The game was tied at 83-83 with 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Then the Lakers looked like a tired team on the second night of a back-to-back. They got lazy on defense. They turned the ball over then didn’t get back in transition and gave up easy buckets. They shot just two more shots at the rim (one a Bynum putback on an offensive rebound that he missed) but settled for five three pointers.
The Clippers, behind the good Baron Davis (which makes them a dangerous team) beat the Lakers. If you are looking for analysis of this game, I think Bill Bridges summed it up in the comments.
Next is Portland at the Rose Garden. That’s one we’d all like to win.
Honestly, as an entertainment, back to backs lower the quality of the product. I wonder if eliminating them altogether would be possible, even if that meant starting the season at an earlier date? After all, basketball is not a seasonal sport. It is played indoors, often at night, and the temperature in the gym is the same no matter what is going on outside.
Starting earlier (or going later) works for the hard-core fans (like us at this site) but not as much for the casual fans. For them, the NBA season started with the Christmas Day games, at least in a meaningful way. What the league could do would be reduce the number of regular season games, but the owners would never go for that — they need all the dates they can get. Not a perfect system, but it is what it is.
A couple of notes from last nights game:
*The Clips did a good job of turning up the defensive pressure in the 2nd quarter and it helped them build their lead. They took a page from the Larry Brown vs. the Lakers playbook where they pressure full court, deny passing lanes on ball reversals (to Kobe especially), and side front the post to make post entries very difficult (this is one of the reasons why those ’04 Pistons were really hard on us and why the Bobcats continue to give us problems).
*This loss was a classic example where the team that lost had to use all their ammunition to come back from a large deficit and then didn’t have enough in their arsenal to finish up the game to close out the win. We pushed so hard to erase the lead, but the Clips were fresher and (to their credit) didn’t fold mentally when the world champs stormed back on them.
*Artest still isn’t right. Plus, with Bynum/Gasol clogging the lane, he’s not able to play one on one in the post. Plus, teams are playing him to pass when he drives the lane, so he’s forced to take difficult shots when he bulls into the lane. I’m going to give it a few more games to see if this theory plays out, and as I said Ron still isn’t right/all the way back, but if we really want to see Ron succeed more than he is on the block we have to find ways to get him the space he needs to overpower his man without the next layer of defense right in his face.
I would have modified it to Meh, but I agree with the sentiment.
Two ways to see Bynum’s quote last night. You can be happy that he’s taking accountability (by saying he missed buckets, which is true), or wish that he would take that kind of accountability on the boards or defensive end. I choose to be neutral, personally, and just continue to hope he maintains this aggressiveness when Pau comes back.
ESPN states that our record without Pau in the lineup is 16-8, I would appreciate if someone could tell me what’s our record with him in the lineup.
Thx in advance!
LJAY, I don’t think that stat is right. By my count, the Lakers are 9-4 without Pau (10-4 if you want to count the Dallas game where he got injured and barely played). Maybe they are including preseason, but who would care about that?
.6 seconds left, first thing you do is DEFEND AGAINST THE LOB! Maybe somebody gets lucky and hits a Fisher .04, but you can’t control that. Take away the easy bucket. Why is someone watching the red-headed guy at the three point line. Defend the rim. That is why you are the Heat, sitting in the middle of the pack with your star considering leaving.
Okay, done venting.
Personally, I would like to see more back-to-backs, including in the playoffs, because I think they provide a more thorough test of teams’ depth and conditioning. (I realize it will never happen, because of TV.)
why have we looked sooo tired during back to backs? Is it the early season? or are we just too complacent at this point to fight through it?
i know that the mantra of this site is that the lakers playing their best ball is what we want to see in april – june and not in january and i pretty much agree with it but what worries is me is that come june, our best ball may not even be good enough if say a boston is playing their best ball too, especially if we dont have homecourt. i do think it should be a priority, just like last year though we came short, to attain homecourt throughout the playoffs. and games like last night make it all the more painful because it shouldve been a win.
last year at 35 games, we were a little bit better at 29-6 and after that long successfull roadtrip, we were 41-9. something tells me that that is not going to happen again this year but if we can come close, ill be happy. i think that this is one stretch of the regular season where you’d wanna be playing some really good ball.
