Preview and Chat: The Oklahoma City Thunder

Darius Soriano —  January 11, 2013

Records: Lakers 15-20 (11th in the West), Thunder 27-8 (2nd in the West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 106.2 (6th in the NBA), Thunder 110.5 (1st in the NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 103.8 (21st in the NBA), Thunder 100.2 (6th in the NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Earl Clark, Robert Sacre
Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins
Injuries: Lakers: All of them. They’re all injured. Thunder: none

The Lakers Coming in: The Lakers have lost 5 in a row. Pau Gasol is still suffering after-affects from the concussion he sustained against the Nuggets and will not play tonight. Ron sustained a groin contusion (maybe the worst sounding injury ever), but is slated to start anyway. Earl Clark, coming off the best game of his career, will start next to Robert Sacre to form a frontcourt of players who were literally the 14th and 15th players on the roster a week ago. I tried to write that all very quickly so it could sort of be like ripping off a bandaid.

On the bright side, despite the losses, the Lakers are playing harder (if not much better). The infusion of Clark and Sacre into the lineup has produced more sustained effort in back end rotations, something that has been buoyed by the Lakers’ wings also showing more effort in chasing the ball around the perimeter to try and contest shots. Of course the wings are still allowing way too much dribble penetration which is leading to too many point blank shots, but we’ll save that for another day.

More positives would be the Lakers finding a few more things that work on offense. Nash has been more assertive in looking for his own shot and that has opened up more passing lanes when defenses commit to slowing him. There have also been a few nice P&R actions that saw Nash duck in with the dribble behind the roll man, draw defenders and then dump the ball off to the secondary big who circle cuts from the baseline. This is an action the Suns used to run for Shawn Marion a lot, so it’s nice to see the Lakers start to use it some.

All in all, though, there’s not much to be happy about right now. Better effort is nice but with the losses piling up there’s really no more room on the ledger for moral victories.

The Thunder Coming in: If you want to look at things positively from a Laker perspective, two of the Thunder’s eight losses have come in their last five games. Their last loss was to the Wizards in a game where Bradley Beal went off and hit a game winner. Furthermore, in recent games Durant has been arguing a bit more and has picked up a few technical fouls for his trouble. If it seems like that’s reaching, it’s because it is. The other side of it all is that Thunder have only lost eight times all year and they simply haven’t missed a beat since last season. They continue to roll and are only a half game behind the Clippers for the best record in the league.

At this point, there’s really no need to gush over the Thunder or their individual players. They’re now in their 4th year where they look better than the previous season. Their young players are still young, but have gained valuable experience over the years as they’ve broken through expectations to the point that there’s only one thing left for them to accomplish. The Thunder (like the Lakers) are a “championship or bust” organization now. Every move they make from now forward should be in aid of reaching that goal and, as it stands right now, they look to have the team to get it done without even a minor tweak to their roster. They are that good.

Thunder Blogs: Check out Daily Thunder for excellent analysis and all your Thunder news.

Keys to game: The odds are long the Lakers win this game. A loss would be their 6th in a row and history says that doesn’t happen too often to the Lakers, but history also rarely sees a Laker team decimated by injuries with a roster already too shallow to begin with. Things just aren’t looking good for tonight.

That said, the game will still be played and I fully expect the Lakers to come out fighting and to stay competitive for a good stretch. The key will be how the team plays defensively. Early reports say that Earl Clark will start on Kevin Durant which should prove an interesting match up. I by no means have any expectation that Clark can stop Durant. KD was brilliant in the Finals with LeBron James draped all over him and Clark is no LeBron. However, Clark does offer an intriguing combination of size, length, and quickness. If Clark can successfully keep KD in front of him and still find ways to contest his jumper in the process, he’ll have done his job. KD will get his 25 points (give or take). What you don’t want is him getting 35-40 in an efficient manner.

The other key defensive matchup with peg Kobe against Westbrook. These two have faced off plenty over the years with both of them winning their share of the battles. Russ will likely try to punish Kobe in the open court and then use screens to free him up to attack in the half court. Kobe would be wise to continue to lay off Russ and let him take the jumper. The last time these teams met, Westbrook was hitting that jumper at a remarkable rate and it led to OKC blowing the game open. However, those are mostly the shots you want him taking. If they fall, you tip your cap. But you have to trust the process even if the results aren’t what you’d want.

