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It’s pretty tough to win a game when your roster is depleted. And the Suns took advantage of that as they beat an undermanned Laker team, 121-114.

The Lakers essentially played seven (Robert Sacre didn’t play) the entire game. Nick Young was kicked out of the game after he took a swing at Suns rookie center Alex Len and Goran Dragic. Len whacked Young in the face during a dunk attempt. Young had every right to be upset but he has to control his emotions better. I know; it’s easier said than done. A lot of people would react the same way, too, after such a dangerous play like that.

But enough of that. This wasn’t exactly a well-played game by both teams. The Lakers looked flat early on both sides as the Suns got off to an 8-0 start. The game was sloppy a lot of the time and the Suns outlasted the tired Lakers, who were playing on a back-to-back.

The Lakers were, as expected, atrocious on defense. They couldn’t stop anybody in the paint (64 points inside by the Suns) and they let Phoenix run on them (36 fastbreak points). The Suns also had a 53-43 advantage on the boards (16-8 on the offensive end). And once again, the third quarter proved to be disastrous for Los Angeles as they were outscored, 34-24. A quick 9-0 run by the Suns in the middle of the fourth proved to be the mountain that the Lakers couldn’t scale.

Gerald Green had a season-high 28 points as he seemed like he couldn’t miss any of those funky jumpers he took. Markieff Morris couldn’t be stopped inside (24 points) and Channing Frye had a big game (20 points). And I didn’t even mention Goran Dragic’s excellent all-around game (18-10-7).

As for the Lakers, it really hurt to not have Nick Young after the second quarter (who had scored 9 quick points). Kendall Marshall was distributing well (13 assists) but shot poorly (4 for 16, 10 points). Wesley Johnson (22 points) and Chris Kaman (18 points) with Young out. Pau Gasol got going late (24 points) but it was too late by then. But when they needed a shot, Nick Young was usually the one to bail them out and he obviously wasn’t there. Marshall looked uncomfortable shooting the ball and it showed when he passed up a wide open three late in the game.

All-in-all, it was a sloppy game to watch despite what the scoreboard said. Just that the Lakers couldn’t stop anybody (which has been a theme for the last six games; all opponents have scored 110 or more in that stretch) whether it’s in the halfcourt or in transition. The Lakers fall to 14-25 and at this point, watching a Laker game is equivalent to going to the dentist.

The Lakers go against the Celtics on Friday as they reengage themselves in combat. No, really. In Combat (Darius is going to hate me for making that joke).

In any case, it would be nice to see a win on Friday. This losing thing gets old really, really fast. The Lakers have lost 12 of the last 13 games. Hey, remember a few years ago when the Lakers lost only 17 games in the regular season?

Man, I miss 2009.

Well, the Lakers opened up a roster spot.

His contract was unguaranteed and it was going to be guaranteed if he wasn’t let go by the team by 5:00 P.M. Eastern today. I was a bit surprised by the move but with the Lakers opening up a spot, I wonder what the next move is for the Lakers because I don’t believe they’re just going to stand pat.

Williams has played 32 out of a possible 34 games this season. He’s started 11 of those contests and is averaging 5.2 points and 4.5 boards for the season.

I suppose this opens up more time for Chris Kaman, Jordan Hill, and Ryan Kelly, who has been getting a lot of time as of late. But head coach Mike D’Antoni has used so many line-ups so who knows who’s actually getting more time?

Anyway, let’s see what the Lakers do next.

Well, it never stops for the Lakers. This season has been tough because of the myriad of injuries the Lakers have been getting. Add another one to the list.

The Lakers’ latest press release has Jordan Farmar out for a minimum of four weeks.

EL SEGUNDO – Lakers guard Jordan Farmar had an ultrasound test and was examined by Dr. Luga Podesta this morning after injuring his left hamstring in last night’s game versus the Milwaukee Bucks. Results show that Farmar has a tear in his left hamstring, which is expected to keep him out a minimum of four weeks.

Farmar left Tuesday’s game early due to some “tightness” on his hamstring. Now we know why.

This leaves Kendall Marshall, who was just acquired a couple of weeks ago because of the ridiculous number of injuries the team has received, as the only point guard left on the roster. Even Xavier Henry, who was a swingman playing the back-up point guard role, is out for at least the next week because of a knee injury. It looks like Marshall will play extended minutes until one of the point guards return. Steve Blake is due to be back in a few weeks from that elbow injury. Kobe Bryant, who played point guard in his short healthy stint this season, is out for a month or so. And we all have no idea when Steve Nash is coming back.

Regardless, this is just painful. All the injuries racked up has made this Laker season even tougher to watch. Farmar wasn’t exactly the savior of this franchise; the Lakers just wanted someone who can actually play point guard. And once again, we’re down to one. At least, it’s better than having NO point guards?

Farmar is averaging 8.7 points and 4.7 assists in the 22 games he has played this season. Get well soon, Jordan.

Well, that was a better game than I had anticipated. But it’s worse when you root for the Lakers as they go down to the Jazz in a nailbiter, 105-103.

