offensively, and Kobe needs to defer to him more. But the issues are still the defense, depth and overall athleticism; the Lakers are giving away too much in those areas each night, and MDA does not have an approach to deal with it.

  138. Shawn

    rr answered it. No 1st round picks the next 2 years. I don’t want to get Lil’Pau mad at me so I will just say that seldom happened in the Jerry West years who would go out and trade FOR those picks.

    This has been the most humiliating season in the Jerry Buss era.

  139. you are all a lot better than me. i did not even want to watch the game so i didn’t. it’s just been too frustrating and wasting my time.

    The front office made awesome trades to get D12 and Nash, but the hiring of MB and now dantoni is just beyond belief. They screwed up so big with MB. then they got players for his system and then fire him. Pass on PJ and hire mda who is not the right coach for this group of players.

    If anyone had a chance of righting the ship it was PJ. Only coach with the proven record to handle so many egos and mold them into champions. Admittedly, it still may not have worked out but he honestly had the best chance with this group. Still think Pau would have had to be traded no matter who the coach.

    I’m not watching this team until buss and company do something different…change of coach is not going to happen so some trades need to be on the way soon.

  140. @KO

    “This has been the most humiliating season in the *Jim* Buss era.”

    ^^ I corrected that for you. Also, I’m willing to bet that 15 years from now it won’t be in the top 3 most humiliating seasons in the Jim Buss era.

  141. It must be incredibly frustrating to be a Laker right now. Their effort was there , but a few bad and unlucky plays sabotaged that effort. They had good balance scoring-wise in the starting unit with all five in double figures. Turnovers and poor transition and overall defense were the turning points. Also the Denver bench out scored the Laker bench 43-23. But, once Again the recurring problem of poor defense is the biggest story and cause of this loss. Agonizing!

  142. Joe, can’t agree more. The offense isn’t the problem. It’s the defense. If they could hold their opponent under 100 consistently, they wouldn’t have to worry about more offense. Doesn’t D’Antoni realize that the point of the game is to win and not just to score? It’s better to win 4-2 than lose 126-112. If you prevent the other team from making 2 points, it’s the SAME as your team making 2 points. It’s like a guy making $200K a year but spending $250K thinking he’s rich. If you make $20K a year and only spend $12K, you’re still better off. I just don’t understand why D’Antoni just doesn’t get that.

  143. Dwight Howard is having an MRI on his shoulder in the morning, he aggravated it during the game.

  144. Now it is becoming more likely that this Lakers team will not make the playoffs. Wasn’t this team picked to win the west his year? Pathetic. I am so sick of this team and this season, time to start worrying about next year unless they do some trades.

  145. Difference in the game – Lakers actually held denver to 43.6 shooting which would be great – except Denver took 101 shots, and LA only took 82. Thats alot of second chance pnts and rebounds. They tried so much tonight to go thru the posts early which slowed to game down and Kobe sacrificed his shots to get other guys points to start with. All that being said – a lot of dumb fouls/turnovers and some terrible decision making (no need for Dwight to block that shot to Gallo – thats not a new complaint about dwight – he’s had that issue all the time)

    LA isn’t playing MDA’s style – they’re not playing any style. there is no team identity whatsoever and they haven’t decided what they want to be or even who they are.

    They could be a highscoring team, but can’t do that with Pau on the flr as it slows things down too much having to utilize both him and howard on the flr at the same time.

    They can’t be a defensive team because they don’t have the legs or youth to do so – and Howard isn’t 100 percent.

    Anyone else notice Mitch couldn’t even look Pau in the face as he made his way back to the locker room? As much as they want to keep Pau’s expiring contract – they have to move him to get better in some way this season and try and give this team some defined identity.

  146. Sald

    True on the first but a few more games like this and I am saving my nickels and dimes. I have a shot at buying the team. it’s either that or a box of cigars.

  147. Saldogg, I agree with you. After the Lakers beat the Celtics in 2010, Bill Simmons was able to have some solace after seeing the trophy presentation and seeing the Buss offspring, and knowing that these buffoons would shortly be taking over for Jerry Buss. We may be on the cusp of a decade of mediocrity or worse. I predict that Jim Buss next move will be to fire Kupchack and hire Isiah Thomas.

  148. Dwight is not the only Laker struggling to regain his form following injury. Steve Nash is having his issues as well. Nash doesn’t have confidence in his offensive game, which I believe is why he isn’t more aggressive looking for his shot. He is coming back from a broken leg at age 38. Not trying to make excuses, but that could be a factor.

