Games like this are always tough to stomach. While the Lakers didn’t play their best game, they fought hard and had the lead in the closing seconds. A grabbed rebound here or another made basket there and this game turns out different. However, it just wasn’t meant to be as the Spurs did what they’d done all night by getting to the last loose ball and tipping in the game winner as the buzzer sounded. So, despite hanging tough the Lakers let one slip through their fingers as they lost 89-88 to fall 7.5 games back of the Spurs in the West.
In the comments, I thought robinred did a good job of summarizing several of the main points from the game:
*Kobe adjusted to the matchups and the situation; had 10 dimes. The 3 at 83-87 was awful, but he bounced back and found Lamar and Pau the next two trips.
*I like finishing with Blake, even though Parker got into the lane against him as well.
*Artest was engaged and mostly played well. Notice how little damage Ginobili did in crunch time. The 3 Ron missed was a decent look.
*Fisher is more of a liability than ever on some nights.
*Closeouts on 3s often lacking. This team has far better outside shooting than the Lakers do, which will be tough if the Lakers see them come post-season.
*Win would have made everybody feel better, and Ron and Lamar needed to grab the ball/box out there, obviously.
To add to those points, I thought the Lakers really hurt themselves with sloppy play early in the game. They committed too many turnovers of the careless variety and seemed a bit too anxious to make the play – often forcing the action – rather than letting the game come to them. Obviously I liked the fact that they were being assertive and that they were engaged in the game, but too often players (I’m looking at you Kobe and Odom) got caught in the air with no where to go with the ball and ended up throwing the ball away.
The Spurs’ offensive rebounding and the fight for 50/50 balls also hurt the Lakers for long stretches throughout the game. This was especially true in the first half and then again in the closing minutes when all the Lakers needed to do was secure one rebound on the Spurs last possession with a win likely resulting. Countless times the Lakers were just a step slow in getting to a ball cleanly and ultimately knocked the ball out of bounds and allowed the Spurs that extra chance to do damage against the Lakers’ D. Many will point to Ron’s fumbled rebound out of bounds as the biggest example of this, but too many other times the Lakers slapped at balls or ended up battling with a Spur for the rock only to knock it out of bounds and those plays – over the course of the game – did more cumulative damage than one missed board by Ron (even though his was in the most crucial of situations).
From the Lakers perspective, I thought that one area where they really needed to take advantage of what the Spurs were giving them was in making their outside shots. The Lakers only hit 2 of their 14 three point attempts and several of them were good looks that they needed to knock down in order to keep the defense honest. I think it’s a good thing that the Lakers went away from the long ball when the shots weren’t falling, but one of the main reasons they only put up 88 points on the night was because their offense was completely reliant either making long twos or attacking the Spurs’ stout interior defense.
Overall, this game was just disjointed from a Laker side that clearly wanted to win but didn’t effectively execute consistently enough throughout even though they played hard. But despite it all, there was plenty of good that the Lakers did and that shouldn’t be ignored. Pau Gasol was aggressive for most of the evening and was decisive with the ball on most of his touches. Rarely did he hesitate and when he did he typically still ended up making the correct read. Bynum played well coming back from his bone bruise and again showed that he can score in one on one situations vs. Duncan with his jump hook from the right block. And while Kobe’s statline showed a poor shooting night, he actually had at least 4 shots rattle out on him and he mostly took good shots that I don’t mind seeing him take. If he’s able to get those looks consistently, I’ll live with them. And overall, the Lakers defense was solid. Yes, they let Richard Jefferson hurt them and Tony Parker was a force in the 2nd half, but the Spurs shot 41% as a team and Ron did a good job of bothering Ginobili’s shot enough to turn him into a passer for most of the 2nd half.
Obviously losing is disappointing. And I’d be lying if I said that this game is one that I didn’t want badly. But in the end, I can truly see this game being a spring board of sorts for better Laker play going into their road trip over the next couple of weeks. The team still has much to improve on but the effort – if not the execution – was there and for a team that’s too often not played with urgency, it was good to see them get after it the way that they did tonight. So while the result isn’t what I wanted, I’m not terribly broken up over this one. Honestly, I think the Lakers are now closer to being a better team, not further away. And if it took a loss to get us here, I guess I’ll just have to take it.
