“Best thing you can do is get rid of it some dark night.” So said Jack Buggit to Quoyle in the Pulitzer-winning novel ‘The Shipping News’. That in reference to a wallowing cockeyed skiff that hapless Quoyle had been suckered into buying. There were certainly those who expected that a winless preseason would instantly shapeshift at last night’s opening tipoff. I didn’t and so I’m not particularly disappointed. It was a start, with another 81 games to go in the regular season. But never mind me – ready for the early exit polls?
Brian Kamenetzky at ESPN’s Lakers Now, gives a rapid reaction to the season opener, noting that there’s plenty of ire to go around.
C.A. Clark at Silver Screen and Roll says it’s not really the new offense that did the Lakers in last night, but the lack of defense.
Jay Caspian Kang at Grantland, on hitting the panic button.
Sam Amick for USA Today says the pressure’s building on Mike Brown.
Zach Harper at CBS Sports writes that the Lakers fail to show an identity as they fall too the Mavericks.
Sean Deveney at AOL Sports opines that day one of the Princeton offense isn’t at all pretty.
Ryan Ward at Lakers Nation brings us the wisdom of O’Neal & Barkley, “the Lakers must win now!”.
Eric Pincus at the L.A. Times offers a preview of tonight’s match against Portland, wondering if the Lakers can break their losing streak of 11 (including the preseason and the final two games of last season).
Okay. The last cut may be a bit too much. Eleven game losing streak? C’mon Eric! So look – it wasn’t the most inspiring first page in a storybook ride to glory. There’s an obvious reason that none of the above writers seemed to get. Robert Sacre never got off the bench. I’m sure Coach Brown realized this when he watched game tape this morning. Tonight’s another learning opportunity as the Lakers face the Trailblazers. Ready for things that go bump in the night?
– Dave Murphy
Rich K says
Here’s the deal, evidently Mike Brown has this urge to be a PJackson wanna be by setting up an half-court offense that slows down the team’s PG (Steve Nash) and takes Dwight Howard out of his rebounding position. The point here is that the Lakers spent big dollars to bring both players here and made it harder for them to operate at their own proficiencies.
Chris J says
I heard the TNT folks talking about Nash needing to run during the halftime show last night. Run with whom? There are no young legs on this team, no flyers who can fill the lane and turn things into a SSOL-type shootout. Ebanks, maybe, but he alone isn’t enough to turn the Lakers into a running team. There has to be a half-court emphasis with this roster.
The dismal free throw shooting could directly be stated as the cause for this loss. Had they shot even in the 60 percent range they likely would have won. And that’s not going to get better so long as Howard and Hill get minutes, which they will.
The most bothersome thing about last night was seeing Nash get his pocket picked in the backcourt, and seeing him abused on the defensive end. Until they devise a scheme to protect him from quicker players, they’re going to rack up Ls. Westbrook would have dropped 50 on L.A. the way they played defense last night.
If the Lakers have a negative record after 10 games, Jim Buss may need to suck it up & call Phil Jackson for that last run. Sounds crazy??? Of course it does, but so what. This Laker team is built to win NOW!! Usually a Laker pre-season record means next to nothing, however going sub .500 in the 1st 10 games after a winless pre-season will carry weight.
Mike Brown, the clock is ticking…loudly.
Anybody else notice how horrible the pick and roll defense was? Seemed like the major offender was Pau Gasol coming out way too much to be able to recover, which then either blocked Nash’s path or left Nash with a ridiculous mismatch.
So many items to discuss. Nash’s shortcomings on defense were a known quantity coming into the season, so no one should expect him to suddenly become a stopper, especially against the best PGs in the league. We should look for him to get torched most nights. It’s the other defenders that were so blatantly bad last night, especially the backside rotation of the bigs, that made for far too many layups and open Js.
Mike Brown is a coach without a real identity, and as most everyone has heard, Kobe is the one who brought the Princeton as an idea to Mike Brown and lo and behold, here it is. His defensive schemes aren’t hiding anyone’s deficiencies, despite his apparent acumen in that area. There are only one or two coaches in the NBA (or out of it) that Kobe will listen too, and Mike Brown isn’t one of them.
Once again, defense is a problem and a team without any real identity starts the season in LA with high expectations and nowhere to go but disappointment.
LT mitchell says
When looking at Mike Brown’s history, there seems to be a constant. He does not seem to value or understand the concept of speed.
Mike Brown refused to speed up the pace when he was coaching Lebron, who is arguably the most lethal player in transition the league has ever seen. When an aging Shaq joined the Cavs, he slowed the tempo even further by revolving the offense through Shaq. His pitch to Kupchack and Buss that the slow tempo twin tower approach would be effective won him the coaching job of the Lakers. After acquiring Nash and Howard, Brown still insists on walking the ball up court…and stubbornly decided that Jamison is a SF, rather than a PF, which slows down the team even further. He made Steve Blake the backup PG, despite the fact that Duhon is the quicker and better defensive player.
I seriously question Mike Brown’s basketball IQ. The Princeton offense will naturally improve over time, and if it’s mixed in with some opportune transition opportunities and plenty of P&R’s, there is some potential…but Brown does not seem to understand how to take advantage of his players in transition and seems hell bent on making this team as slow as humanly possible. That seems to be the one constant of his coaching resume.
Since I didn’t want to “overreact”, I stewed on this loss for a while (after posting my usual bench and T/O stats of course). Now that I have done that, I am a little concerned and have concluded that tonight’s game is huge. If we lose, we go 0-2 with the energetic Clips on Friday. Now yea – the season will not be lost if we start 0-2 or even 0-3, but the perception and the media frenzy will be unbearable. A victory on opening night would have erased the pre-season. As it stands, we have a 12 game losing streak dating back to the playoffs.. Trust me – the writers will not miss this. Add a couple of more losses, and MB will be roasted. He may not be able to recover the respect of the team after that. An NBA coach under a cloud is bad enough, but when it happens in LA it usually does not end well. Rudy T, Westhead, R Pfund, Rambis, and Magic being a few examples. Root hard for a W tonight, because this game is big.
Of course if there is any chance of getting PJ (which I doubt there is) – we should do it immediately : )
david h says
dave m: where to begin?
let’s start off with a positive: no one got hurt, physically.
which of course if you turn it around, if no one got hurt physically, what’s the excuse here for losing ?
way to many to mention here that hasn’t already been noted.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything” is George Bernard Shaw’s way of saying we ain’t seen anything yet. So to stem the tide, or how did coach brown say it ? stay the course…. this could be a lesson in futility unless Mitchell Kupchak sees to it that things will need to change and progress, real progress must begin as soon as possible. So far, we laker fanatics are seeing business as usual and not liking it, and definitely not liking the smell of things to come.
So let’s all chant, change the course, change the course, change the course at the beginning of tonite’s laker game vs portland and seismically (if there’s such a word) the vibration we invoke will transmit to laker front office; thru to coach brown and out to each laker player.
and a few more made free throw ups will go a long way toward a winning way.
Go Lakers !