an interesting stat, albeit irrelevant, is that last year at this time, we were 19 – 2 at home and 10 – 4 on the road. we actually had a strong home schedule as well last year and we’re at a similar 20 – 3 and 8 – 4 this year.
whats drastically different is our record against 500 and sub 500 teams. last year we were at 15-3 against 500 teams vs. 14-3 against sub 500 teams. this year we’re at 12-6 against 500 teams and 16-1 against sub teams.
that being said, the west is so much stronger this year. memphis, the kings, oklahoma city and the clippers are all already within earshot of their win totals last year. while the east has gotten weaker. its a shame that the west has got 4 teams out of 8th spot that would be playoff teams in the east
The Magic have dropped 3 straight and the Celtics are beset with injuries. The Hawks have come back down to earth. The Spurs are as irrelevant as the Spurs can get. There are a lot of teams not playing well right now.
Obviously our recent play (with Gasol, before the Houston game) will be a mild concern until we get our full complement of players and find our stride again. But we’re not the only fans going through this. If the season ended today the Cavs would likely be the champions. But that could have been said at many, many points last season too.
Apologies if this has been shared already:
On Tuesday, Jackson described Gasol’s injury as a Grade 1 strain with “an insignificant amount of tear” as opposed to the more serious Grade 2 strain Gasol suffered in his right hamstring that caused him to miss the first 11 games of the season.
“It happened differently and it’s definitely milder than the other strain,” Gasol said.
Full article here: http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=4803279
10. true that, but i would be feeling better if boston lost too last night. did anyone see that game? i think kobe would’ve timed the strip / dunk to leave about 0.2, 0.1 left on the clock. wade was just too fast on that one.
Funny quote from Brian Windhorst: “The Wizards now owe it Antawn Jamison to trade him and give him a chance with another team.”
They “owe” him? For what, exactly? It was his choice to sign an extension in 2008. Players choose their own contracts. If they value long-term security, then they give up flexibility if their team goes south. Players don’t have a natural “right” to always be on a contending team. If they’re locked into a long-term deal, it’s because they signed on the dotted line.
I love Jamison as a player and person, I’m not slamming him at all. I don’t like when writers camouflage what they’re trying to say. Windhorst wants Jamison for the Cavs, but to say the Wizards owe Jamison anything except the money they promised him is laughable.
could matt bonner, i mean brian scalabrine, even release a shot in 0.6 seconds???
Kurt, buddy, with everything that’s going on in Washington, how about permitting a little random trade banter? That Caron Butler fellow’s pretty baller and I hear he’s familiar with the triangle…just sayin’…
MS. I planned on setting up another thread in the next few days.
But do the Lakers need another small forward? And while I like Butler can’t begin to defend quick point guards.
Riding Pine says
Kobe overshot, underpassed, overdribbled and underperformed in the last 5 minutes of the game. In all, his 20 missed shots and team-leading negative +/- stats (-15) took away from 3 otherwise good quarters where he generated 8 assists.
Kurt, I agree with what you’re saying about putting defensive pressure on the person inbounding the ball, the Heat just allowed an easy lob with Quentin Richardson’s arms at shoulder height. I had never seen this before but against the Warriors (the game they lost) Doc Rivers put KG and Perkins to shield the view of the out of bounds passer (in this case our old buddy Radmonovic) and using their significant height and wingspan they did just that. Radmonovic made one of the most difficult passes into the backcourt I’ve seen and Monta Ellis made one heck of a catch to seal the win. It was brilliant coaching I’m surprised most teams don’t try this strategy more often, and I’m beginning to think Radmonovic should be playing football instead of basketball after seeing that throw. Poor defensive execution by the Heat coach and players though last night should have been a W. And as much as I like Caron, please no the only position the Lakers need to look into getting is either a Solid SG backup for Kobe or a starting dependable PG.
New results out: Kobe leads All Star vote getters in West, and yes McGrady is still second vote getter at guard. Gasol fourth at forward, Bynum second at center.