The other player to watch is Ibaka. With Ron starting out on Serge, it will be interesting to see how OKC’s pick and pop game works out. Ron still isn’t used to being the hedge and recover man in the P&R and has had some issues in when to abandon the ball handler in order to scurry back to his own man. This has led to miscommunications between the Ron and the PG in who is supposed to be where. Ibaka will make defenses pay for indecision by quickly taking the open jumper when the ball is swung his way. The Lakers must be quick to find him in space and make him either put the ball on the ground or move the ball on to a teammate rather than take that open 16 footer (which he can make pretty consistently now). While I understand long twos are a shot a defense can live with, you’d much rather it be Perkins who takes those types of shots than Serge.

The flip side to the matchups I’ve highlighted above is that there’s an interesting opportunity for the Lakers to exploit some cross matches when they transition from defense to offense. For example, if Russ gets caught on Kobe, Lakers would be wise to run some quick hitting post up actions to get him shots closer to the basket. Russ is a quality defender but is still giving up size and strength to Kobe. An added benefit could also be Kobe drawing an early foul or two on Westbrook which could change the complexion of the game rather quickly.

A secondary cross match would be if Ibaka gets caught guarding Ron rather than being able to shift back to Earl Clark. Ron offers good enough shooting to make Ibaka pay for roaming off him to contest shots in the paint. Even though the Lakers don’t have their primary bigs to threaten the post consistently, they’ll still hope to establish the paint via quick dives/post ups for Kobe and with Sacre diving to the rim on standard P&R’s. Ibaka can gum up those actions easily when helping, but if Ron can hit some shots that can open up the rest of the offense.

Lastly, controlling the tempo of this game is very important. OKC has the superior talent and playing a high possession game only favors them. They would love to get into trackmeet and allow their superior athleticism and skill level shine through. The Lakers must find a way to ugly up the game, grind out possessions on both ends of the floor, and limit the number of chances OKC has to break open the game. If the Lakers can limit turnovers and attack the weaknesses of the OKC D (involve Perkins in P&Rs, attack Kevin Martin on and off the ball), they greatly improve their chances of a win.

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

Darius Soriano

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157 responses to Preview and Chat: The Oklahoma City Thunder

  1. Lakers can’t let the game get away from them early. Losing the fans in the 1st quarter and having frustrated players is not what this team needs right now. Have to keep this game close.

  2. Kobe Alert: KB could move up on a few lists during tonight’s game. He needs just 7 FGs to take over 8th all time from Alex English. He needs 20 attempts to move by Wilt for 6th there (did not put it in quotes that time rr). At tip he moves into 28th alone on the games list and also moves within two games of Derek Harper and Eddie Johnson (did not know Johnson stuck around for that many games). He is 82 points behind Wilt, which puts him just a shade beyond one game striking distance. The Lakers have made the playoffs in 15 of the 16 seasons that Kobe has played for them.

  3. darius: do the lakers make the playoffs, yes or no? i say yes.

    Go Lakers

  4. Should say 882 above : )

  5. I often read these game previews. The more I read them the more I am convinced that Lakers got the wrong coach. How many times you can honestly say Lakers should push the ball to punish the opponents on transitions? How many times we say to ourselves that Lakers need to slow down and avoid TOs so that players like Russel Westbrook, Griffin, James Harden, Tony Parker, Jarret Jack, Curry, even Tyke Evans… punish you in fast breaks? Do you still think MD’s run-and-gun, 7-second or less approach is suitable for the Lakers.

    We are simply employing an offensive style that is not suitable to our personnel. This team with so much talent, yet achieves so little is unforgivable. I don’t think the players fully commit to MD’s offensive or defensive style at all. Far too often they spend 10 – 15 seconds passing around on the parameter, as if to say to the coach; “look! we do try to run your plays but we just can’t get the ball into the right spot.” Then they start to improvise their own plays. Then with 4 – 3 seconds on the shot-clock, time to throw it to Kobe and see what he can do.

    Lakers just weren’t built for run-and-gun. Why hire a coach who is more suitable for developing young players? The FO has just wasted another good year of Kobe. Frankly, I also lost faith in the FO on how they can turn this around.

  6. @ david h, pertaining to your question: “do the lakers make the playoffs, yes or no?” My answer is “no”. The conservative estimate of games the Lakers will need to win based on the ten (10) teams ahead of them is 47. @ 15-20, it means the Lakers would have to go 32-15 the rest of the way starting tonight. That’s .680 ball, only four teams are doing that as of this writing (Clips, Thunder, Spurs, & Grizz) and they all play in the West.

