The Travesty Just because I like dredging up bad memories, let’s talk about that Dallas game for a moment. There’s no need for deep analysis on this one, the Lakers stunk up the joint. No one should ever out rebound the team 53 to 28. Never. This could be indicative of how gassed the Lakers seemed after the first quarter. Except that even in that first quarter they were out rebounded 17 to 6.
More food for thought, not a single Laker had a positive +/-. Cook and Ronny came closest at 0 for the game.
The trouble here isn’t that the Lakers lost to the best team in the NBA on the Mav’s home court. The trouble is how they lost.
The Good News Saturday night it’s NOOCH time. As of this writing, New Orleans boasts the worst offense in the NBA with an ORtg of 100.8 (points per 100 possessions). Although their defense is much better at 105.8, good enough for 10th in the league.
But the Lakers offense should get the job done, especially as that Chris Paul guy’s out with a sprained right ankle. New Orleans also plays the Spurs Friday night. It’s a lucky break to catch them on the second half of a back-to-back.
“Lucky!?” you say. That’s right, because this is exactly the kind of team the Lakers have overlooked all season long. In fact, the Lakers overlooked this exact team on December 6th at Staples. The Hornets are in elite company as far as the Lakers go. They are one of only four teams to beat them at home this season. Detroit, Milwaukee and Washington are the others. (Curse you, Agent Zero!)
The last meeting looked like this:
Chris Paul 26pts 123 ORtg 26% tpu (team possession usage)
Rasual Butler 22 pts 145 ORtg 15% tpu
Jannero Pargo 21pts 129 ORtg 16% tpu
The Hornets had an ORtg of 115.4 as a team. The Lakers had an ORtg of just 97.8. Well below their season average. This was due in large part to an off night from Lamar.
Let’s Get It On I am sure Phil and Co. will be focusing on ways to stop the Hornet guards from chewing up the lane. Though this will be an easier task without CP3 on the court.
Key Numbers Tyson Chandler and David West’s rebounds. The final score. (And I mean that. The Lakers need to show they can at least play shut down defense against the worst offensive team in the NBA.)
Derek Banducci says
Does anybody know when Kwame and Lamar are expected to return. The last I heard, a few days ago, was “possibly next week.”
On that topic, I don’t really expect a huge boost from Kwame b/c I think Ronny and Bynum have been doing an adequate job. However, I do expect a big boost from Odom b/c he rebounds much better than his replacements, and he scores at a slightly better rate also.
Rob L. says
The LA Times, in an article on Friday, states Kwame could play Monday. Odom might be back some time next week as well.
Brown Could Play Monday
NBA TV Monday 10AM, the one year anniversary of Kobe’s 81! They are reshowing the game, so set your tivos.
Kurt, if you have remote access, now would be a good time to use it.
chris henderson says
better watch out tonight for Pargo, seems like “ex-Lakers” always have career games when they play us after their Laker stint. (jermaine Jones lit us up about this time last year)
also, as we all know, these “basement dwellers” always get inspired when they face the Lakers, seems like if they can’t have a winning season, if they can just beat the lakers then their season is a success.
I can’t imagine we don’t come to play tonight, after the Dallas debacle, they have something to prove tonight.
(if they had beat both the Spurs and the Mavs, then I’d really be worried about tonight!)
stay focused, take care of the ball, low turnovers, crash the boards, should be a good night for the second unit, too.
Nike is also giving out commemorative shoes in honor of 81 tomorrow at Venice Beach but you have to go through some scavenger hunt or something…
Cary D says
1.) I disagree with you about Kwame’s low impact once he comes back. I know the guy has terrible hands and a slow reaction time on offense, but his defense on the inside is what makes us a contender. Look what he did against Dwight Howard the first time around compared to the 2nd game against the Magic without him. his impact is felt because of his blocking out/rebounding, and his man-to-man interior defense. while ronny is a much more refined player with his footwork and smarts, his imapct can never be as high as Kwame’s can be and is. I realize Kwame is a bust to everyone, but his value to our team is something that phil and kobe never shy away from. we are a different team with him in the lineup, especially when paired with lamar. his size back-to-back with Bynum all game is something any team in the league would salivate over and turiaf cannot replace. but i LOVE turiaf with a passion, make no mistake of that.
