Break up the Lakers! Well, not really. But after two straight wins — on the road, no less — the Lakers are playing their best basketball of the season. You can qualify the wins as them coming against the Hawks and their bottom third defense and a Rockets’ team missing Dwight Howard, and you’d be well within your rights. These are real variables that matter and should be taken into account. On the other hand, the Lakers have been one of the worst teams in the league this year. Any win they get is one that, at the end of the year, opponents will probably want back.
Tonight the Lakers are back at it, again on the road, facing the 9-3 Mavs. Dallas has been one of the better teams in the league this year, mostly on the strength of their #1 rated offense. They are scoring a ridiculous 114.9 points per 100 possessions, a full 5.8 points better than the 2nd place Pelicans. To put that in perspective, the difference between Dallas and New Orleans is the same difference between New Orleans and the 18th ranked Nuggets. In other words, they really are lapping the field.
This will be a real problem for the still last place defensively ranked Lakers. The Mavs have firepower all over the floor and offer a balanced attack that will hurt teams much in the way last year’s Spurs did. They seek out not just a good shot, but the best one they can generate against a scrambling defense. They cut, pass, screen, and do so all with a great feel for how to operate within the structure of their offense. They play with purpose on that end and slowing them down is a nightmare.
For the Lakers, then, their hope isn’t going to be in slowing down the high octane Mavs, but in scoring enough points to keep the game somewhat competitive. The Mavs have a capable defense — reacquiring Tyson Chandler has helped — but the Lakers should be able to find ways to score should they be smart and advantageous with their opportunities.
And while we can discuss Kobe and/or Nick Young’s role in this, I’m really looking at Jeremy Lin. After struggling with Patrick Beverley draped on him like a wet sheet, Lin should find more breathing room against the likes of Jameer Nelson, Devin Harris, and JJ Barea. In the half court, Lin will need to be assertive on his drives and attempt to occupy the 2nd defender (especially when that man is Chandler) to generate shots for his teammates. Further, he will need to push the pace and try to create opportunities in the open court to generate easier baskets.
We know that Kobe and Young’s aggression will not wane. But if Lin can join the party it will create more offense for the team as he’s the player who will actively get into the lane and create the types of chances that turn into opportunities for Ed Davis and Jordan Hill around the rim. And if the Lakers can get those types of inside looks and manage to outwork the Mavs on the glass and in the paint, this game could be interesting.
Of course, it’s important to bring the focus back to what is possible from a hopeful perspective to the opposite. The Mavs aren’t just the better team, they are vastly better. They are at home and playing a Lakers’ team playing their 3rd game in four nights. The Lakers’ legs are bound to be weary — especially Kobe’s since he’s logged some heavy minutes in these two wins — and they could find themselves behind early. In other words, a win would be a complete surprise and totally unexpected.
Where you can watch: 5:30pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.
Swaggy KO says
Very very hard to match up here with highest scoring team in NBA..
Hope they keep it close.
Swaggy KO says
Boozer on Dirk?
The funny thing is boozer has been okay defensively. The most you can ask for is to contest the shot. Boozer is 6 8 dirk is 7 feet. But I think we inserted james harden into the line up. Kobe has decided he’s not going to be within 10 feet of his man
Baylor Fan says
The Lakers do not need to make any apologies for any wins this year after all of the injuries they have had. Houston played tough D on Lin and doubled him to force him to give up the ball early. The Rockets second unit has suffered without Lin to direct the action. He will be okay as he gets more court time with Kobe. This year’s Lakers team will be better than last year’s version much to the dismay of those hoping for a top 5 draft pick.
Wow Lin has come close to his season FGA average already. He shoots the least out of any starting PG in the league. Overall he actually has been shooting pretty good, he needs to shoot more 3’s and Kobe needs to shoot less 3’s.
I’m just waiting for Swaggy to do some damage to the Mavs 2nd teamers.
Kobe Alert: At tip off tonight Kobe officially played in his 1,258th game and moved by Otis Thorpe for 23rd all time. In the first quarter he has already reach 46,000 minutes for his career. Only 11 other players have reached that level. Against the Rockets, Kobe racked up 7 dimes and moved by Mookie for 31st. Next up is Baron Davis just 52 helpers away to reach the top 30. By the way, nobody in the top 30 for dimes is within 5,000 of Kobe in total points- think about that for a second. KB needs just 262 points to catch Michael.
When you have D leaguer like Sacre on your team you deserve that type of crap. Another great resign by Jimmy.
Terrible and disastrous end to the first quarter, utter failure.
Your kidding right?