    Based on pre-season expectation, 2012-2013 could end up being the worst in Laker history:
    -missing the play-offs for only the 7th or 8th time in over 65 years plus
    -going into the lottery w/o a 1st round pick (Steve Nash trade) plus
    -growing probability Dwight may not re-sign plus
    -having the highest team payroll in the NBA plus
    -having the highest paid player this season plus
    -having an owner (Jimmy Buss) in complete denial

    However looking at the bright side, next season will be much better…mainly because we won’t have the same expectations we had this season :-(.

  7. If Phil is hired, Nash may become another Fisher, stand around and watch, last season it happens to Session when MB made him a starter. I think MB and MDA got a lot of respect for Kobe (5 rings), but now they have to figure it out the way to win as a team, if Phil or MDA continues to give the ball to Kobe at the end and hope Kobe to make a shot to win game like 4,5 years ago then we should not be surprised when Lakers loosing games. I wrote on this blog before, i saw after scoring point, Kobe stopped playing defense, because he wants to save his energy to score again ? i guess so. I also give credit to Denver coach, because he called Clark to shoot the free throw in Lakers-Denver game, from that point, MDA (or even MB) remembers that he has another player named Earl Clark on the bench, i hope Clark continues to play well and save this season for Lakers.

  8. Playoffs: The Lakers have missed the playoffs only 5 times in the 64 years that they have been in the association: 1958, 1975, 1976, 1994, 2005. That is an incredible record. If you notice all of these misses occurred with the departure of someone on the wall. 58 = Mikan; 75+76 = West + Wilt; 94 = Magic; 2005 = Shaq

  9. Keep hope alive!
    Go Lakers!

  10. DJ OMG you are correct. That was when _I_ remembered we had a guy named Clark.

    Are we running the ssol offense? No. Are we running the modified ssol offense? I don’t know what we’re running.

    I think this season will look like many games played so far writ large: fall way behind, then make a furious push near the end, only to come up short. Moral victory: we had a terrible season with upheavals and injuries, but we _almost_ got to the playoffs anyway. Yay.

  11. Just play defense, defense and DEFENSE. I dont care if theyre running the triangle, princeton, ssol in offense. As long they are committed in DEFENSE, they can win this game.

    Dont tell me about Nash’ def or Jamison is slow on defense. That is an old story. Look at the Knicks, they are old and slow too but hey they are playing team defense. Dont care if its PJ, Popp, MB or MDA is our coach if your the one playing, youve got initiative that defense is his 1st priority.

    Remember what D.Morris said last few weeks? Said that DEFENSE is really his job and be care less now on offense. Remember Mike Brown saying to his players last year? That the first thing they need to do is 1st defense, 2nd defense and 3rd DEFENSE still.

    Kobe needs to be the lead example of Defense or whatsoever he will call it on westbrook tonight and for the rest of the season. Pau, if not traded, should go back to his ways everytime he steps on the court and shouts to his teammates to play Defense. Dwight, well Dwight could not solve ll the mistakes in the world although he is a 3 time DEFENSE-ive player of the year. MWP still got the quick hands and Nash although he is such a liability on defense is still trying to emphasize to his teammates to get stops.

    Now, how many words of DEFENSE in my comment?

    Enough said. Thats all they need to do.

  12. Truest statement I heard all damn day! ^

    *fired up*

  13. now my new fave laker will be earl clark hehehe!!!

  14. Asking Mike ‘No D’ Antoni to not play his seven seconds or less system is like asking Phil Jackson not to implement the triangle.

    What I found head scratching was the F.O knew that the team/personnel was more suited as a triangle team, rather than the ssol team. And yet MDA was their first and only choice.

    Since the Phil Jackson theme ship sailed a long time ago, its about time that MDA start “evolving” as a coach and not just a “specialist”. This team has too many proud veterans to just fade away. There is still time.

  15. Brutal discussion about Kobe’s terrible defense at SS&R… I wish I found something here to quibble with:

    I’m really not really sure why PJ, Brown, and D’Antoni *all* have allowed this kind of BS. I guess it’s the one thing they have in common. I completely agree with the ‘Kobe’s defense’ sets the tone argument…. and I say that with full admiration of the guy’s brilliance, intensity, work ethic, creativity, and intelligence, and never forgetting how lucky I feel to able to watch him play.