Off topic, but I wish I had your writing skills for term papers Darius. You just whipped up like 900 words in an hour and half or so. That would take me 4 hours at least, and now more since this loss makes writing a paper on the global economy seem like further torture.
U can just read this and delete the post. Just amazed at the quantity and quality of words in such short time period. You do a great job with everything on this site.
I will be interested to see if having Blake on the floor at the end continues. That is three straight games now and the first time w/o Fisher that I recall.
I don’t want to start a Fish-bashing thread but I would like to see Blake at about 25 MPG, Fisher at about 15, and a few minutes with:
Brown or Barnes
Gasol or Bynum
with perhaps the team playing some zone or matchup zone while going big.
@ Tej, I second that. No deletion necessary. Keep it up big D. You’ve really succeeded Kurt in a magnificent way.
Good write up Darius but I do take a couple of issues here:
1. Outside of Kobe’s shooting, our “good” players played pretty well across the board tonight.
2. At no point did Ginobli or Parker look dominating like they normally do.
3. Bynum couldn’t dunk on a flat footed Duncan tonight.
I think this was a confidence builder for the Spurs because now they know we can play well, and them not exactly up to their best, and they can still eek out a win, while we never really had control of the game at any point in time.
Like I said in the last post, if you make the other team score 2 points at a time, they can always be beatable if you hit a few threes. Thats how the Lakers got by Last year (even with bad shooters overall), but this year we don’t defend the 3 as well and have no outside threat that other teams really respect. Wide open threes with clanks, over and over. The fact was, even though the Spurs only had 89… it was an easier 89 than the Lakers got, and the Lakers were at home. Was a frustrating loss, through and through.
Oh my, what to say about this one. First of all, I just don’t want to hear the crybaby excuse, “oh it was offensive interference.” Maybe if these NBA players just box the freak out and dont allow 4 offensive rebounds per possession, especially on the last possession of a game, that would not have happened! This is totally the Lakers fault. Second, this game proves the Spurs are better than us. They clearly did not play their best game at all and still beat us on our homecourt. The Lakers did not play their best either, but they usually never do. 0-5 versus the elite this season, and I really thought this was a game the Lakers were going to get, frustrating as all get out. At this point I don’t want to watch this team anymore, wake me up when the playoffs start.
Easy to focus on the fact we missed a single rebound w/ just 0.2 seconds left that lost us the game, but I think we were lucky to even be up a point with 4 seconds left. We gave them a very wide open 3, then let Parker float one of his trademark teardrops from the center of the lane, and we got lucky he missed that one. Our bad D resulted in two good opportunities for the Spurs before the tip-in at the buzzer. I’m more concerned with those two opportunities than the one bad box-out/board.
Seeing this loss in the contents of this whole season only emphasize one point:
How much needed roster change the Lakers need if they want to see themselves in the Finals.
When the Lakers played great offense, they played terrible def. Now that their def is improved, they play ridiculous off.
Clearly the Lakers aging roster is hurting them and they need ANY young and athletic couple of players to give them some juice. Otherwise if they even make it to the conf finals and meet the spur “machine” it will end up 4-0 or at best 4-1.
Damir with the ridiculous Spur “machine” overrating SMASH.
A loss is always frustrating but we can take some positives from this one. The fact that we can indeed play good Defense (though the perimeter D still needs a lot of improvement) the fact that we have a poor shooting night, the fact that
if this team flips the switch we can be really a good team. The fact that we played the spurs on an incomplete and injured line up. The fact that Phil was still experimenting in this game despite the inyensity of the game (he allowed kobe and Pau to sit the 4th qrt until the 7 min mark) These are all good things that we can look forward into the playoffs if amd when we meet the spurs.
damn that was painful to the A@# hehehe!!! anyway good game we just came up short. well kobe critics now can’t say anything less he showed a well balanced offense-defense. GO Lakers!!!