Based on nba web site Boozer defensive number are botten 5 in the NBA.
Kobe is 0-for-7.
Hill is 5-for-5.
Can we start adjusting our strategy?
I said Boozer has done an okay job on Dirk during the 1st quarter taking into account its not much you can do except try to challange the shot. It wasn’t an assessment on his play the entire season.
But it looks like the lakers are returning to their losing ways.
anon 007 says
Kobe is 0-for-7.
Hill is 5-for-5.
Can we start adjusting our strategy?
Yeah, let Hill take all the shots rotflmao
Swaggy KO says
He is 8 for 10
Swaggy KO says
Kobe going out of his way to prove Cuban right. Shooting under 30% tonight.
Also 9 TO’s last 7 quarters for Lin.
Oh well. Fun while it lasted.
Baylor Fan says
LeBron is looking pretty old tonight. I wonder if all the basketball miles are catching up with him.
Yea… It’s all those basketball miles. They add up all of the sudden after a summer of dropping thirty pounds of all muscle. As I’m never one to shy away from any sort of credit… Everyone did hear it here first during the first quarter of his first game. You’re welocme.
A 30-point play will get them right back in the game.
Notice how the really good coaches in Dallas abd San Anton rest the older stars yet Laker coaches play Kobe in spite of clearly burned.
1 for 14
6 for 22
Both giant smack downs.
Are we sure BS first name is secretly not Mike?
Wake up BS your not going anywhere. Rest the guy like smart coaches.
Of course there’s a possibility that things will turn around as the season progresses, but as it stands now, Chris Bosh nailed it when he, in not so many words, forewarned Kevin Love about the sacrifice he would need to make in order to play with LeBron, and to a lesser extent, Kyrie.
Also, remaining on the subject of LeBron and his Cavs, while I believe that Chicago, if healthy, is the best team in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards, with Gortat and NeNe manning the paint, are probably the last team that Cleveland will want to face off against in the ‘offs.
The problem with Love is he is what I told everyone he was yeara ago. He is a spot up shooter who can’t do anything else on offense and is one of the worst defenders in the NBA.
The one question I had was could he rebound when the other team was actualy playing hard? I thought he would not be able to but I wasn’t certain. It’s clear to me now he isn’t even a good rebounder. Rebounding numbers are often silly anyways. GMs say the true numbers are if your team rebounds better with you on the floor. People like Love who chase down every rebound they can get and box out in favor of playing defense don’t help you win or even help your team rebound. Someone else on your team is going to get those rebounds anyways.
And you will only hear the uninformed fan say Love is away from the basket more on offense this year. Because the last few years Love has been a three point shooting specialist. This didn’t just happen.
In regards to Love being one of the worst defensive big men in the league, we’re in agreement on that point. Along with being a ‘short’ 6’10 and the fact that he’s not the most athletically gifted individual plays a part in that. But, more importantly, imo, he’s never had the mindframe/temperament of a defensive player. I never saw it at UCLA and it certainly hasn’t been on display during his years in the ..A. Simply put, he’s a lazy defender.
However, in regards to his offensive game, while he is a good “spot up shooter”, I do believe that there is more to his o-game than that. His back to the basket game isn’t great, but it’s good. He’s strong enough and capable of pinning down his defender under the basket for easy layins. He has displayed up n under moves within the paint and of course, his favorite, the jump hook.
But unfortunately, just as it was with Bosh, who, before coming to Miami and teaming up with ‘Bron n Wade, showed an excellent back to the basket/post game in Toronto, Love is being even more relegated to spot up shooting in order to keep the driving lanes open for LeBron. The strongest aspect to ‘Bron’s game is still driving to the hole and getting easy layups and/or getting fouled. The weakest part of his game -although it has improved over the years – is still his jumpshot. That’s why he’s quick to recruit ‘shooters’ such as Mike Miller, James Jones, Ray Allen & Love. These ‘shooters’ make it basically impossible to guard ‘Bron because once he drives, the defense is forced to collapse and once this is done, he can kick it out to the wide open shooter. With big men, such as Love and, at the time, Bosh clogging the paint, LeBron’s game becomes less effective. And that is part of what Bosh was alluding to when he spoke about “sacrificing” his game while playing in Miami. The same thing that he pretty much forewarned Love about. Which, thus far, has come to fruition.
For the record, he accumulated 10, 12 and 8 fg attempts, for the ENTIRE game, against the Jazz, Spurs and Wizards, respectively. Which means he’s obviously seeing the ball way less in Cleveland – playing with 2 ball dominant individuals – than he did with the Wolves (where HE was the man). Therefore, his game, as Bosh mentioned would happen, is being sacrificed.