    Off to Staples. Hopefully, I won’t be the only one left in the second half. Short beer line, though…

  16. I have the answers.

    Mike Brown as defensive coach and Mike D as offensive coach. Already paying both anyway.

    Hope Earl the Wharl dosen’t foul out in the 1st quarter aganist Durant.

  17. That’s interesting, could the FO have just demoted MB to defensive assistant and hired MDA to head coach? Or is it written in the head coaching contract somewhere that MB doesn’t have to take that sh*t if he doesn’t want to?

  18. Jayz/Albert: Nice posts. You are not just belly aching about the coach, but you are questioning the match of our coach and our personnel. The irony is we were told that this “match” was one of the main reasons he was selected.
    BigCity: I am actually OK with the Denial. It means we probably won’t do anything dramatic. I have yet to see anything dramatic that makes me too excited, so I am content to ride this out and see what happens : )

  19. Jim Buss did not want the triangle, the system is passe. It takes too long to truly learn how to operate in the triangle offense. PJ might have been the optimum coach had Kobe or Nash been 10 years younger…but they aren’t.

    Today’s NBA players are not disciplined enough to learn the triangle, even if it means winning a championship. They would much rather run n’ gun. In the up and down game of today, it is much easier to trade for players and have them integrate with a new team.

    The Clippers actually got it right ahead of the Lakers. Dunks, lobs and threes are what draw the audiences. Blame it on video games, ESPN or youtube, but basketball is more about players like Griffin, De’Andre, Lebron, Westbrook, Rose, Durant, Lilliard, Irving and Wall, and less about the triangle, or the Princeton offense.

    Thus the hiring of D’Antoni. Ideally, in the future young athletic players will clamor to join the Lakers in an SSOL system. The Lakers, Spurs and Celtics are the only three teams left to transition out the old players and move into the new era of basketball. All three are merely hanging on with the thought that they are competitive and that experience will win out for a championship. This year could be all of their last gasps.

    If the Lakers slow the game down, play defense and rebound they might have a chance. Here’s to hoping that Earl Clark and Darius Morris have decent games.

    On defensive rebounds could the Lakers please get the ball into the hands of the floor general. I wish Metta and Kobe pass the ball to Nash and let him do what he does, rather than dribble up the court and then go iso. They should cut and move without the ball, set a pick and roll to the basket more.

  20. Neil: Not protected – Suns

  21. PLAYOFFS?!! You talk about PLAYOFFS?! Are you you kidding me, PLAYOFFS?! Lets talk about about winning a game, don’t talk to me about PLAYOFFS?!

  22. Laker plan: play so bad that teams stop taking you seriously…than pour it on…right…right???!!!

  23. Is it just me or does the Lakers offence look smoother with Sacre and Clark than Pau and Howard to start this game.

  24. Why did Mad Mike take out Clark. He was best guy on the court?

  25. @Kooo I said the exact same thing…like wth Dantoni, he was playing well..smh

  26. kooo: baffling. Had no fouls and the most energy. .

  27. Lakers are getting called for a number of really iffy touch fouls, not helping.

  28. Why weren’t Clark and Sacre getting more playing time before Howard and Gasol went out? Clark actually has some talent. Sacre not so much, but plays very hard. But, Thunder is a different beast from the Spurs, this is looking like a blowout

  29. …and what the heck has happened to Kobe’s free throw shooting, he is now 4 of his last 9.

  30. I was excited because there was length and athleticism on Westbrook and Durant smh

  31. Does anyone on this team know how to shoot the freakin’ ball?? Seriously. Kobe can’t even shoot free throws anymore.

    Game over.

  32. Please stop shooting World Brick. Jamison is not a 3 point shooter. Ever!

    Oh well.

  33. Lakers can no longer compete with okc. This game will be over by halftime.

  34. Kobe is not playing as well as of late. His efficiency has gone down.

  35. Maybe its the weight of the offensive load he has had to carry the last couple seasons, but Kobe’s defence has become literally non-existent. If you told me dude is a 12 time all defensive guard I would think you are crazy right now. The Lakers would be much better served if he could re-direct 50% of his energy to defence.

  36. Earlsanity!

  37. I think Kobe is very tired. He has played quite a few minutes this year. It has to catch up eventually.

  38. Earl Clark with multiple efforts on that last board, this is about the only bright light I have seen in the last 7 games.


