All those good feelings that crept into our purple and gold hearts were quickly forgotten in frightful fourth quarter in Phoenix.
Sure, the old Lakers were tired having played two games in two nights. Yes, not having Dwight Howard didn’t help matters. But since when did a team with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and a productive Antawn Jamison need an All-Star center to hold onto a 13-point lead against the worst team in the West?
Whatever the reasoning for last night’s loss the reality is these Lakers just can’t come up with a formula for winning away from Staples.
Eight straight losses on the road and not a single victory away from L.A. to speak of in 2013. That’s a huge problem for a team that can’t get out of this constant cycle of two steps forward, four steps back.
We already know how difficult this road to playoff redemption is. Last night only made it worse as the Lake Show gave away the chance to gain ground on the teams sitting in the final two spots in the West while also failing to extend their win streak.
The new Kobe has been a revelation for sure. No doubt about that. However the meltdown in Phoenix showed the limitations of this new Mamba. When the Lakers needed an offensive lift Kobe was nowhere to be found. The normal KB24 takeover never came to be and a costly loss was in the cards as a result.
Making matters worse is the longest and most critical road trip of the year has opened with more of the same questions floating around the franchise. No matter the outcome there is no denying the Mike D’Antoni approach is beyond flawed. At this point the team isn’t even running his system any longer. Pau Gasol could care less about results when he’s being forced into a role that doesn’t suit him.
So its business as usual for this debacle of a season and nothing is going to change for the better until this team can solve its road woes. At this point the only hope for the playoffs is making it as the 7th or 8th seed which means, yep, having to play on the road.