Basic Stats (Nothing too Advanced) :
2010 – 24 ppg .. 11 rpg (last season w/Toronto)
2011 – 19 ppg .. 8 rpg (1st yr w/Mia)
2014 – 26 ppg .. 12 rpg (last season w/Wolves)
2015 – 16 ppg .. 10 rpg (1st season w/Cavs, thus far)
Yeah, the season is still in its infancy and things may change in Cleveland, but when it comes to the offensive side of the court, it’s not that Love, all of a sudden, “can’t do anything else on offense” .. Maybe Bosh, who made it quite obvious that, in the beginning, he wasn’t happy with his role in Miami, might just be on to something. We’ll see how it plays out for Love.
Bad game 2night, but i picked dallas to win it all before the season, so i dont really care about the loss….kobe looked like he hasnt had his legs under him, last time i saw him throw 2 airballs was….well i cant remember….
What pissed me of are 12 minutes for ed davis, the guy deserves at least 20+….also 24 TOs wont do the job…cant have a starting pg with 27mins and 4tos….and 1 rebound for boozer???really??? Cmon get your damn ass on the boards and clean em up please
Only guy who i thought had at least a decent night was hill…
But, like i said, i expected that outcome, so just go out the next game and try to beat the nuggets, i think that one is more than winnable!
Renato Afonso says
And… we’re back to Earth!
Byron Scott needs to start taking ownership for horrible rotations and coaching decisions.
Kobe clearly can’t handle playing 35mpg average. It’s crazy that he is leading the team in minutes, despite a lot of minutes coming in games they clearly had no chance of winning. Kobe’s defense last night was beyond horrible, he was getting owned. A few games he looked OK and a bunch of other games he just gambles for steals and gets burnt. Seriously Kobe really doesn’t look like he can hang with SF anymore defensively, Parsons made him look slow.
Ed Davis just isn’t getting any burn, despite Scott’s “I’ll take you out if you don’t play Defense” Lies. Scott led the Cavs to 3 years of bottom 5 defenses before coming here. Regardless of talent, you can’t just blame the players constantly–yet not play the few guys that play defense more minutes. Davis got 12mins last night? How about the Davis/Lin pick n’ rolls that were money in the preseason, where did they go? Clearly Boozer/Hill/Lin are picking things up offensively lately, yet Kobe still shoots double or triple their shots regardless how horrible he shoots. But I blame Kobe’s play on Scott, you need to play him 28-30mins per game TOPS. Rest the guy, let the other guys that ALL are shooting far more efficiently score and get comfortable sharing the ball.
At least Young didn’t jack up a million shots when he wasn’t feeling it last night. Kobe better wake up and check his ego and stat padding crap b/c the season is a long one and he is going to make Allen Iverson look like a highly efficient shooter at this rate. I have to assume fatigue is at least part of the problem, since Kobe is admitting to tired/age issues. IF this continues, mark my words the Laker’s will get worse next year not better. Because any of the decent players that can leave are going to Davis/LIn etc. I cant’ imagine Kobe wants to book-end his career in this manner. But like many superstars he’s probably Irrationally optimistic, the next 3 is always going to go in–even though we have 19 years showing he’s a below average 3 point shooter. And with his age, he’s now a Josh Smith type 3 point shooter, grrr.
-Well that was ugly.
-Mavs are just what Darius said they would be.
-Believe it or not, the Lakers actually shot better than 50% from the field as a team.
-13 down, 69 to go
-Lakers vs Nuggets in L.A. Sunday. Excellent chance for a win.
BCS: With regard to the shooting percentage: It is the first time since 1985 (maybe ever – cause that is as far back as I could get the stat), that the Lakers have shot better than 50% and lost by more than 30. It is only the 5th time in 30 years that an NBA team has shot more than 51% from the field and lost by 34 or more.
Purple: Well I remember a particular playoff game way back at the beginning of his career where there might have been a couple of air balls : ) Saw Priest and Steel Panther.
Agree: “Regardless of talent, you can’t just blame the players constantly” Absolutely. It is not the players fault. This is clearly a Front Office problem. If you have JV (with one Senior Varsity player) playing against the other school’s Varsity, I would hardly blame the players or coaches. They are doing their best they can under the circumstances.
Moses Buhay says
Did Byron Scott call one timeout last night when that game started to get out of hand?
OMG – have you looked at the NBA standings? We all know that the Lakers are as bereft of talent as any team in the league. Yet, there are so many teams with young talent that are struggling. It’s possible that we could continue to be awful, but other teams allow themselves to fall lower in the standings, and we could lose our pick.