Right on the money Darius. It is absolutely a step in the right direction, and I think this long road trip is coming at just the right time for the Lakers. It will give them an opportunity to focus on good basketball, gel as a team, get people healthy at the end with the All Star break coming.
I think the veteran team is going to start showing here, as the season winds down.
Man I can’t wait to leave Afghanistan and get back home to So Cal to watch my Lakers!!
John Morris says
Steve Blake looked alive last night.
Craig W. says
Yes, the Lakers may look like they are moving in the right direction…one game???…but when you look at the record against good teams it seems we are good, but not championship caliber.
My problem is – as I commented during the 3rd qtr last night – with Phil Jackson. At critical times we were not getting rebounds. Those critical times were almost always with Andrew Bynum on the bench. Phil may not want Andrew to finish games, but he at least needs to let him play more minutes in the key times leading up to the end and perhaps at the end of quarters where we seem to just fall asleep. Pau and Lamar do not get critical rebounds against physical front-court teams. If the Lakers are not going to box out, they better have Andrew in there and that is on Jackson.
I think Blake earned some more PT with his performance last night. He fought hard around the screens, and took assertive shots when open.
I liked Artest’s energy level. His shot selection? Still questionable.
It’s inexcusable that we surrendered so many offensive rebounds in the last 10 seconds, but that’s what happens when the team plays with such a malaise through the 3rd + 4th quarter. It’s hard to just flip the switch.
We badly need Barnes back. We could have used his quickness on the perimeter last night on defense and he could have closed out better against their 3 point shooters.
Am I angry about the loss? Absolutely. Am I somewhat encouraged? I don’t know.
This was just 0.4 payback. Be glad it wasn’t a playoff game.
I sometimes forget what an impossible shot Duncan hit right before that.
Not to dwell on the .1 shot, but how about Gary Neal’s amazing fade away buzzer beater earlier in the game? That was a major killer. Any reason why Kobe and Gasol sat so long in the 4th quarter? Or is it futile to understand Phil’s rotation?
Last night the offense wasnt as stagnant when Blake brought the ball up the court. He facilitated better ball and player movement, not just a dribble clinic by Mr. Bean on the perimeter. Its like a pass rush specialist in football rushing from the same side every down, the offensive line has a easier time blocking. But if he switches sides or rushes up the middle, it causes confusion on who’s responsible for him at different times. Manu does a great job of moving off the ball to get open, not a great iso player, causing the defense to scrabble from one side of the court to another. Kobe is getting the ball in a stationary positiion, instead of on the move, which is causing the offense to become a stand and watch event too often.
chris y says
Darius these are some questions I hope you can answer for me…..great post by the way I was encouraged by our defense and the fact that for the second game manu was not a factor when it mattered. I think we can adjust our game i.e. not being lazy on closing out shooters to limit the jeffersons and neals.
1)Why can’t our big men get deep post position anymore? I could argue that this is our biggest problem as a team their lack of assertiveness in getting deeper post position causes a lot of problems especially in the triangle?
2)Do you think this hurts our spacing?
which causes too much congestion and too many long 2pt shots along with lack of floor balance which leads to run outs for other teams and increases their ability to clog up the paint?
3)Do you think that a lot of the problem on D is simply a reluctance by our players to fight through screens or work for eachother. or be in tune ? …I feel like other teams get soooo many easy buckets on the lakers and soooo many open looks.
4)It used to be that we would get a few high low passes from pau to lamar or the other way around or pau to andrew. or we would do some back door plays or give and gos but the lakers don’t do that anymore they actually play very predictable. Is this age? Lack of energy? personnel?
5)Do you agree with the fact that the biggest problem with our offense is that we don’t run it?
6)What would you think of this…. swap out bynum for lamar. Bring in bynum with the second unit where he is the focal point because lamar and pau play much better together.
7)I think teams have really figured the lakers out and wouldn’t be surprised is Thibbadou was passing out how to gaurd the lakers and kobe to every coach and I put some blame on our staff for not getting more creative with our personnel or adding an extra element to the game and I’ve heard Phil address this not “exploring the modern game”. It used to be that teams would have to play to our game and adjust to us and it just doesn’t feel that way anymore.