You might not like the answer… but we aren’t a young team anymore. Our big time minute players are all 30 years and up except for Bynum. So we are going to have problems in a back to back situation. Our starting PG where you usually always can rely on to have energy from at that position is 35 years old.
rugby live says
I thought Kobe was looking to shoot a little to much in that 4th quarter to the point where it was becoming predictable to easy to defend. It’s cool for him to be aggressive like that if he’s hot but he wasn’t so that’s when he should have moved the ball more
Dredawg #8–excellent entry. The only thing I really care about is homecourt advantage. It would’ve been great to see Boston lose so that we could maintain our distance from them. Watching the Lakers these last 2 seasons I realized one thing–the look like they don’t have anything to play for–almost bored. Can you blame them–at the rate in which they are losing games(most of those losses with key players being injured) the Lakers have already won the #1 seed in the West and in reality we would only have to worry about the record of whoever represents the East in the finals.
This Laker team is not a team thats even remotely interested nor do they have the mental toughness to even consider contending for the Bulls regular season record. They do however know that come June its time to throw down and win a title. Last night’s game was a waste of time–why bother fighting back–only to give it away at the end. Phil’s subbing was(in my opinion) intentionally horrible, key word being intentionally. Phil already knows what he has and what he is going to do with this team and how. In the past I never understood why he did some of the things he did but now I see a method to his madness.
That being said, know that if the Lakers really buckled down and made the Bulls record a goal and attacked that goal they could easily beat the Bulls regular season record. The only thing is that you don’t get a championship trophy for the best record.
That Heat-Celtics game was a fun one. Even though the bad guys won, the Heat were lucky to have that lead, with Ray Allen losing the dribble to allow the Wade steal. I think OT was a fair outcome for the first 48.
Kobe didn’t have a great fourth quarter, but kobe is not why the lakers lost the game (definitely part of the reason because he couldn’t hit shots). The lakers lost the game when they lost momentum after tying the game at 79 and kobe was still on the bench. After the game was tied the lakers just played terrible basketball. No ball movement, a bunch of long range jumpers. Lamar really didn’t give an effort, I guess because he was tired. But when the game was tied at 79, craig smith easily scored twice on lamar. Lamar was standing almost straight up on defense when craig smith faced up on him, drove right to the basket and scored. After I saw that play, I knew the lakers were going to lose because you can’t win a game with any player giving that type of effort, I stop watching the game after that. Well sort of, I kept turning back to the game.
I’m not blaming the game on Lamar but craig smith’s two baskets basically put the clips up 87-83 and up for good.
Bunch of coaching errors by phil to, but I won’t get into that.
Craig W. says
“…Artest still isn’t right…”
I am not sure what this really means, but he has been declining in his post offense for a couple of years now. I would call it a skills thing at this point.
I want him going inside to get rebounds, but not really to shoot the rock – not on this team anyway.
We need his defense, his passing, his aggressiveness – but we need him to temper his attacks on the basket. He is like Lamar; he doesn’t finish well in traffic. Leave that stuff to Bynum, Gasol, and Kobe.
I’m not worried about the lakers record. Its only a game off from last season, and this season Gasol has missed half of the games. I don’t think Gasol, is the MVP of the lakers as Mark Stein believes, he definitely makes a big difference.
Oh and the lakers have lost 3 games with gasol, and 4 games without him. Don’t know how many wins with and without him.
18-3 With Gasol as opposed to 10-4 without him.
how about giving credit where credit is due? the clips played pretty well. they ran from start to finish. farmar in the 4q was erratic – why not at least set up the offense to avoid transition buckets and make the clips play defense? Any time the clippers could push in the 4q they did and the lakers did not get back on defense. baron davis pretty much said they would run all game in an la times article the day before, and this time they managed to do it.
Flip, the Clips are pretty good. I still think come March the Clips, Rockets, Jazz, Thunder and Hornets all will be battling for the last two playoff spots.
The Lakers have the lead for best record, but that is really in jeapordy now. They got lots of road games left this month, only 4 home games left. Now I know it is only January, but this is one of the toughest stretches of the season coming up and I think it will tell us a lot about how good these Lakers are. Within the next 6 or 7 games, we got the Spurs and Mavs both on the road, Orlando at home who has been struggling, and then the Cavs on the road, and that Cavs game on the road starts an 8 game road trip, this is going to be fun and I think it will tell us a lot about this team even though it is still early.
Oh, and I forgot about Portland on Friday at the Rose Garden, a place we cant buy a win at
The Clippers have a nice roster but they’re curse with injury (don’t mess with Indian lol) and a coach that isn’t that great. So Blake is back with Mike not really coaching they will become a dangerous team that can match our front line. But hey i doubt Mike will let Baron take over and free roaming.