  40. Clark with the swat and Kobe ties it.

  41. Well what do you know? It’s amazing what happens when you do something so simple as make shots. Nice D during this run too. And Earl Clark is the man!!

  42. This game is not yet over peeps.

    Man of God have some FAITH in our TEAM.

    Look what they’ve doing right now can’t you see?!

    Clark doing some really positively things out there.

  43. These dudes still have fight in them.

  44. Clark is playing great making impact plays. The main reason for the comeback.

  45. My initial reactions from this first quarter:

    -Earl Clark really seems like he can play.
    -This team is playing better defensively than when they had Pau and Howard.
    -The Thunder miss James Harden. He would be in there with the second team and I don’t think that the Lakers would have went on an 11-0 run with him in the game.

  46. Even if they lose tonight, at least they’re playing with energy & heart. That’s all I’m asking for now.

  47. Is it just me,or is the “D” looking at least a little bit better tonight?

  48. playing hustle players makes all the difference

    win or lose im happy for now….until dwight and pau come back

  49. If Earl Clark does emerge as another talented 4, I have no faith in D’Antoni’s ability to find time for him when Pau, Hill and Howard are back.

    Part of the reason he had not played until now. Lakers have too many 1’s and 4’s and no one to reliably play the 2 behind Kobe.

  50. Earl Clark is exactly what we were missing ..6″10 athletic guy whose active, put him on Durant or Westbrook ..his length is a game changer

  51. Clark seems like such a good fit out there. He has giving this team more positive production than Pau has giving this team all year.

  52. Robert…spot on comment about Kobe’s minutes. It’s easy to bash him about his defense, but the man leads the league in minutes played. And in points per game. He’s still only human.

  53. The Lakers are now playing through Clark…might be asking a little too much, but great pass there.

  54. Clark with the steal from KD and then the fallaway? Kid is ballin’!

  55. Is there a worse defender in the NBA then Jamison. How did Mike not give Clark a minute the first 27 games? Guy has game.

  56. Can you be a Laker legend after only 2 games!? This guy is playing out of his mind!

  57. Loving Clark’s energy…it’s contagious. VanGundy’s comments about Dwight make sense.

  58. That’s two straight phantom foul bail-out calls in a row for Durant….someone tell this crew this game isn’t being played in OKC and that you are allowed to at least breathe on Durant….

  59. Metta need to channel his inner Clark here.

  60. JVG laying the smackdown on D12 tonight.

  61. Metta’s piss poor shooting is killing us right now.

  62. Metta 1 for 8. Nice

  63. Dwight would actually get the ball more if he moved around on the offensive end, why in the world we don’t run pick and roll with him and Nash at least 50% of the time is beyond me. Instead he goes and parks himself in the post where he is an average passer, middling post player and below average ball handler. Gets stripped way too much to justify running the offence through him in the post as a primary offensive scheme….but Dwight will never admit it.

  64. Hey look Lakers is 0-8 from 3pt land but hey OKC are only leading by 2. Look whats the outcome if they’re are playing decent DEFENSE and playing HARD.

    Well, I don’t care if they’re 0-20 from the 3pt line as long as they know how to play DEFENSE.

    I will keep posting about DEFENSE again and again because this is the main reason we are losing.

  65. Van Gundy seems like he’s campaigning for the Lakers’ coaching job should they get tired of MD’A.

  66. Durant is just a lights out shooter, probably the best in the NBA today.

  67. Bad news, Jordan Hill out for the rest of the season. DISASTER. Who’s next?!

  68. Seriously, I understand why Sacre has become Nash’s go to guy. Stop feeding it to him!

    Hill being out for the season hurts. What else can go wrong?

  69. Meta’s getting good shots…. Somebody has got to score.

  70. well…the energy is there….the talent…not so much

  71. Does Steve make some questionable passes a lot or is it the guy who is on rhe other end?

  72. now can we get delonte and kenyon

  73. Sucks for Hill, Clark will really get a chance this year to play now in his place.

  74. Lakers got some bad news on Jordan Hill: further tests on his hip revealed that he’ll need surgery, & will be out for the rest of the season.

