I’m willing to give every NBA team the benefit of the doubt this year. The Lakers just played their sixth game in eight days to begin this season. Just yesterday we saw the Nuggets in Los Angeles and tonight the Lakers in Denver.
What I’m getting at is that we’ll have to accept some ragged games every once and awhile.
Tonight was one of those games.
Maybe Kobe Bryant was just paying homage to Tim Tebow. Only the Mile High Jesus would envy the shooting game Bryant had. Kobe was as accurate tonight in the Pepsi Center as Timmy Football was this afternoon at Invesco Field.
KB24 had an awkward night of history making. Awkward because Mamba become the youngest player in NBA history to hit 28,000 career points yet the accomplishment came on a night when he missed more shots then he ever has in an NBA game.
Kobe was an ice cold 6 of 28 from the field, scoring 16 points while going 1 of 8 from beyond the arc.
Overall the Lake Show had more misses than Michael J. Fox at the shooting range. Mike Brown’s offensive inabilities are showing early on. Tonight’s 39% for the team will attest to that.
Andrew Bynum is still trying to get his legs which is scary when you see him posting 18 and 16 games when he’s clearly gassed. Maybe we shouldn’t read too much into Drew’s debut just yet. The Nuggets don’t have much of a defensive presence in the middle. That could also be why Pau Gasol finally had and 20 and 10 night.
Pau’s still playing big minutes even with Bynum back. Another 36 minutes on the court coming on the back end of a home-and-home series. Coach Brown isn’t cutting Pau any slack.
Maybe it’s time for LSL to cut Metta World Peace some slack. We’ve been pretty harsh on MWP so far but his move to sixth man is looking pretty good so far. After a scoreless New Year’s Eve, World Peace rang in 2012 with 10 off the bench. However Steve Blake is still the man that has made the most progress from this last to now.
Stevie Ballgame had 14 in 27 minutes on the court. Don’t look now but he’s getting more burn than Derek Fisher.
What is killing this team thus far are these late game situations. Again tonight that was the case as the Lakers couldn’t close a close game. Equally troubling are Kobe’s continued turnovers in crunch time.
Another area of concern is the total lack of fastbreak points. Ty Lawson got Denver some cheap points by simply pushing the rock and exploiting matchups. Denver’s scoring was balanced with six players in double figures. There is something to this Denver formula that the Lakers can learn from.
Coach Brown’s defense is definitely taking shape even though there were some lapses tonight. The Lakers are contesting shots and rebounding, two very essential elements in a solid defensive unit.
These inconsistent efforts are no doubt a result of the hectic schedule. Which is what makes it hard to know is how much of this is also a symptom of what ails the Lake Show. Having to adjust to the Mile High conditions is also a valid reason but not a valid excuse.
None of those excuses are reflected in the standings. The only stats there are wins and losses. Make whatever excuse you want but after six games under Coach Brown the Lakers are a .500 ball club. There are some good things happening but there are also some troubling trends emerging. There were plenty of reasons for this to be an ugly night of offense. Let’s hope that doesn’t become a trend.