  149. Kudos to Dwight for a gutsy effort playing with that aching shoulder. He had some misfortune late, but those were errors of commission. He played really hard all game long.

  150. @Lakers17 It may get bad. True, Dwight hasn’t been what we expected, but if he walks, we’re left with nothing when #24 retires in a couple of years. Anyone hoping we get rid of Dwight needs to have their heads checked. There’s exactly 5 players in the NBA I’d trade Dwight for TODAY, LeBron, KD, CP3, Unibrow and a healthy Derrick Rose. NONE of those players are available so everyone saying trade him or so what if he walks needs to stop acting like we’re gonna be able to replace Dwight. Before this weekend, I couldn’t even fathom the idea that we wouldn’t make the playoffs, but it’s a real possibility. If it happens, we need to put all our focus on to getting DH to ink up. We need to take whatever live bodies we can get for Pau that don’t last past next year so we can at least give ourselves HOPE that LeBron might come to LA. To me, the amnesty has to be used on Steve Blake, who even before injury, barely resembled an NBA player. If we drop the next 3 tough games, it’s time to look toward next year and hope that Jerry overrules his inept son and fires Mike D and begs his soon to be son-in-law to come back. If we lose Dwight and can’t get PJ back, it’s gonna be a dark end for my favorite player ever’s career.

  151. Mathematically, playoffs would be difficult. It looks like the 8th seed in the west may need close to 50 wins like a few years ago, the way Houston, Denver, Portland, Utah are playing. Currently the 8th seed team is on pace to win 45 games. Minnesota will likely fade with Love out, although recently they’ve actually played well without him. I’m hoping Utah trades one of their bigs and that will cause chemistry issues. Then, that leaves Portland that the Lakers have to catch. But January is a brutal schedule for the Lakers, and they may be too far out by February, and March when their schedule gets easier.

  152. “1. Quick guards carve us up;
    2. Our bigs don’t rotate;
    3. We don’t rebound well;”

    Joe, as I said, that comes from poor guard defense. Lawson and Miller ended up with 20 assists total. They didn’t get that by feeding the post and watching their big do his thing. Since someone mentioned the Kings, when the guard penetrates by his man, it’s the NBA equivalent of a power play, except that it’s easier to control the ball and score in the NBA than it is in the NHL. And every time a big comes to help on a little, then the opposition has mismatch for scoring and rebounding purposes.

    The problem is that the Lakers don’t have a guard set that can remotely begin to stop penetration. Until that is solved, there will be no defensive solution.

    Lastly here’s the shot chart, and look at the 1st and 3rd quarters:

    http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/shotchart?gameId=400278223

    The other two failures tonight were simply the TO and why in Deity’s Name is the team taking 30 3-PT attempts…

  153. One good thing about the rise of the Clippers and the slight decline in Wade’s game is that if the Clippers or OKC can knock off the Heat, hopefully that’ll make it more likely that LBJ will leave the Heat. But that’s a total crapshoot, and you don’t want to end up like Dallas this year when they missed out on DWill.

  154. Worry not folks January 15 is close… Then there’s always the trade deadline.

  155. Shut down Gasol. He was an all-world player in the Olympics and is not contributing significantly now. Being dinged up and misused are the most likely reasons with one contributing to the other. There may be some drop off but it cant be this large.

    Don’t trade him unless you can get equal basketball value (highly unlikely). If Dwight Howard walks this offseason, a fresh Gasol can slide back in and keep this team at a high level.

    Shutting Gasol down allows him to rest, the team to become faster, some younger players to get the royal jelly and the coaches time to work out how to integrate a healthier, more capable Gasol down the road.

    The front office too needs to help with athletic point guard/wing/ 3&D players – from the D-league or elsewhere now.

  156. Think about it. Nash and Bryant are both old and terrible on defense. Then there is Gasol, whose defense is suspect. Throwing in Howard to the mix was supposed to secure the D. This is faulty thinking.

    3 of your starting 5 are bad defensively. That is a huge hole. This hole has been there for years. Before Nash, it was Fisher then Blake.

    Lakers have been getting sliced up for years. They are slow on rotations and transition defense. They don’t help eachother.

    Bynum talked about trust issues on defense before. It is how the Lakers unraveled. When you don’t communicate to eachother on defense, that is a big red flag. So is pointing fingers.

    Phil Jackson couldn’t have fixed this. The Lakers have the wrong personel on the court if they are going to be a great defensive team. Problem is that they need guys who are great on defense AND offense. This is not as easy to acquire.

    Howard is a huge piece. He can do offense and defense. I would get rid of everyone except Howard.