8)Do you think we max out our players potential and use their talents accordingly or maybe better put not utilitize our talent? For example why are we having Ron shoot threes in the corner or Bynum play high screen roll with kobe when there is no shooter for the second pass? and if that’s the case why not put in Joe smith who can hit the 15 footer more consistently then Bynum would if were to roll.
statement) I don’t think Artest is the problem but I will say that its embarassing that he STILL hasn’t learned the offense and I bet this is what bothers Kobe and Phil more then his lack of 3pt accuracy.
9) Why do we INSIST on doubling the post….and with our smallest player fisher? why why why why? if someone is going to beat pau lamar and bynum in teh post and go off for 30 then we deserve to lose but lets see if they can do it first…The lakers should never double the post and they do it all the time….what gives?
10) (edited for trade speculation)
alright i’ve done my venting on the lakers but seriously that lack of deep post position is KILLING me.
Igor Avidon says
People still doubting Phil? Wow.
Tough loss to swallow, but that was either the fourth or fifth chance we gave them. Our luck had to run out eventually.
Igor Avidon, I definitely doubt Phil for the beginning of the 4th. While I am finally grateful that Blake got the majority of the minutes in the 4th, he left Odom (who was off shooting), Shannon (who was off shooting), Bynum (who hadn’t been in synch with the offense all night) and Artest (don’t get me started). The lead could have easily gone to double digits for the Spurs because that group out there had no offensive flow at all and it basically was just Odom and Shannon taking long jumpers. Phil is the greatest coach ever yes, but he frequently makes mistakes in his rotations.
81 Witness says
Did you watch the end of the 3rd quarter? Brown got burnt by those 2 repeatedly. Even worse, when he wasn’t guarding them, he ended up guarding the paint instead of the perimeter. Brown was a huge defensive liability last night.
Artest, “Where’s your hands?” Letting that ball slip through. Really? Do you want to be a Laker?
The 2nd unit’s offensive execution was terrible. Settling for perimeter jumpers early in the clock is not how games are won. Odom, Brown, and Artest, stop killing the half-court offense.
Darius Soriano says
First of all, thanks to those that handed out compliments on the recap.
Second, I don’t want a rosy recap to hide the fact that I was disappointed last night. But, I’ll repeat, I was not angry with the game. The Lakers played well, but did not win. That happens. I think we’d probably all feel a bit better with this season as a whole if that was case with more of the losses we’ve seen.
Darius Soriano says
#4. For your points:
#1. I’d agree with that. However, I think we’d also agree that Kobe is pretty important. I’d like to win games when he doesn’t play well and lo and behold, this team nearly did. I’d not be too upset with a one point loss on a last second tip. The circumstances (missed rebounds, several good looks at the end) frustrate to be sure, but overall I’m not crushed here.
#2. I’d disagree here. Parker was brilliant in the 3rd quarter pouring in double digit points in that frame. I’d say he certainly looked pretty dominant in his ability to get to the rim while also knocking down his jumper.
#3. Duncan indeed blocked Drew. Timmy is also one of the best interior defenders of all time and a fantastic shot blocker. Blocking shots is less about elevation and more about timing. On that play, Timmy showed excellent timing in meeting Drew at the spot where the ball needed to get over the rim. I’m not going to kill Bynum for not being able to flush that ball.
Of course Artest hasn’t learned the offense. The Lakers would have to run it properly and consistently for that to happen. He’s supposed to learn from the players on the floor, but if they’re not teaching… then only half the blame is on him.
P. Ami says
I liked the game. I thought there was great effort. The team competed and came up short against the team with the best record in the West. I still believe that the Lakers have the edge in a 7 game series and if they play like last night, they beat the Spurs in 6 or 7. Hopefully we match up in the playoffs and we’ll see a great series.
I think Pruiti had a little more sophisticated analysis of that tip in then, “Bynum would have gotten that rebound”, or “just box out”.
