The problems are mounting for the Los Angeles Lakers. Tonight’s pathetic effort in Miami illustrated almost all of them.
Don’t let the 98-87 final score fool you. This game was in the refrigerator before the popcorn was done popping. It took Mike Brown’s team three quarters to finally answer the call. By then it was too little and far too late. The Heat played with all the intensity of a team out to prove something while the Lake Show seemed content to just have an evening in South Beach.
L.A.’s defense never showed up tonight and the offense was nowhere to be found until an explosion in the 4th. By the time the Lakers stopped hitting the snooze the Heat had a win well in hand. But this is what we’ve come to expect of these Lakers on the road this season.
For whatever reason this Laker team just can’t figure it out on the road. There is no chance of this team contending for the Western Conference with these pathetic showings outside of Staples.
For whatever reason the offensive troubles continue to mount. There is no possible scenario in which the Lakers will be able to best an elite NBA squad with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum being the only threats to crack double figures on any given night. Someone else has got to step up (looking at you, Metta).
For whatever reason this team looked tired despite getting more rest than they’ve had in a month.
Already Coach Brown is running out of explanations.
Gasol had his best offensive outing of the season with 26 points on 11 of 19 shooting but he still looks lost. Since when did Gasol start camping out behind the three point line? Tonight Gasol jacked up four threes, something you wouldn’t even see during the course of an 82-game season. Yet suddenly he’s feeling all too content putting up 25-footers.
To be sure the Lakers should have fed the rock to Pau much more than they did. Some of that is on Coach Brown but the bulk of the burden goes to Gasol. By now we know he’ll never do it but the Spaniard needs to demand the rock.
How can Brown explain Pau’s sudden love of the three? We’d like to know.
We’d also like to know what happened to the Kobe that was killing it to the tune of 40 a night just a week ago. All of a sudden that Bryant has given way for a Mamba with tired legs. Perhaps all those minutes are already taking their toll. Kobe came out of the gate making just one of his first eight. He’d finish with 24 on 8 of 21 shooting including 7 dimes but most of that came when the game was already decided continuing the too little, too late theme we’ve got going here.
With a game in Orlando tomorrow you might have thought Brown would have wanted to rest Bryant a bit. Well, 41 minutes of PT later and it looks like we’ll be seeing more of the same from Mamba manana.
I thought Coach Brown was looking to reduce Kobe’s playing time. I guess we’ll have to get an explanation on that one too.
When it comes to explaining the Lakers’ bench has plenty of that to do.
17 points from the bench won’t cut it. This unit looks worse and worse with each game. The loss of Steve Blake looms larger by the minute. Somebody has got to step up and deliver off the bench (still looking at you, World Peace).
One thing we had come to count on early this season was a solid defensive effort. Tonight, the Heat took the fire from L.A.’s defense. LeBron James is accustomed to getting any shot he wants it just usually doesn’t come this easy. Never has 31, 8 and 8 looked so effortless. Whenever the Lakers doubled James he found the open man as Miami hit 9 of their 18 threes. Whenever the Lakers turned it over, James seemed to be at the other end in a flash getting easy buckets.
Coach Brown is going to have to explain what the theory was on defending LeBron cause it seemed like the goal was to hope he had an off-night.
Kinda makes you wonder how this one would have gone had D-Wade played. Ouch! That is a painful notion.
Equally painful is that the Lakers have to hop a flight to Orlando where Dwight Howard awaits. This season doesn’t allow much breathing room which is why all these issues plaguing the Lake Show are so troubling. There is no time to make adjustments which means there is a very small margin for error.
Just how the Lakers will make these corrections on the fly remains a mystery. How will Coach Brown get the team up for tomorrow? We’d love to know. Problem is you get the feeling he’d like to know too.