Preview & Chat: Lakers vs. Nets

Darius Soriano —  November 27, 2013

Tell me if you have heard this before…

In an attempt to create a super team and championship contender, a big market franchise adds name brand talent to a roster already stocked with name brand talent. That franchise instantly becomes the talk of the summer and is considered one of the handful of teams who is considered good enough to come out of their conference to earn a Finals berth. When the season begins, however, injuries, age, and a lack of cohesiveness create an environment where that team underachieves severely. And, through the first part of the season, expectations must be readjusted downward to reflect that this team probably isn’t as good as many thought they could be.

Sounds familiar right?

If you’re a fan of the Lakers, this is last season’s story arc wrapped up in a single paragraph.

If you’re a fan of the Brooklyn Nets, it’s this season’s nightmare playing out in real time.

To put it bluntly, this year’s Nets are struggling. That’s also probably completely underselling what’s going on with them right now. Through 14 games, the Nets are an abysmal 4-10. Most of that is due to the fact that Deron Williams has missed several games with a badly sprained ankle, Brook Lopez has also missed time with a sprained ankle, Andrei Kirilenko is out with a bad back, and Jason Terry has also missed time with a leg injury. Add to that Kevin Garnett has not looked like himself and Paul Pierce has been pretty up and down, and what you have is a team whose lone, big name contributor is Joe Johnson. This isn’t a recipe for success.

Further, the Nets are being coached by rookie head man Jason Kidd. Yes, the same Jason Kidd who last year played for the Knicks and who had to miss the first couple of games of the season serving a suspension for his involvement in a case for driving while intoxicated. At times Kidd has looked over his head in his transition from coach on the floor to coach on the sideline and that hasn’t exactly gone over well with a fan base who was told their team would contend with a roster that cost over a $100 million before a penny of luxury tax has been paid.

In any event, this is the Lakers’ opponent tonight. They make what happened with last year’s Lakers seem tame (that team, for comparison was 7-7 though 14 games).

As for what will decide this contest, both teams come into Brooklyn after playing last night in a different city. The Nets held on late to get a win versus the Raptors. The Lakers, as you know, could not get over the hump and lost to the Wizards in Washington. The rest factor (or lack thereof) is equal, so there shouldn’t be any concern on who is the fresher team.

No, this team will come down to the talent on the floor and while the Nets are likely to have Pierce, Garnett, and Johnson, it’s not so easy to say that Brooklyn is more talented. Especially if Williams and Lopez sit out (which is likely). Because while the Nets still have Andray Blatche and a rejuvenated Shaun Livingston, the Lakers still have a group of guys who have shown an ability to play well together even if they are less heralded.

What this game will really come down to is the Lakers’ role players showing they have the ability to put up good numbers on the road. Last night that wasn’t an issue for Jordan Farmar, but he’ll need to be joined by at least 2-3 other complementary players who can put up good numbers. Whether that’s a combination of Wes Johnson, Jodie Meeks, Steve Blake, Xavier Henry, or all of the above isn’t important. It just needs to be more than one of them. If they can do their jobs well while Pau and Hill play up to their recent levels, the Lakers have a winnable game in front of them.

The key is to jump on the Nets early and give themselves a cushion to buffer against the surge that always comes with a team playing at home. This can come through post ups for Pau, pick and roll actions for Hill, or three point shots from the wings. But it must come. Combine that with better energy and attentiveness on D (especially when defending the P&R against Livingston) and the Lakers will be in good shape. Here’s to them getting a win on the 2nd night of a back to back. Getting back to .500 is at stake and the Lakers surely want (and need) that.

Where you can watch: 4:30pm start time on the West Coast on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

Posts

71 responses to Preview & Chat: Lakers vs. Nets

  1. Wow no comments. Red sea parting for me.

  2. As expectations for the team’s performance goes down –> so do posts on FB&G apparently. This is great though because if Warren keeps getting the #1 post, then we will win all!1!1

  3. Pau off to a good start, 5-6 and 10 points (and no 3’s taken). Nick Young providing scoring off the bench with 9 points.

    Lakers wearing their Hollywood Nights jerseys.

  4. So–I’m trying to decide if this is good Laker “D” or just horrible “O” from the home team. I get the feeling that watching Brooklyn this year is what it was like to watch the Lakers at times last year. Brooklyn just looks flat-out slow.

  5. By the way. Jordan Farmar needs more playing time.

  6. Wow, this Nets team is bad. Not underachieving like the 2012/13 Lakers, just plain bad.

  7. This team is on fire tonight wow, outside last night’s egg this team is playing pretty good the last couple of weeks. And btw this Nets team make last year Lakers look like the original Dream Team, what a putrid mess.

