Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
Turns out it doesn’t matter who coaches the L.A. Lakers when it comes to playing road games. Under Mike Brown this team was pretty terrible away from Staples and that unwanted tradition has transitioned its way to the Mike D’Antoni regime.
D’Antoni’s first road game as head coach of the Lakers was a complete reversal from his first home game as head coach of the Lakers.
Everything the Lake Show did so well in the victory over Nets went missing in an inexplicable 113-97 loss to the struggling Sacramento Kings.
Now I fully understand that any team can be beaten on any given night in the NBA. What I can’t wrap my head around in Dwight Howard putting up just 4 shots in 40 minutes on the court. What is even more unimaginable is Sacramento owning the paint against the Lakers to the tune of 50-22…that’s points people not field goal percentage.
If I told you that stat of 50-22 in point production in the paint went the way of the Kings you might imagine DeMarcus Cousins was doing work for Sactown. You’d be incorrect.
Cousins slouched his way to just 7 points and 8 boards. But that was pretty much on par with what the Laker bigs didn’t do last night. One night after being a fantasy stud, Pau Gasol was a total dud scoring 8 and pulling down 9 rebounds.
Kobe Bryant kept his efficient ways rolling. KB24 went of for 38 on just 20 shots. It’s hard to ignore his 7 turnovers and 20 overall for the Lakers but you knew it was only a matter of time until the lack of a true playmaker was going to catch up to Los Angeles.
Something else that seemed unlikely to continue was the impressive defense the Lakers played in D’Antoni’s debut. After holding the Nets to just 90 points the Lakers’ defense surrendered 113 to the Kings as Sacramento increased its production in each quarter.
Things started out well enough with L.A. allowing just 15 points in the first and trailing 42-41 at the half. But in the second half the flood gates opened and the curtain fell on the Lake Show once they allowed the Kings to put a 40-spot on the board in the fourth quarter.
Whatever it is that prevents the Lakers from being as focused on the road as they are at home is going to be one of the great challenges for D’Antoni. On the season the Lakers are winless away from Staples. That 0-3 mark stands to get another notch or two with games in Memphis and Dallas in the coming days. Efforts like these are as frustrating as they are dumbfounding. But they’re also what we’ve come to expect of the Lakers regardless of who is calling the shots from the sideline.