No disrespect to anybody but these are professional players dealing with one of the best coached and smartest teams in the league. The coaches on both benches have a plan, counters, counters to the counters and can think this game in ways that make us look like the semi-amateurs we are. I don’t have a huge problem with this loss for two reasons. The Lakers have shown us, time and time again, that the regular season narrative has little to nothing to say on the playoff narrative. If they are healthy and play hard, they will advance very far in the playoffs. Second, they played hard and have plenty of room to grow. If last night was the turning of the corner you are all going to remember this Chicken Little episode very fondly, like you do last season’s Chicken Little episode, and the one from two seasons ago, and the one before that….
Good game to watch, came down to a hustle play + luck at the end.
Wake me up when the playoffs start.
I’m not surprised at this loss, i saw it happened in SA years ago, with 2 min left, Bynum out, Odom in and SA come back to beat Lakers. Phil failed to show to us one thing, Luke and Odom could run triangle offense. Baby Davis of Boston,Scola of Houston ,…can score easily on Odom, Phil did not see one thing, NBA players are afraid to play against Odom. When Phil leaves Lakers, please take Luke and Odom with him.
Darius Soriano says
#18. I’ll try to answer your questions one by one.
1) Establishing the deep post his hard when you play a halfcourt game. It’s harder when you have high cut players like Pau (and to a lesser extent) Bynum that don’t create great leverage due to their higher center(s) of gravity. If the Lakers want to establish the deep post, they need to start setting better screens to get their bigs moving off of and to the ball. They also need to push the tempo more so that Pau/Drew can run more post lane sprints and establish the deep post in early offense when it’s harder to dislodge them because they’re running with momentum to the front of the rim.
2) It hurts are spacing some, but not completely. After a backdown dribble or two, the Lakers post players are often at that 10 foot mark with is good enough for spacing purposes. What hurts spacing more is if the catch is made too far out. That happens some, but it’s not so often that I think it’s the biggest issue.
3) I think the Lakers did a good job of locking and trailing men coming off screens last night. Their biggest issue (generally speaking) is that they often try to jump screens or deny catches. That’s a viable tactic sometimes, but I think scouts recognize this and teach their players to read what defenders are doing and have them fade more rather than running curls. George Hill did this to Shannon and we got burned by it. The Lakers bigs also need to do a better job of “showing” on off ball screens in order to deter passes and to give their ‘mates time to recover when they do lock and trail. All this will help the Lakers off-ball defense.
4) The high/low is best used when the strong side post is fronted and the weak side big is timely with his flash. We haven’t had too much of that lately but we still see it some. That said, last night the Lakers had a couple of high/low actions but it was Drew passing to Gasol. I’d rather have that inversed with Pau making the pass to Bynum.
5) I’d say the biggest issue is that the Lakers do run their sets but don’t always do it crisply in all apsects. Yesterday we saw quicker passes with more zip and, in general, more decisiveness from the players. What we didn’t see was the hard screens that need to go along with it. Another issue with the offense is that the 3 point shooting needs to be better. 2-14 won’t get it done.
6) I don’t think a switch of Bynum and LO is needed.
7) “Figured out” is something I think can be overplayed. The Lakers run the Triangle (or forms of it) most possessions. The offense has been around forever and has produced 11 title teams. Opponents know what the Lakers are going to run. Who cares. The beauty of the offense is that there are enough options to produce a quality shot on most trips down the court. It’s not perfect but I think the fact that the Lakers lead league in offensive efficiency (or are 2nd) speaks to the fact that they’re doing fine on that side of the ball for the most part.
8). I’d like to see Ron operate more in the two guard front of the Lakers offense. He shoots better from the top. However, he’s not as good an offensive initiator as Kobe, Fisher, Blake, or Odom. So I think he needs to find his niche and explore the options of the O from the positions on the court in which he finds himself most. As for the P&R, I don’t think we need to see Joe Smith. The Lakers can run pick and pop with Gasol and I like the P&R with Bynum as his threat as a dive man clears the lane and creates shooting and passing angles for the ball handler.