  8. Who are these guys?

    They can ‘t miss and Jordan needs to play 30 minutes tonight. Guy is out of control!

  9. FARMAR!

  10. The Nets should consider that the group the Lakers have right now are all minimum signings.
    Farmar, Henry, Young, Williams and Sacre. Minimum.

  11. What is purpose of Williams?

  12. Sacre is on, on the 1st half and dribbling all the way to midcourt and scoring no way we losing tonight lol, i seen it all. Excellent play on both ends, need to keep the gas on the pedal.

  13. Joel

    They are missing 3 best players and best 3 point shooter.

  14. Ken, excuses.

  15. @Ken

    The Lakers are a mediocre team missing their best player, starting PG, and only legit backup big man.

  16. We complain about some choices the Lakers have make the last couple of years with our draft picks. But the Nets not having 1st rounders until 2019 is criminaly negligent. And Kidd is wayyyy over his head here.

  17. Boy does it slow down moment Blake and ZAPU come back.

  18. My gosh Williams is just worthless yet he pulls Hill after 2 minutes.

  19. The Lakers can be a lot of things but they are not mediocre, the Bobcats are mediocre, right now they are a fringe playoff team and they been playing good basketball for a little while. Even healthy the Nets have been bad the whole time. I think the Lakers have proven they can beat anyone at anytime w/o our best player. I dont count Nash he looks done.

  20. Please explain why Williams is playing more minutes then Hill?

  21. Hill has two fouls

  22. Never occurs to you guys that maybe MDA dont want Hill to pick a 3rd foul in the 1st half and we dont have anyone else besides Clark to sub? Good Lord!!!

  23. This team can be very good if MD plays the right guys. Giving Williams twice the minutes as Hill and playing Farmar less minutes then Blake makes no sense. I still have them 11 and 5 in December with easy schadule.

  24. keep it up in the 2nd half fellas! DEFENSE!!!!

  25. Good point Fern. Missed that.

  26. @Fern

    To me a fringe playoff team is the definition of mediocre. Not bad, just average.

  27. Kaveman not playing still?

  28. Not as solid in the 2nd quarter a we’d like to see, but nice overall half. Need to maintain defensive focus, and not let the Nets chip away any more into the lead.

  29. @ Joel. Avg not mediocre maybe mediocre by our standards but if Kobe come back close to what he was last year, im starting to believe this team could actually be pretty good. Maybe not a chip but a solid team with a foundation for the future. This squad has done better than expected after a shaky start and starting to get it togheter, big difference from the 1st 2 weeks to the last 2.

  30. Ok letting the Nets back in, oh oh

  31. This slow lineup will blow this game.

  32. Lakers are the winningest (ugh) team in SPORTS. If they aren’t winning, thats news. We have a top 6 all time player waiting in the rafters, we’ve been more than treading water with our 11M payroll+ Pau. I watch (or listen since I have DISH) one game at a time, one possession at a time. Basketball is the game of life, and life is lived one day at a time. I love Basketball at least partially, for its sometimes implausible endings. Its been fun to feel like an actual underdog, and occasionally exceed general expectations. Its not a position this franchise is used to, but they’ve filled it with the ethic I like to expect from my team. If anything, at least to me as a fanatic, The Lakers are Immortal . . . and suddenly faltering, again!

  33. Please please please get the two Jordan’s in and watch the difference.

  34. Lakers need 12 good minutes to get another road win.

  35. Williams shooting under 20%. And they signed him as a shooter.

  36. Sit Williams and bring WJ back in….see if he can slow down Pierce because it’s going to be the FT parade for Pierce if MDA leaves the matchups the way they are now…

  37. Beautiful fast break by the Lakers.

  38. 2nd game in a row MD rotations losing leads. Williams is 3 for 17 last 3 games yet playing 30 plus minutes.

  39. Ugh looks like we in danger of blowing this game.

  40. How to blow a 27 point lead. Play the wrong guys to many minutes.

  41. Problem with MD teams zero discipline or scouting.

  42. Yep, blew a 25 point lead.

  43. Who is genius said Nets were bad. What does make Lakers?

  44. And we get the two PG lineup again. SMH.

  45. Wesley Johnson steal and slam dunk gives the Lakers a 2 point lead.

  46. Stupid coach need RBS and Hill sits while 2 PG out there. Just stupid!

  47. @Ken

    It makes the Lakers mediocre team missing their best player, starting PG, and only legit backup big man.