We stand to fall further behind in the talent race. For example, OKC is now last in the Western Conference. What if they throw in the towel and get the top 5 pick that should have been ours? Next year could be as bad as this year!
Moses Buhay says
Kobe Bryant in Gilgamesh-mode.
There are teams in the West where Lakers would have a hard time competing because of the depth of their roster like: Mavs., Spurs, GSW and Griz. The second group are marginal that on a given night, Lakers could beat them on a 50-50 basis. Having said that, I still favor Lakers going for the W than opting for the L just for the sake of losing the top 5 pick to Suns. Lakers still get a 1st dp from Rockets plus 2nd dp. and most important we are entertained watching Lakers compete even though our roster is below par compared to top group. A high draft pick is just a rookie by NBA standards like what Wiggins, Parker, Gordon, Exum are experiencing right now. (Randle and Embiid are still on the injured list.) Are they helping their teams today? If not, a high draft pick may be equivalent to 2nd tier marquee agent at a lower cost. Is that the Lakers flavor to be in contention through draft picks? Are the Buss Family short of cash that they depend their future franchise existence on draft picks alone? There has to be a balance even in post Kobe era and the objective is to seize fastest path in being Champ. rather than what they are right now a “chump” as a result of bad decision-making. IMO, decisions which many have commented in several posts that they opted for Lin, Boozer, Jhill high contract, Kobe’s non-negotiable max contract extension than being aggressive in acquiring the 2nd tier group like: Ariza, Stephenson, Thomas, Hayward plus our former Center players under Dantoni. It should have been a simultaneous action, go for Melo & James also those 2nd tier players, choose the coach too. You don’t wait for a marquee player to dictate on who will be his coach and players around him? In a nutshell I am suggesting let’s roll the dice and see where it settles but this team has to compete to a respectable position which will translate to players morale, motivate them to promote team play as a progressive move in re-building team or continuity of the efficient players than disrupting the experimenting entirely for the sake of chasing the top 5 draft picks.
I still believe Lakers will improve as chemistry improves with more games played, could win again two consecutive on the road or at home, may belong to the lowest 10 teams at the end of the season which seemingly lose our pick with Suns. That’s OK, at least we enjoyed the games than pleased Aaron’s assertions…. j/k only
Bosh in Toronto was someone you could give the ball to to create his own offense. He wasn’t a spot up three point shooter. That wasn’t his game. He made himself into that. Love was and always has been strictly a spot up shooter on offense. The problem for him is LBJ is off of HGH and is no longer collapsing defenses or drawing double teams creating open looks.
Love is the same player he was in Minny. The difference is he is playing against teams that are playing hard. His three point shooting is around his career average.
I’ll look on the bright side of a 2-1 road trip. Dallas is deep & they played very well. We move on.
The defense at the start of the 3rd was just horrible. How can a team be so bad? There were like 4 alley oops in the span of 10 minutes. I don’t care how bad your players defensive abilities are, anyone with two legs can learn to rotate. What’s Byron teaching?
I’ve been saying we need a center before training camp. If the Lakers carry on like this expect the injuries to pile up. A center a true center would allow the team to better guard the three. Because he would guard the lane along with the power forward if their beaten off the dribble. We have a good team outside of Rob Sacre. Go Lin, I always liked j, Lin’s game. We have talent but not height.
7 points in 15 seconds.Game over.
Refs are helping the tank by the way,lots of phantom calls.
Given the current state of Lakers, I’ve watched way more Raps games and they have evolved/grown quietly into a very good team. Hands down best all around 4 man deep backcourt rotation in the NBA w Lowry/Derozan/Williams/Vasquez. Watching dismantle Cavs after being down 18 in the first q at one pnt. Cavs are a mess defensively – and Lebron does not look in anyway dominant like he did in the last couple of years. Totally different body language. He’s getting points and stats but just does not look right what so ever
lil pau says
Hello all: I can’t go to tomorrow’s game. If anyone would like to purchase my OG Season Ticket Holder seats (sec 205, row 2), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Price is face value (93/ticket). Tickets can be emailed. Best, Lil Pau.
Lebron was doing hgh?
Someone explain to me.
So, umm, seeing the Cavs drop another game…If they were in the West would they have more than 3 victories? And, if the Lakers were in the East would they have at least 5 wins? I’d be willing to bet that the Lakers have had one of the NBA’s toughest schedules so far. (Just looked it up and it is the hardest schedule so far.) Are they as bad as the record indicates?