9) I think the Lakers biggest defense weakness over the years is their want to overhelp on the post and on penetration. The Lakers wings do this too much and it compromises the defense. Everyone is guilty of this.
10) I’m not going to comment on trade speculation.
It is shocking to me that the Lakers are that high in offense efficiency. This team just seems to not be able to generate easy offense. With this stretch of good teams and better defense, that number will probably go down. And what is this the Lakers are headed in the right direction?? After one game??? Even if they won that game one game don’t mean a whole lot. Neither team really played that well. I can almost guarentee you the Lakers are going to at best go 3-4 on the roadtrip. They are not going to beat Boston or Orlando and the only sure win is the Cavs. Now if this team proves me wrong and has a great trip only losing a few games, that will convince me more we are headed in the right direction.
Pau was aggressive? Pau ran into Odom during one play in the 1st half. His response times to passes were bad. It’s like he’s one step slow. He’s frequently the last person coming back on the defense end. There’s the missed free throw at the end – which is a tough one, everybody misses. I thought Bynum was more of a presence on both ends of the floor. But aggressive? Pau is aggressive when he challenged the last shot against Phoenix. That’s not the Pau out there last night. The aggressive Pau is the one that got the last shot against OKC – just like the Spurs did last night.
Wait, are we now saying the sky is not falling after all? All these mixed messages are so confusing! 🙂
This piece by McMenamin isn’t bad either.
Darius Soriano says
#29. Based off how you’ve been responding all season, I doubt anything would convince you. Seriously. The Lakers could win the title and if they played Utah or the Thunder and then scraped by in the Finals I’m not convinced we wouldn’t hear about an “easy path” or a “lucky draw” to get there. I understand the skepticism that this team has what it takes. That’s natural considering that they haven’t played *that* well (though their record is still more than solid). But, and not to pick on you at all (there are plenty of fans that express this same sentiment), I feel that some would rather continue to point out the negatives and try to discount any positives because it better fits into the narrative that they see. That’s not objectivity. It’s the same type of bias that fans that are too positive get accused of expressing, only titled in the other direction.
I’m more than happy to acknowledge poor play and question if this team is good enough to win. But I’m also saying that I have confidence that they’ll be ready to play good basketball in the playoffs. Not once have I said I’m confident that they’ll *win* (as actually winning takes a bit more than just playing great, you *need* a couple of bounces to go your way, you need some luck), but I feel that they’ll summon their best. Obviously, sometimes a team’s best isn’t good enough but we won’t know until the games are played.
I think Lowe’s column linked in 31 sort of shows the issue on both sides:
1. He’s right that the team is playing OK in big-picture terms. I think their record should be a little better given the schedule, but as the Kamenetzkys pointed out, what the the Lakers are trying to do is very, very hard: only ONE team in the post-merger era, the 84-87 Celtics, has made the Finals four years in a row. The Jordan Bulls might have done it, but of course Jordan retired after each 3peat. The miles add up; and of course, both Pau and Kobe played in the Olympics in 2008–not a factor for NBA guys in the 1980s. And while SA has been better and DAL will be tough as well, if everybody is healthy at playoff time–all nine rotation guys–the Lakers will have a very good chance to make it to the Finals again.
2. OTOH, this team is in my opinion just not quite as good as a lot of the media and fanbase think it is. It is a 53-59 win team with some specific weaknesses: lack of speed, lack of outside shooting, and lack of great passing. The team also has a lot of plusses, obviously, but it is not a 67-15 powerhouse, the kind of squad that will win barring injury. If Andrew had never gotten hurt and Kobe were four years younger, it might be that kind of team, (it was briefly in 2009) but that is fantasy, not reality.
3. And, as Lowe points out and Joe has noted, the landscape at the top of the league has changed. I dismissed training camp reports about Pierce and Garnett moving better as Boston BS, but they weren’t. Miami has James and Wade. SA is better. And so on.
Darius’ focus on strategies andexecution, the minutiae of the game, is always welcome and these things matter. But the big picture is what it is.
Speaking of bounces, something I thought about during last nights games and seeing all the 50/50 balls go to the Spurs, I wonder if it’s the odds evening out and catching up to the team somewhat.
