Hours before the debacle against the Clippers, Mike D’Antoni made himself available for an interview on 710ESPN. He continued his familiar talking points. He reiterated how post play is not as efficient as perimeter shooting. He said the Lakers half court defense was pretty good; they are ranked 15th (out of 30 teams). He said the Lakers transition defense which is 30th is because of speed and not deep threes that miss long and create fast break opportunities. And then after the disaster of Friday night in which he made absolutely zero adjustments to the pressure defense of the Clippers, he said “it was our first really bad game.”
Hmm. Perhaps these games do not count as “really bad”.
Wednesday at the Rockets: Outscored in the third quarter by 18. Outrebounded in the game by 19. Lost by 14.
Sunday vs. the Nuggets: Gave up 137 points. First time in 20 years a Lakers team gave up over 130 points. Outscored by 11 in third quarter. Outrebounded by 20. Lost by 22.
December 31 vs. Milwaukee, the worst team in the NBA: 12 points scored in the first quarter. Outscored in the 3rd quarter. Outrebounded by 12. Lost by 15.
December 23 at the Suns: Outscored in the third by 9. Outrebounded by 23. Lost by 27.
It seems particularly obvious that if you have only won 4 games since December 10th, and you have lost 13 games since December 10th, and in those 13 losses you have given up 110+ points nine times, those are really bad games. In their 4-13 skid the Lakers have been outrebounded by 104. They have been outscored in the 3rd quarter by 104.
Sadly, help is not on the way. Until big men are in the paint on offense allowing them to offensive rebound, the rebounding numbers will remain constant. Until shooters go after rebounds, actually fight for them-imagine that- the numbers will remain dismal. Until the Lakers come up with well designed plays in which they move the ball and move without the ball and utilize the paint and get to the line they will continually suffer in the third quarter. Until they contest shots…oh well, you know the script.
Of course this is where the talk about pride and effort is usually inserted. One of the Clippers analysts said it was the worst defensive effort he has ever seen from an NBA team. Ever. That’s Planet D’Antoni. Welcome. It is where Blake Griffin and Ray Allen shoot 80% against the Lakers. And Kevin Durant shoots 76%. So does Marcus Morris of Phoenix but the next game against the Lakers he “only” shoots 66%. Planet D’Antoni is where Timofey Mozgov shoots 80%. And Dejuan Blair shoots 70%. And Derrick Favors, Brandon Wright, Omri Casspi shoot 60%.
This is Planet D’Antoni. Enjoy your visit.