The Cavs are actually in the midst of a pretty tough schedule too but are overall #14. The Mavs and Rockets have had 2 of the easiest schedules so far, so expect to see them lose some games here pretty soon. I think the Rockets may miss the playoffs. The Knicks have had the 1st easiest schedule so far and they are one of the worst in the league record wise. They may finish bottom 3. Good for PJ if he can pull a good draft choice.
Baylor Fan says
Low carb diets help you lose body fat. They are a great way for older non-athletes to lose fat and still keep what muscle they have. An athlete with little body fat to begin with will not lose as much weight on a low carb diet since they simply do not have that much fat to lose. Lebron’s weight loss may be due to diet but it would have to have been a starvation diet to lose the muscle mass he did. The impact on his game is that he no longer can go into the paint and bully his way to the basket. He is also playing with less energy and not leading the defensive transitions. Maybe the Lakers should worry more about getting solid basketball players and less about getting superstars.
@ Oldtimer, my question: what will happen 1st?
-Laker develop team chemistry needed to compete on a nightly basis?
-honeymoon between Kobe & Swaggy P ends?
Hello Big City Sid – The way I look at it, chemistry will develop with the Lakers because there is no way down but up. We have not seen the full potentials of the injured players Kelly and Xavier, they could get back their full strength by January. We never know Randle might be able to play in March. Clarkson and Xavier are getting attuned to Lakers play after getting some burn from D’Fenders plus healing of Ellington’s loss, they could contribute at later stages.
Now with Kobe and Swaggy P, it is a push and it is the only show at Staples. The former is motivated to beat some records before he retires so he makes his quota with semblance of team play here and there while the latter would prove that he can be sole heir of Kobe’s team and would try to seize the opportunity until everyone recognizes it is now Swaggy P team in the future. So far, his assessment are humbling, compared himself to Michael Jackson and Prince (sic), at least he got a smile from Iggy Azalea. With regards to honeymoon with the fans, there is no way they can turn this team around due to the composition of the team, 10 laps behind with choo-choo…legs and defense. Lakers need a legitimate Center like Davis of Pelicans and a Klay Thompson type of perimeter shooter plus Kobe and Swaggy P, then they are match with Spurs, GS, Mavs and Grizz. We want to blame the coaching style of Scott but no matter what style you can think of, if you are dealing with dead-end players, nothing could change the dynamics. The competition is just too superior with team players that have a pulverizing effect in speed, accuracy, precised team game plus skill set, hard to repulse with the strength or weakness of Boozer, Lin, Wesley, Sacre and a small JHill plus Kobe @ 36 years old of a shooter. Whatever Scott method will impose or defense establish, it is what it is, lucky if they could hit .500. Having said that, we will enjoy the entertainment than watching a team who are dead set to lose any game in order to qualify the draft pick derby.
T Rogers says
Howard is out indefinitely due to getting the same knee procedure that Kobe and Bynum got. That’s an interesting development as he’s never had any real knee problems. It will be something to watch going forward.
Baylor Fan: With regard to superstars: The history of the NBA shows that if you have superstars, you have a much better chance of winning titles. Magic, Kareem, MJ, Bird, Russell, Mikan, Chamberlain, Kobe, Shaq, LeBron, Hakeem, and Duncan. With that list you have 48 of the 68 champions in history. Think this is changing? The same list covers 5 of the last 6 champions. I do agree that the Lakers are perhaps overly focused on a couple of players at the top, but the bottom line is that you generally need at least 2 All NBA players to win a title. Yes – the Pistons are a two time exception and there are a few others sprinkled in. We have never won that way and most NBA teams do not. Now the sequence of whether you get the superstar first and then surround them with peripheral pieces, or whether you get the peripheral pieces and then get the superstar second, is up for debate. What is not up for debate is that it requires an adept Front Office to pull off either one. Again – up for debate as to whether we have such a Front Office – everyone knows where I stand.
J C says
Caught a few minutes of Lebron the other night against Spurs.
Maybe it was my imagination, but he didn’t even look like the same guy.
He always looked unusually strong for a basketball player so if he was previously on PEDs it wouldn’t surprise me.
And if that were true, then maybe he’s got enough money in the bank now to start thinking about his long-term health.
T. Rogers – indeed that will be interesting development because Lakers got the Houston ’15 1st rd draft pick after acquiring Lin, although I don’t think they will be lower than the Lakers at the end of the season. Aside from the knee problem, there is also this domestic abuse complaint wherein he struct his child with buckle end of the belt multiple times. Comm. Silver will be put on the spot on how he will treat this complaint based on a precedent case set by Comm. Goodell in suspending Adrian Peterson from NFL without any pay.