As for the lost, let it be let it be just hope it doesn’t effect our home court advantage later.
Chris J says
“whats drastically different is our record against 500 and sub 500 teams. last year we were at 15-3 against 500 teams vs. 14-3 against sub 500 teams. this year we’re at 12-6 against 500 teams and 16-1 against sub teams.”
Huh? That’s drastically different?
Three games isn’t much in terms of the wins/losses vs. better teams, especially considering the number of games Pau and Walton have missed this year. (Not to mention Kobe’s finger, which is clearly affecting his play of late aside from his shooting.)
At this point in the season a year ago, the only regular who was hurt for any length of time was Farmar; Bynum’s annual Memphis injury hadn’t yet occurred.
In short, the Lakers are in a good spot. When your biggest problem is figuring out a way to get two 7-foot All-Stars to mesh on the floor, or worrying about a point guard who’s got four rings, I think you’re in a relatively good place.
Last night they just looked tired in the fourth. No Gasol, back-to-back, a flu bug floating around the locker room, and Artest still getting his rythym back… lots of reasons to write that off and move on.
Now if they stink up the Rose Garden to the injury-riddled Blazers, I’ll be less forgiving.
Victor K says
Off subject, but could one of you provide a link to where I can watch the Alabama Texas Championship game tonight? I will be working till seven. Thanks.
the other Stephen says
hey look, we lost.
fuh. fuh. fuh.
alex v. says
One thing that stood out to me last night was that not only was Bynum unable to beat Kaman one-on-one, he often looked like he didn’t know what to do, and several times couldn’t even get a shot off. I can’t imagine that helps his all-star campaign much.
Speaking of which, I think the possibility, however remote, that the Gasol brother who makes the all-star team might be the one we traded away is pretty funny. (More seriously, I wish we could revisit the discussions about the trades/steals of 2007-08 in light of the how the Grizzlies are doing right now compared to the Timberwolves…)
More seriously, I wish we could revisit the discussions about the trades/steals of 2007-08 in light of the how the Grizzlies are doing right now compared to the Timberwolves…)
I discussed this at length about three weeks ago with a Celtic fan and others at another site. I set him straight. ;-
I have long felt that the NBA would have a superior product with a regular-season schedule of about 66 games. I would have the schedule follow the same time frame, more or less, but with a later start date. I also would like fewer playoff teams. Neither will ever happen.
Yeah, I feel that with Pau, we could have used Marc more than Andrew, since we need a hard worker more than we do a force on his own.
Besides, I don’t think Pau and Marc would have had a hard time coexisting on the same floor; I think Marc & Pau & Odom would have made a beautiful passing front court.
Still, Andrew had a high salary then and was injured, on top of being Jim Buss’s centerpiece when he eventually takes over, so that had 0 chance of happening.
But it would have been funny to field two of Spain’s starters; think of the front office’s pains if both left to participate for the Olympics and risked injury. That’s in addition to Kobe, who will be representing US, and Sasha too, if he was in good shape 😉
Anyway, we were due to lose a game where we deserved to lose, and where Kobe shouldered too much responsibility.
Chownoir (was J) says
FWIW, I thought last night ended up being more like a road game than I think the Lakers expected. The Clipper fans got increasingly raucous as the game progressed. Early on when Kobe would get to the line, the MVP chants would be strong with only a smattering of boos.
By the mid 4th, the boos were predominant when Kobe stepped up to the line. The crowd was roaring for all the Laker miscues and Clipper baskets.
Warren Wee Lim says
Kurt, I’m flabbergasted that you don’t include Memphis in your “I still think come March the Clips, Rockets, Jazz, Thunder and Hornets all will be battling for the last two playoff spots.”
That team is playing inspired basketball and its undeniable that for the 1st time in a long time, the team is playing as a team. This may just be a phase, they still don’t have a reliable perimeter defender nor a strong defensive PG but their bigs are really outdoing themselves.
Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are giving Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum a run for their money… now who would have thought about that when the season began??
Warren Wee Lim says
37 Robinred – to add insult to injury, the Wolves owe their 2011 1st rounder (unprotected) to the LA Clippers. Ironic as that sounds, its for Marko Effin Jaric back in 2005!