  48. The Nets are bad period. They took last year Laker mess of a season template and copied. Bad D,poor shoot selection and not gaving a closer are sinking the Lakers not the coaching. I dont think MDA is a great coach but his coachin is been sound for the most part its up to the players to perform. I guess that Gasol airball was MDA fault too. Or that missed ft

  49. Man, KG gets away with murder guarding Gasol.

  50. Nice choke Steve. Can we get Hill in now?

  51. Nice D there

  52. Lucky very lucky

  53. I dont know or understand people calling for Hilllike he is some sort of savior, he just have a terrible terrible, he got his rebounds but 1-9 from the field is terrible and dont warrant him time at this stage of the game. His worst game as a starter by a mile.

  54. Lakers hang on for the win.

  55. @Fern

    It’s actually just one person…

  56. They hanged on and win, i take it. Great 1st half nail bitting 4th quarter

  57. @Joel Yeah, really tiresome and repetitive. I guess MDA is at fault for global warming, the oil prices and the economy. I forgot he shoots, rebound and guard the other team by himself.

  58. @Joel -Exactly. Volume of posts from one source doesn’t = overwhelming demand.

    Nice to hold on to the W there. Ugly 2nd half. It’d be nice to see KG get called for his “defence” on Pau. Outside of Pau, our bigs were in foul trouble all night.

    Good game from Young.

  59. Ok sorry guys. I get too emotional during these games. I will back off. Used to watch games with friends at cigar store but no TW there and it’s tough watching at home when I get upset.

    You all are right and I apologize for over doing it.

    8 and 8 is darn good!

  60. Classic Nick Young line (26-1-1–wouldn’t believe it was possible if I didn’t see it myself) but he did a fair Kobe impression at times, bailing LAL out with big shots when the shot clock was cashed and his teammates just lobbed him a “Kobe-grenade.”

    This was one ugly win, but it’s the kind of win a team has to get from time to time. The best part is they won it with defense down the stretch, which will hopefully carry over to future games.

  61. Dont worry about it Ken we all love the team, instead of focusing on the negatives im personally happy we are at 500 considering how the season started 4-1 the last 5 games. I think MDA has done a much better job than last year considering the limitations of this squad.

  62. X-rays were negative on Nick Young’s left ring finger. He has a sprained proximal inter phalangeal (PIP) joint. Will require a splint.

  63. If only we had a bench this productive a couple years ago…

  64. @fern et al, i think all we’re seeing is that MDA is a competent coach when he has a full training camp and players that fit his style and buy in – he never was a bad coach but last year just was a mess for everyone concerned. When MDA has a good defensive coach assisting as Rambis (the antiethisis of MDA, good def – horrible off coach) then one really begins to see decent results and Kurt is starting to get some decent def performance out of this group. The only shame this year is that even if Nash and Kobe were a 100% healthy, this team just doesn’t have a overall strong enough talent or a starting/finishing 5 that you can count on night in and night out. The bench play this year is great and guys are stepping up. but no one has proven yet or has a track record of being a consistent guy that can finish and affect games night in and night out aside from Nash/kobe/gasol. Hopefully the extra burn right now will allow some of these guys to cement their roles/confidence to the point that a real stretch run becomes possible as the year progresses. I’ll give MDA credit for making way better use of his bench this year, though some of that is by necessity but he’s learning to trust his guys which he wouldnt do before in Phx.

  65. http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2013/11/26/5146906/elite-defense

    Check this article its about something nobody mention,very surprising

  66. The Kidd/spill thing was deliberate, in case people don’t know. Video out there shows Kidd saying “Hit me” and Taylor then banging into him.

  67. Is it even possible to keep this group together and add someone like Carmelo next summer? Adding Kobe and Melo to this group would suddenly make the Lakers look like contenders.

  68. Yes rr, even the guy with no replay can see how deliberate it was. It shows how competitive and smart Kidd is, except he forgot we’re at the information age. And I saw the clip like 2093029x.

  69. IT wasnt’ his best game, but I sure like seeing Shaun Livingston play. I don’t know if he fits MDA style (I’m guessing he doesn’t due to his lack of shooting range) but he is a FA next season and I would love to see him back in LA, but for the right team, of course.

    I really like how our minimum salary guys are proving themselves over the course of the season and I certainly hope that most of them are able to sign with the Lakers. I would add Livingston to the bunch, if possible…

    On the Nets, they’re just plain bad. This game told more about how bad they are than about us.

  70. Renato–I agree that Brooklyn looked bad, but don’t forget all the pieces they were missing last night due to injury. I still think when that team (ok IF that team) can get healthy they will make the playoffs in the baby-soft Leastern Conference. They aren’t going anywhere, though, because Pierce and Garnett look done.

  71. Melo does not know how to play team ball.. can’t pursue him