  75. I have to admit that Russell Westbrook is one of my least favorite players in the league right now.

  76. Tough break on Hill. So does that mean Jim still likes his team and no changes needed?

  77. Sucks about JHill….The hits just keep on coming.

  78. KenOak,
    I can’t think of a bigger punk than Westbrook. Except for maybe CP3.

  79. Westbrook is a great talent but he is moody, given to tantrums and often shoots too much….hmmm sounds like someone we know…

  80. I rather have Kenyon Martin out there than Jamison. Man, my eyes went teary when I heard the Hill news. This might be the darkest season I’d experienced as a fan. Worst than those 2005-2008 years.

  81. Earl Clark is my new McHops. Let’s go Earl Clark.

  82. Wow, we are getting called for non-existent fouls and we are not getting calls on actual fouls.

  83. Another bad pass from Nash.

  84. Nash ain’t looking too swift out there.

  85. The veto and going for broke this year could haunt the Lakers for years. Putting faith in a 39 yr old pg and a center coming off back surgery. Shelling out a load of picks in the process. A decade of success may be followed by a decade of misery.

    Zirk: i’d put wade there too.

  86. D Wade is a bigger punk than CP3–it’s not even close.

  87. Kevin,
    Agreed. I forgot about Wade. He’s probably the worst!

    Metta is killing us right now. We’re 0-11 on 3’s, many of them wide open. Unbelievable.

  88. MWP’s offence and Jamison’s defence are killing us right now…not sure why Jamison is getting this much burn, he hasn’t earned it.

    I still am not sure why D’Antoni won’t give Ebanks any burn at all, look what Clark did when you finally played him.

  89. Zirk & KenOak…. Agree about Westbrook…should have been given a T when he slammed the ball to the floor.

  90. Durant is my favourite non-Laker player in the league, what a talent.

  91. Lakers 0 for 2013

    Metta 0 for about the same.

    How is Rudy Gay these days?

  92. Gameover folks. Have a good night.

  93. Thunder are a much better team than the Lakers even with Howard, Gasol and Hill. Not surprised we’re losing. Hill getting injured represents this season so far..just bad luck its like a curse is on Lakers.

  94. Artest is playing great tonight……for the thunder.

  95. Lakers can’t win a battle of talent and skill with this team. They’ve got to learn how to play ugly. Clutch, grab and fight for every inch of the court. The refs will get tired of calling the fouls. Knock somebody down!

  96. This what you get when you can’t play defense and you have a coach who doesn’t believe in defense. When Kobe gets in the lane there’s 3 blue shirts there. When Durant and Westbrook drive to the lane it’s and-1 after and-1 because no one knows where they are supposed to be.

    Kobe is now officially a bad defender. Not just a lazy defender but he’s just bad. Switches when he shouldn’t , fouls jump shooters, and gets lost when he’s screened.

    Instead of making one player(Nash) fit a system (triangle) they are forcing the rest of the team fit the Nash system which sucks with this personnel. I know we have injuries but nothing the lakers get is easy. And Nash gets his assist but who is he getting easy shots for?

  97. Magic just called the season as basically over…hard to argue with him.

  98. Nash has got to start looking for his shot more often. He’s playing very timid. MWP dribbles too much, him and Kobe are the worst ball stoppers on the team. Would like to see some more crisp passing.

  99. I’m starting to miss mike brown… At least there was some semblance of defense… One clueless mike for another.

  100. Yeah you guys are right… I forgot about cp3 and Wade.


  101. Hey Jim they are laughing at your Lakers at half on ESPN.

    When the guy with the most shots is Metta at 4 for 14 you have some major talent and coaching issues. Magic “Lakers season is over”.

    “I like our chances”
    Jm Buss

    Or “this ship can’t sink”. Passenger on Titanic.

  102. Everything JVG said in regards to Dwight AND Kobe was on point. Also, that bogus flick of the 2 of them, along with D’Antoni, was embarrassing .. Waiting all season for E-Clark to get his opportunity; too bad that it’ll now be at the expense of J-Hill (get well and come back better next year) .. What else can one say about Durant. Heading towards his 1st MVP, IMO.

  103. Nash needs to start looking for his shot more. He’s playing really timid. Peace dribbles too much, he and Bryant are the worse ball stoppers on the team. Would like to see some more crisp passing.

  104. I am curious about Gasol and his concussion. Honestly the blow he took was hard but not brutal. Possible he is prone to concussion. The tests for concussion symptoms is entirely dependent on the answers given by and actions in the control of the testee.