John (Vancouver) says
… this game was supposed to be on in Vancouver.
Instead, I get the Rockets v Nuggests because it is blacked out >_
The game was, as Simon Cowell would say, PATHETIC.
I just don’t understand the Lakers, how can you not bring your A-Game to this. A nic easy win would really boost them, but no they have to go and display their incredible sucktitude.
I credit Phil for finally banishing both Cook and Vladrad to the bench after he couldn’t cajole them into correcting defensive gaffes. I appreciate that Phil took to relying on Turiaff, Farmar, and the hot hand of Evans to work with Kobe to bring the Lakers back.
Then I marvel at his confidence to bring in one of the other banished players, the Smusher, to close out the game (even as the Smushaphobes closed their eyes and bowed their heads in prayer–unable to bear what they were sure would ensue).
Was Phil expcting Smush to smother Pargo or stay in front of Jackson? Did he think that the Smusher was exceptiionally quick at getting back on defense? Or had Phil himself become a Smushoholic, willing to forgive the Smusher almost any lapse or error as long as he occasionally would resurrect another playground miracle?
Cary D says
chris henderson says
doesn’t it seem like Kobe can’t get no love from the refs?
we were down 102 – 99 with the ball and Kobe drives the lane, gets stuffed, which could go either way, I’ve seen a lot less contact get the whistle? they get the rebound and go down and hit the 3 and now it’s 105 – 99, and the game just slipped away, (on our next possession, it seemed like a frustration shot by Kobe a long shot 3 attempt, as if to say to the refs, “you took this game away”)
I wonder if he’s got a bad rep with the refs? if they talk amomgst themselves and come up with a scheme to try to teach a lesson to certain players who are the most offensive in their minds of always complaining or calling them out in front of the crowd…
anyway, I hate to blame a loss on the refs, (I know, John R is gonna come back and give me hell for this) but it seems like in the last few games, the calls are going against us.
I miss John R.
Rob L. says
It’s now official. The Lakers have a huge problem on defense. They have the 4th ranked offense, and the 24th ranked defense.
When Lamar was injured the focus was on how the Lakers would replace his points and his boards. I need to dig deeper, but it seems clear his absence has upset the team D more than anything.
There is time to correct this. But make no mistake, if the Lakers defense does not improve, this team will not make it out of the first round.
On pace for 52 wins mid way thru the season, im happy. i like to think the basketball gods balance things out somehow and thats why we tend to sometimes lose to crappy teams.
think about our record if we had our 26 win plus won some of the games we were “supposed” to win (bucks, bobcats, hornets(2), portland, wizards, griz) that would make put us at 33-8, best record in the NBA? so anyways i dont get to worried becuase things tend to balance themselves out and hopefully we will get our 50-55 wins and see what happens in the playoffs.
p.s. has anyone seen that new nike com that has all the players signed by them in it (Kobe, Lebron, etc etc) its realllly awesome.
Rob L. says
On the lighter side, here’s an article by Hollinger comparing NY and LA basketball traditions.
There is no doubt that defense is THE problem right now. What’s frustrating to me is that it doesn’t have to be that way. The best news is that it will get better when Kwame and Lamar return.
As Kurt has pointed out many times, in many ways, Kwame makes a huge difference for Laker defense. Lamar plays defense and rebounds well.
The two players most often mentioned as defensive liabilities are Parker and Cook. If Farmar were upgraded to the starting unit and given more minutes, with Smush/Sasha as situational substitutions, the first unit defense would improve–much more than the difference between the two players, becuase now all 5 could play as a unit.
Like wise, if Turiaff were upgraded to the second unit, with Cook/Radman as situational substitutions for either the first or second unit, the second unit defense would improve.