Not to excuse the team’s play but it seems like the Lakers have been on the wrong side of many momentum changing plays such as tipped balls, end of clock shots, etc much more than in the past.
Where as in the last two championship runs, lots of big plays went Lakers direction. Kobe’s game winners. The failed tip in Orlando had resulting in a 2-0 lead. Even Pau’s and Ron’s tip ins last year needed an element of luck for the ball to be right there.
Last night, Pau defended Duncan’s shot pretty well but that ball bounced just softly and right in front of rim perfectly for Dice. A little more in any other direction and he might not be able to control it as well especially with the time left.
This year, lots of attempts by Lakers have rimmed out. Big shots by Kobe have gone in and out. Same with Pau. Shots that really could have helped with changing or sustaining momentum.
Again, this isn’t an excuse for the bad play earlier in the year. But it does seem like the ball is bouncing against the boys in purple and gold a lot more.
Hey great post! I agree that Phil should have put Bynum in at the end even tho Lamar is usually a great rebounder Bynums huge body would have taken up space and helped secure at least one of those 4 rebound opportunities.
I have a couple questions about Shannon browns shooting: it seems to me Brown has lost his stroke. In preseason and in the first half Shannon was shooting amazing behind the arch. What’s his 3 point percentage the last couple months? Is he not shooting well cuz of injury, playing time, or has he not been keeping up on his shooting drills/practices?
Darius, I don’t think I am always just negative. I am being very real when I say, the Lakers are not the best team anymore. What more proof from this season do you need? 0-5 against the elite and most have been blowouts. And I hate it when fans go back to previous and say, well it was the same thing last year. No there is a difference, the teams are much better this year and the Lakers issues are bigger on just that alone. It is not just about their bad play to me. Here is the thing, I feel all the positive talk is based off of last season too much. Fans want to believe in this team and feel they have to because they proved us wrong last year, and THIS year is not last year whatsoever. If we went on this year alone almost any logical basketball fan will tell you that this Laker team probably not going to make the finals. Now, I admit I could be wrong and may be underestimating this team, but I am really just being real based off this season. Yes good past experiences help, I get that. I am just saying I don’t think it will be good enough and based off of THIS season I think I have pretty good facts to back it up.
Bottom line Darius, too many fans to me are not present enough to what the actual situation is this year. Some fans like me believe that instead of just “waiting” for this team to turn it on come playoffs, lets do some things differently. Hey why not try? Regular season don’t mean much right? Maybe we need not a trade, but how bout a line-up change. I would actually get back on this teams good side if I saw that, because they are then trying to actually remedy the situation, and not just expect things to change on their own.
Kobe 5 minutes on the bench to start the 4th quarter?Not a good idea PJ..
kwame a. says
I commend Ron for playing so hard last night.
I think one of our biggest issues is the lack of easy buckets. We don’t score well against elite D’s and we struggle in crunch-time. On the flipside, we often give up easy buckets (either via transition or defensive breakdown). This is a combination of execution and athleticism.
To win this year we will have to execute flawlessly, most likely on the road, and need a bit of luck
Bear in mind, SA has been fortunate to have very little injuries to Duncan/Ginobili/Jefferson, guys who are injury-prone. Also, remember Mr. No MCL/ACL (Dejuan Blair) as well.
Truth be told, the Western Conference does not worry me as much as the Celts/Heat. HCA or not, I cannot envision SA beating us four times with the bigs they have, notwithstanding Sir Duncan’s estimable HOF career.
We are utterly lacking foot speed/athleticism in our perimeter. But more importantly, where we have the athleticism (Brown, Ebanks), they lack BBIQ and experience. Where we have BBIQ and experience (Blake, Fisher), we lack athleticism. Don’t envision any major trades at this time as well. I think the team is going to take one last stand with Phil, and championship or not, the next coach may change things up which means personnel changes…but not while PJ is still here.
Boston’s core is older than Lakers but they don’t seem to have so many defensive breakdowns?
Darius Soriano says
Fast break thoughts are up.