    Possible Pau does not want to come back before Dwight and bare the onus of proving he can still be productive in the post.

    Just a thought. I was very surprised that Pau is still out given the nature of the shot he took, and based on his tweets, Pau hardly seems disappointed.

  105. The Laker on offense and defense that has spelled nightmare in the first half is Mental Ward Piece (couldn’t resist). Missed all of this 3’s, got outrebounded by Steve Nash, managed to commit a technical foul, -26 on plus/minus. Clearly needs more time with his counselor.

    Can’t lay it all on MWP: the team as a whole is 0 for 11 on three point shots. . . . .

  106. Wonder how many people would have bet four months ago that the Suns robbed the Lakers blind by trading Nash for a Lakers draft pick.

  107. Boy is Metta bad tonight. Nationally televised humiliation.

  108. Durant is showing us what it must feel like to be all those teams that Kobe went off on…unstoppable.

  109. Funky,
    Has Nash even played tonight? It sure doesn’t seem like it.

    We’ve been repeating a lot of things throughout the season on this board about Pau and Dwight. I think it’s time to add something repetitive about Nash. He HAS to have more of an imprint on the game! He doesn’t even make an impact at all sometimes. Definitely not like the Phx days. I’m not sure what it is cuz he’s obviously a great player. Age? His injury? The players around him? Lack of aggression? I think it’s the latter, but I’m not sure why that’s the case.

  110. MWP is just horrible

  111. Lakers have quit everybody’s lifeless and even Kobe is standing around not forcing the issue. Time to trade players Nash and Ron can help other teams.

  112. Ron think he is Allen Iverson against KD. LOL

  113. I don’t understand how referees call the game nowadays. Earl Clark sweeps across the lane and Perkins holds him down with his left hand and then blocks him with his right. Ridiculous.

  114. “I like our chances.”

    “We can be like the LA Kings and go from 8th to champs.”

    And I have some land in Alaska to sell you.


  115. Nash is exactly what he should be at almost 39 years of age. A good point guard who will get a fair amount of assists and points scored, but nowhere near his production of his days in Phoenix. This is the best we will get from Nash, along with his terrible defense. I found it to be quite laughable that there were actually some Lakers fans that thought Nash would be the one to turn this team around, LOL.

  116. Zirk, I’ve been disappointed in the Nash experiment so far. In the limited time before his injury, he deferred to Mike Brown’s horrible offensive system, and post injury he just looks really old.

    ThIs season has been one steaming pile. The Lakers are the Clippers, and the Clippers are the Lakers. The last time we missed the playoffs we drafted Andrew Bynum. This time, it will be another D-leaguer.

  117. Wow, does this team miss Luke Walton.

  118. As Joe M. said earlier,

    Don’t talk about playoffs. Stop it and talk about how to win games. Stating this team can’t be in the playoffs is just like killing yourself for no more hope or positive signs in your life.

    Just quit watching Laker games, if this team misses the playoffs just 40 games into the season.

  119. Boy I need to find a new hobby.

  120. Based on Jim’s exact words, I don’t think he is just saying that stuff, but rather he is a bit delusional.

  121. Why is Kobe even in the game. This game is O-V-E-R.

  122. Wow, Westbrook … what a little bitch.

  123. Please get all starters out of the game and dribble out the clock.

  124. Why in the world would you bring Kobe back in, Lakers have zero chance of winning this one and his minute management this year is an affront to decency.

    Speaking of an affront to decency – MWP’s play in this game…that is all.

  125. @Jayz

    Scoring record I guess and minutes played. Ha

  126. Laughter is the best medicine. I love that Sprint commercial with Kevin Durant!

  127. Nevermind my suggestion about shutting down Kobe for the season. How about for this game?! It’s freakin over!

  128. Kobe and Metta

    12 for 40


  129. Please knock somebody down! The layup line needs to stop.

  130. Zirk-
    Did you really suggest shutting Kobe down for the rest of the year or was that a joke?

  131. KenOak,
    It was a joke, but the way this season is going, I’d almost rather extend his career and save him for next season. That’s how bad this season has gotten for me. Haha.

  132. I would just sit kobe and nash right now.

    EDIT: okay d’antoni sat them.