Warren Wee Lim says
The Wolves were in a very very good position in the 2009 draft last June. They owned the 5th, 6th, 18th and 28th pick, the 5th pick thanks to the Washington Wizards who thought they would contend with Mike Miller and Randy Foye added to their team.
With those 2 veterans out of the way, Minnesota now has Gomes, Jefferson, Hollins, Love and Brewer. The other guys are not worth mentioning, just think of it as Minny owns every other expiring contract in the league.
Now with the draft looming to change its fate for good, with Griffin, Thabeet, Harden and Evans getting picked as planned, Minnesota was more or less forced to pick Rubio with 5th overall.
And because they were so enamored with Jonny Flynn’s workout in the pre-draft camps, they decided to roll with him as well. Not bad picks when you consider that the team is 5 years away from contending anyways… but pretty bad considering that 2 PGs who are ball-dominant cannot live with each other.
Maybe the Wolves factored in the fact that Rubio was 3 years away from setting foot in the NBA, but then again thats a bad investment to make for the 5th overall pick. You do that with the picks you own from 17-down but not top 5.
Fast forward to pick #18, Miny picks yet another PG in Ty Lawson. More of him later.
10 picks later, with the best player available combined with team needs considered, Wayne Ellington was picked.
And because one team can never have enough PGs they say, Minny picks Nick Calathes to stash in Europe like Rubio for the 45th pick overall and grabs a center in Norel 2 picks later.
If you consider the team’s position before and after the draft, you would be amazed how a person could become a millionaire to a beggar in a day’s time.
To add insult to injury, the best FA signing Minnesota had was Ramon Sessions (who is btw signed to a very beautiful and sexy contract.)
To be continued…
Warren Wee Lim says
This part is what the Wolves SHOULD HAVE done.
1. Knicks had a very keen interest on 2 guards: Rubio and Curry. Like Kurt said, Curry had NYK written all over his face. Trading down one of the 5th or 6th pick in the process would have done them alot of good.
2. Pick Flynn (since management was so high on him) for one of the picks and settle for the 8th pick.
3. Assuming Knicks went on to pick either one of Rubio or Curry, and the Wolves still had Flynn, a guy like Demar Derozan would have given the Wolves something they missed on trading OJ Mayo – a high flying guard who could leap out of the building. Most of all, he is someone who fills in a need at the wing position and he gets butts in the seats with his game.
4. For the 18th overall, it could have gone either way. Lawson would have not been there but since they traded the pick anyways, what good is it to them? It could have very well been Casspi (picked 21 overall) who is now doing very very well in Sactown. That would have given the Wolves a lineup of:
Flynn – Derozan – Casspi – Love – Jefferson
Not a bad combo in my book. very athletic, fun to watch and a very good balanced team to have. Then again, I am not Kahn. Boy do they wish I was?..
I guess we just ran out of gas that last 7 minutes, the Clippers are a good team in my book, and Griffen has yet to play for them. Warren, your comments are always very interesting to read, are you still into the realistic Fantasy Basketball like you were a while ago.
New post up, a little video to remind us the Lakers can win at the Rose Garden.
Why has nobody mentioned that in the first 2 minutes Fish had 3 Turnovers and Davis in the first 6 minutes either scored or assisted in 16 points. Also it was Fish that was a minus 15 while Brown was a plus 4 and Davis only scored 4 points when Brown was in him. DFish is the worst point guard in the NBA. When you have more turnovers then points and you are a minus 15 you should NEVER get off the bench.
I believe the Lakers have a stronger 5 but when matched up against the Celtics they take away most of our strengths.
At every position they can effectively guard all our players one on one. Pierce has proven he can do a reasonable job on Kobe.
Perkins/KG can guard Bynum/Gasol as well as anyone else in the league
For us to take advantage of them we must run our offense properly and not run a bunch of iso’s cuz it wont work.
Their bench talent wise isnt much better but they fit into their roles alot smoother.
House isnt nearly as talented as our back up pgs but he knows his role and plays it perfectly.
Daniels gives them ball handing off the bench so house doesnt have to struggle to bring up the ball.
Our bench cant afford to play bad against the Celtics or we’ll be at a severe disadvantage because the drop off from the Celtics starters to their bench isnt much where as for us.. Its huge