Lakers/Raptors: Sunday Afternoon Blues Continue

Rey Moralde —  January 20, 2013

This is a broken record. And as we get deeper into the season, the losses get more and more alarming.

It was another game by the Lakers where they would get killed in the first 40 minutes or so before they decide that they would get semi-serious. They were down by 19 in the fourth quarter before the Lakers were able to cut it to single digits. Predictably, like much of the season, the Lakers lost again to the score of 108-103.

Dwight Howard got ejected in the second quarter after getting in a minor tie-up with the Raptors’ Alan Anderson. Since Howard got a technical previously, that second technical sent him to the showers and to the locker room, where he probably giggled and played with some Power Ranger action figures. He looked horrid and seemingly uninterested out there. And I get that it’s a Sunday afternoon game, something NBA players aren’t used to, but, at 17-22 (now 17-23), the Lakers have no room for error this deep into the season.

The ejection of Dwight Howard made room for Pau Gasol. Gasol, predictably, had his best offensive game of the season at 25 points but he couldn’t stop anyone defensively. In fact, the entire team really couldn’t stop anyone defensively for most of the game as they were being beaten by backdoor cuts (PRINCETON OFFENSE, OH MY GOD) and surgically dissected by Jose Calderon (who had six of his nine assists in that all-important third quarter).

The 50-50 balls were mostly going to the Raptors. Landry Fields had a fantastic game, shooting 8 for 11 and getting 18 points, 10 boards, and 4 steals. At times, it seemed like the Lakers were just completely hung over from a fun Saturday night in Canada. No energy to start the game (down 19-4 early) and, sometimes, acting like trees on defense with the dinosaurs running around them.

Kobe Bryant came to life in the fourth quarter but was just off the entire game, finishing 10 of 32 with 26 points. His back-to-back threes in the fourth got the Lakers back into the game but, again, the Lakers have been a bigger tease than Kate Upton in a staring contest (I’m not putting the link here; I might get in trouble). Earl Clark, for stretches, was the best Laker on the court, ending with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Steve Nash had a good game, too, with 16 points and 9 assists but was countered by Calderon’s wizardry (22 points, 9 assists) throughout the game. Miraculously, the Lakers only turned the ball over 13 times.

The Lakers couldn’t stop guys like Ed Davis (18 points, 8 rebounds), Alan Anderson (14 points, 8 assists, 3 steals, and helping Dwight get ejected), and even Aaron Gray early on, who outplayed Dwight Howard for a bit. Again, it’s a broken record at this point. What else is there to say? Yes, they looked good against Miami but once again, the Lakers have taken three steps back.

This is sad. Try to enjoy another sport. Like football. The NFC title game is going on at the moment.

Enjoy your extended weekend, everyone.

Rey Moralde