  133. Kobe was back into the game because MDA wants Kobe to show to him the Magic Johnson skyhook in the free throw line. LOL

    That was cool. smh

  134. I never thought I would say this, but I miss Mike Brown.
    The dude wasn’t as dumb as I thought out he would be.

  135. Remember when we were thanking OKC for trading James Harden and handing the western conference title to us?

  136. Jim Buss is so wrong, this team needs to be blown up badly. It sounded good, looked good on paper, but it is an unqualified disaster. Lakers badly need to get younger more athletic players to compete.

  137. No way there’s a recap after this, right? We’ve officially seen the Kobe era end tonight.

  138. Jim buss fan – not! January 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Boy Jim’s speech on Espn really got them fired up… How can anyone be taken seriously when they try to defend this fool?

  139. Hey guys. Wait until Steve comes back!

    Mike No D was talking about Steve Blake right?

  140. This is worse than the 05 ‘Lakers

  141. Everyone who is still commenting here after this brutal smackdown gets a free pass from ever being called “bandwagon” fans.

  142. Bar none, my least favourite Laker team to watch in the Kobe era whatever the record.

  143. Jim buss fan – not! January 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    And someone tell md that Phil is ready to give advice anytime…md couldn’t
    convince a fish to jump into water

  144. How the mighty have fallen. The sad part is that I don’t think Dwight and Pau would have made much of a difference.

  145. Whats wrong with Nash too? He looks tentative and uncomfortable on the court. Hes even missing shots he normally hits. Part of it is Kobe and the team but I think the man is just old and can’t do what he used to.

  146. Would be really funny if that lottery pick Suns got for Nash turned out to be the number one pick.

    Ahhhhh ahhhhhhh

    I am not funny am I?

  147. Gary look at my 10:02 post for your answer.

  148. Back from Staples. I’m not sure whether or not this was visible on TV, but after the 1st Q buzzer sounded, the entire building gave the team a huge standing ovation that lasted well over a minute. It was really quite moving, as if the fanbase was trying to will a turnaround for the entire season on the unlikely shoulders of Clark, Sacre, etc. It was probably the most emotional I’ve felt at a game since we beat the Celtics in the Finals… one of those beautiful and surprising moments that reminds me why I love sports.

  149. Kevin_

    That second link about Howard is so damn depressing.

  150. There seems to be a degree of finality to this one. From the body language to the he news about Hill, this season seems to be a wrap. I’ll still tune in. I’m a fan. That won’t change. But this season hurts. People will be talking about this season 20 years from now.

    The Lakers need more athleticism on the perimeter. The game has changed. There is just too much speed in the NBA for the Lakers to be trotting out a 38 year old, 34 year old, and 32 year old as their starting 1, 2, and 3. There is some promise in the front court (providing they can keep Howard). But until they fix speed issue in the back court little will change.

    Some years its just not meant to be. I still support our guys.

  151. “Remember when we were thanking OKC for trading James Harden and handing the western conference title to us?”

    Perhaps some underestimated Kevin Martin. I was not one of those folk. Not as good as Harden but he can create his own shot. 6-12 (3-6) tonight. We would also need to account for the fact that a team with 2 bigs like Howard and Pau is 3rd in the NBA in 3PT attempts per game.

  152. Just shoot me now.

  153. ugh… losing Hill means this season is finally lost – this was an expected loss, a win in either Houston or SA could have made a difference towards our psyche but for us to all know which games we will lose and which ones we might have a chance at winning boils down to the state we are in.

    Those that mentioned that the triangle would have relegated Nash to a better fisher so what? – Fisher is a 5X champion – Nash has not won anything – we wouldnt be allowing other teams to run us out of the building and it would have allowed nash to extend his career instead of making him, a 39 year old PG, the dubious choice as the cog of our offense when Kobe is still playing our of his mind.

    for where we are now it would not make sense not to make trades for the betterment of the team for the future, it is getting to the point where it is quite obvious that we will not make the playoffs so we need to begin preparing for next year.

    As much as Minnesota does not want to give up a certain player I think that that will be what will eventually happen in the same way that we all knew that Howard was eventually going to be here.

    As for the rest of the roster – the reload will trully come in 2014 when our books are cleared – The Veto has hurt us so much – at first I was upset with the trade I never wanted us to let our size go out in that trade but wow having CP3, a healthy dwight, and Kobe with serviceable role players in metta, barnes, hill – it would have been something

  154. Lakers karma emanates from FBG.

  155. Somebody talked me off the ledge. Told me “Look on the bright side, there is NO WAY Lakers are gonna get wiped out in the playoffs this year.”