Around The World (Wide Web): The Disappointing Season, Earl Clark, Defense, Effort,

Ryan Cole —  January 10, 2013

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: Just for a moment, disregard the Los Angeles Lakers’ disappointing record and the state of their dilapidated roster. Imagine you told a Lakers fan before the season started, “Listen, you’re going to play the San Antonio Spurs on the second night of a road back-to-back in early January. The Spurs will be riding a 10-game home winning streak at the time. The Lakers will hold San Antonio to just five points in the last six and a half minutes and will have five chances to tie it in the final 1:40 of the game with a 3-pointer.” What reasonable fan wouldn’t accept that scenario? Sure, there were some immensely heightened expectations before the year began, but even the fan who in October was already eyeing spots along Figueroa Street to set up his lawn chair for the parade could rationalize that having five chances to tie up the perennially tough Spurs in the final two minutes on the second night of a back-to-back would be a pretty good deal to take.

From C.A. Clark, Silver Screen & Roll:  At the start of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers sure seemed like a good idea. It’s possible that the idea which seemed so strong was actually flawed from the start, with too much age and not enough quickness to handle the modern NBA. You can easily question the implementation the Lakers have chosen, whether it is questioning why Mike Brown was ever hired in the first place, or why he was fired just five games into the season. For that matter, you can just as easily question the hiring of Mike D’Antoni, who has not presided over any noticeable improvements in his short tenure so far. It’s rather painfully obvious that the execution of the idea by the players on the court has been poor. But every single one of those possibilities is impossible to analyze accurately, because the overwhelming theme of this season has been that the Lakers just can not catch a break.

From Elizabeth Benson, Lakers Nation: This season has been one grueling test of faith for the Lakers’ players and their fanbase, and we haven’t even reached the All-Star break yet. While other fans continue to have a field day with the very apparent struggles of the Lakers, the situation only gains more serious with every game for the Lakers. What once were expectations of returning the Larry O’Brien trophy back to Los Angeles in June have turned into hopes of merely making it to the playoffs.

From Ben Bolch, LA Times: The Lakers’ defense hits triple digits more often than Dubai in July. It was 112 on Sunday, 125 on Tuesday and 108 on Wednesday. The numbers are uncomfortably high because the Lakers seem incapable of turning up the heat on anyone. There were a few dozen degrees of separation between passable defense and what the Lakers played again Wednesday night at the AT&T Center during a 108-105 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Things were so absurdly out of whack that Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni spoke before the game about his team having trouble defending the rim without Robert Sacre on the court. Yes, Robert Sacre.

From Kevin Ding, OC Register:  Once the proud favorites, the Lakers have now tried the scrappy underdog thing. They don’t win that way, either. Despite summoning some inspiration from an out-of-nowhere outing from Earl Clark — “Earl-sanity”? — the Lakers still lost to San Antonio on Wednesday night, 108-105, dropping their record to 15-20. The New York Knicks were 8-15 to start last season before Jeremy Lin suddenly took over Mike D’Antoni’s team and then conquered the world through his “Lin-sanity” dominance, spurring seven consecutive victories by the Knicks, who eventually did make the playoffs. Clark’s 22-point, 13-rebound splash was similarly shocking considering he had scored 12 points all season. The bottom line, though, was that Clark missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer — after Kobe Bryant twice and Antawn Jamison once also could’ve tied it down the stretch — and the Lakers lost for the fifth consecutive time. Not quite a Cinderella story there


Ryan Cole