It was actually a close game throughout, although, for the most part, both teams seemed to be allergic to defense. Both teams’ rotations are awful and, sometimes, you wondered if they would just rather play XBoxOne instead of playing in this game. That or they had too much Christmas food. I know I did but I digress.

The Jazz killed the Lakers in transition; Utah had 25 fastbreak points compared to the Lakers’ 12. It was also frustrating to see the Lakers miss so many defensive assignments early (yes, the Jazz did the same thing but there’s a reason why they were 8-23 coming into this game).

The Lakers went on a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 97-96. Jodie Meeks would tie the game at 99. But the Lakers got careless in the next few possessions, as Meeks suddenly reverted to last year’s version of himself (which led to a Hayward three) and wasting a possession that resulted in a sloppy Jordan Hill turnover. Still, the Lakers were able to tie the game at 103 with Jordan Hill foul shots. Unfortunately, they didn’t box out Derrick Favors, who got the follow dunk with 2.1 seconds left. That was partly made possible by Gordon Hayward’s drive as they made the Lakers collapse. Lakers had a chance to tie or win but it ended with Meeks attempting a three from Dan Majerle range (a 35-footer essentially).

Young was a bright spot. He scored 21 points and was throwing fireballs for most of the game, going 10 of 17 from the field. But he fouled out halfway through the fourth; the Lakers could’ve really used his offense. Jordan Farmar played well, going for 16 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals. Chris Kaman had great chemistry with Farmar, scoring 19 points overall. Hill ended with 16 points and nine boards.

The Lakers did have a chance to win the game but I wish the Lakers had a better sense of urgency as, again, they looked mostly sluggish early. And they got beat by the team with the worst record in the Western Conference. But give Utah credit. Hayward blasted the Lakers with 24 points and nine assists. They couldn’t stop Favors on the boards (18 points, 14 rebounds). And Trey Burke gave some good play in spurts (14 points, seven assists).

The Lakers have now lost four straight but they do have a four-game home stand coming up. They have Philadelphia on Sunday and Milwaukee on Tuesday. Their first game of the new year is a rematch against Utah. These are winnable games. Hopefully, they can get back on track at Staples Center.

How do I even start this preview? I don’t even know what to talk about.

The Lakers lose Steve Nash. Then Jordan Farmar. Then Steve Blake. And then they lose Kobe Bryant again. Basically, the Lakers lost all their playmakers from the backcourt. They did go ahead and sign Kendall Marshall out of the D-League but I don’t expect any Jeremy Lin miracles out of this one. I will pledge allegiance to all the Kardashians if Marshall helps the Lakers go 3-0 by scoring 25 points per game, and leads the Lakers to an upset against the Heat on Christmas.

Anyway, what of the remaining Lakers? Well, it’s life without Kobe once again. They were 10-9 before Kobe came back but then they also had someone playing point guard. With Marshall the only true point guard on the roster (and you don’t expect him to play 30 minutes a game), they’re going to have to rely on energy and ball movement from every player that is playing on the court. We probably want something reminiscent of the group that came back against Portland on the beginning of the month.

But we do remember these Minnesota Timberwolves, right? They have arguably the best power forward in the game in Kevin Love. They have an excellent starting shooting guard in Kevin Martin. They have a passing wiz kid in Ricky Rubio. And they have the burly, immovable, and frightening Nikola Pekovic. We also can’t forget Corey Brewer, who is a pest defensively and a master at opportunistic leakouts.

Oh, yeah. These are the Wolves that dropped 47 points in the first against the Lakers in their first meeting. And these guys can get pretty explosive as they showed in their win against Portland (another explosive offensive squad) on Wednesday night.

So it goes without saying that the Lakers need to get off to a good start. Kevin Love will always be a pain to guard; Darius mentioned in his previous preview that there is nobody on the Lakers that can match Love’s deadly combo of size, quickness, and rebounding ability. If there’s anything the Lakers hope for, it’s that they hope Love has a bad night from three and tries to shoot his way out of it as he is sometimes prone to do. Rubio can be predictable; he’s always looking to pass but which of the Lakers can keep up with him? You also hope that someone can keep up with Martin, who takes advantage of defenders overplaying him. And Pekovic is just a monster; he is not light on his feet so Jordan Hill and Pau Gasol will have to outquick him.

I honestly have no idea what to expect with this offense because a big part of it (um, Kobe… and a point guard) is gone. Nick Young will continue to be his Swaggy P self; he’s averaging 16.8 points in his last five games. Pau Gasol has played well in the last two games, shooting 16 out of 21 (.762) and averaging 18.5 points and 9.5 boards. Maybe we’ll see him take over a bit more on setting up players from the post. As for the ballhandling duties, Xavier Henry will likely start in that position with Nick Young and Meeks sharing the position. And we’ll likely see Marshall in that back-up role.

Basically, the Lakers should get off to a good start, communicate well on defense (the Wolves are going to be everywhere), and do their best to keep the Wolves off the boards. All easier said than done. I probably should’ve just put that as the preview and call it a day.

But if anything, let’s weather the storm for a second time until Kobe comes back around February.

Just don’t let the Wolves score 47 points in the first quarter, for starters.