Last night, the Lakers had16 turnovers to Denverâ€™s 11, and many of those Laker flubs came early in the game when Denver took the big lead it never surrendered.
So far this season, the Lakers are losing the turnover battle on a nightly basis by an average of 3.3. That goes a long way to explaining why Laker opponents average 6.8 more shots per game than the Lakers do. Itâ€™s a real simple bit of math â€” possessions, and shots on them, generate points (figure about a point per possession). If youâ€™re opponents are getting fewer empty possessions and taking more shots, you have a big hurdle to overcome nightly. Denver had six more shots than the Lakers.
Thatâ€™s been a nightly problem with the Lakers, but it was only part of the problem in Denver. The Lakers played no defense â€” how do you give up back-door lob dunks on three consecutive trips down the court? They still freeze up against a zone and try to shoot over it (which was odd with Mihm playing well inside, when he could hold on to the ball). Brian Cook shot them right out of rallies that were started. The bench on the whole was terrible â€” the Nuggets pulled away when Kobe and Caron went to the bench for a blow in the second quarter. The team eFG% was just 41.2%. The list goes on and on and on. It was maybe their worst game of the season.
Sources have told Hoopsworld.com that the Lakers made a very strong push for Cuttino Mobley, offering Chucky Atkins and Devean George. In the proposed deal, LA would have also received Andrew DeClercq.
My gut reaction is this would have been a bad deal. Mobley is a better defender and has the reputation as a better shooter, although this yearâ€™s stats are close (Atkins eFG% is 54%, Mobleyâ€™s 53%). The problem is Mobley would have to play out of position, heâ€™s a two not a point. He played some point in college, but that was seven years ago. I would miss George, but the Lakers are overloaded at forward and someone is going to have to go in a trade. George is good bait because he is viewed as having “upside.” (I hate that word, by the way, a topic for another day.)
Pincus goes on to discuss other trade possibilities for the Lakers, such as Carlos Arroyo out of Utah. For my money heâ€™s the best beat writer covering the team and his stuff is well worth your time.