If you watch the Lakers often enough you’ll notice the patterns emerging. They play down to inferior competition, typically finding creative ways to lose to shorthanded teams. They lose large leads. They have no desire to play defense these days. And if they’re playing the Houston Rockets all of the above rings true plus you can set your watch to Andrew Bynum being ejected.
All of the bad that plagues the Lake Show was on display during tonight’s disappointing 112-107 loss to Houston.
Maybe it’s all that red in the Rockets jerseys that brings Baby Bynum out to play. For the second time in as many games against Houston Bynum has hit the showers early. This time around all it took was a not-so-hard foul by Samuel Dalembert to get Andrew’s fire lit. After that he was seeing red, constantly running smack in the direction of the Houston bench.
Bynum’s first tech was a result of overreacting to a foul. Ok…move on…nothing to see here.
That would be wrong. Bynum kept running his mouth until the officials had heard enough. He got his second tech, fair or unfair and he got another early exit.
By the time Baby Bynum was sent home all the momentum was with the Rockets. They erased a double digit Laker lead in the third quarter thanks to a 23-10 run. Goran Dragic was controlling the flow as he ran circles around the flimsy Laker defense going off for 26 with 11 dimes.
While Dragic set the table it was Luis Scola that provided the meal. The Argentinian big was unstoppable with Bynum out of the picture. He banged with Pau Gasol, getting the better of the Spaniard and every other Laker that dared check him in the post. Scola’s 25 points were big but the buckets he hit down the stretch were huge.
Behind 28 from Kobe Bryant and an out-of-nowhere 23 from Metta World Peace the Lakers were still in the game late. Matt Barnes banged in a big three to tie this one at 99. Then it all went wrong for the Lakers.
More of the same as bad offense, careless turnovers and a complete lack of interest in playing D spelled their demise.
Another loss in Staples, a building that was a fortress for the Lakers until recently, means there is even more pressure to get back into form on the road. But that too has been a struggle for which Mike Brown has no explanation.
Somebody has got to explain to Bynum that his temper tantrums are getting more costly at this point in the season. Baby Bynum’s selfish ways again put his emotions before the team. There is no excuse for these continued outbursts. Coach Brown can’t keep down playing these problems. It is only a matter of time until Bynum’s immature antics invade the locker room.
With Andrew’s 19 points and 7 boards closed in the box score and another quarter to play you already knew where this one was going. The coaches warned Bynum not to get another tech. He was well aware as were the Rockets. They threw out the bait and the big kid took it.
Credit where credit is due. The Rockets took this one to the Lakers, playing the game at their pace and daring the Lakers to try and run. Just like Bynum, the Lakers fell for the trap. Veteran teams with playoff experience aren’t supposed to constantly meltdown like this. Makes you wonder if the childish nature of Bynum has already done damage to this team’s psyche.