After the brief joy and relief that was brought on by the Laker’s crushing defeat of the Pistons on their home floor, I set my sights on the long term as our squad embarked on a long stretch of home games that would hopefully revitalize the team and help them establish their identity. Next on the list: The Utah Jazz.
The Lakers certainly have a history with the Lakers, as former Jazz Deron Williams publicly admitted his disdain for the Los Angeles based team. After all, this was the same team that knocked him out of the playoffs several times.
Very early on in the match, one of the Utah play by play commentators mentioned his opinion that The Clippers will displace the Lakers as THE LA team. That’s quite an opinion there, sir. With all due respect, that’s one of the least intelligent statements I have ever heard. Anyways, on to the game at hand.
The offense still looked stagnant from the get go, with Blake off to an icy cool start. Howard didn’t quite look like himself either, getting a shot blocked and getting denied by Enes Kanter. Bryant looked quite disinterested up until the 2nd half, when he started being more aggressive although with mixed results. Gasol looked lost, roaming the perimeter for most of the time. The Lakers ignited a 12-4 scoring run towards the end of the half, but man the defense was atrocious. Fast breaks, lay-ups, you name it.
Jazz announcer and former player Matt Harpring pointed out how the Lakers just didn’t seem to be into the game, as it appeared that they were just going through the motions. He commented that it might be a lack of faith and conviction in Coach Brown and his new offense causing the players to just not give a crap about running the system. Brown’s got to go, if the Jerry Sloan rumors are true get this clown out of L.A. Two game package that included two games and a Papa John’s Medium pizza for $60. Good lord, I wish they had something like that in LA.
The Lake Show got it going a bit in the 3rd quarter, cutting the lead down to 4. Blake was getting a ton of wide open 3’s, though he was having a miserable time converting. Hill provided some valuable hustle to give the team some 2nd chance opportunities. Unfortunately, a Kobe turnover led to a 3 point play from Marvin Williams that broke the momentum.
Getting back to Gasol being lost in the game, Ebanks set up a pretty good place to dump it in down low, but Pau was expecting a shot and was getting position for the potential rebound. Unfortunately, this lack of communication led to an easy dunk on the other end by Enes Kanter. The 3rd quarter ended with a score of 57-65.
Harpring continues to bitch about the lack of calls going for the Jazz. I have yet to hear a solid NBA announcer outside those featured on TNT and ESPN. I’m not going to be biased and say Lakers broadcasters Stu Lantz and Bill Macdonald are the best in the world because they aren’t, but they provide a solid and unbiased opinion regarding their commentary on NBA games. As a commentator for an NBA team, I understand it can be difficult to stay impartial but this is something that should be a quality that all pro announcers should strive to achieve.
3 straight triples by Randy Foye extended the lead to 11. Gasol looked like a total wimp in this game, getting outplayed and looking completely worthless in the post. The low point came when he launched a three pointer. I realize he has a nice touch and can hit the three, but his post skills are completely going to waste by him standing around outside moping around with a defeated look on his face.
Unfortunately in the fourth quarter, the Lakers reverted to their “pass the ball to Kobe and get out of the way” style of ball. Kobe went on a tear, but there lies two inherent problems with this scenario.
1) Kobe knows better than anyone that this approach just won’t get the job done.
2) Where was this intensity early on in the game? Especially considering that I read somewhere that Pau Gasol recently stated that if the Lakers didn’t start the game with a lead, doubt would creep into their minds on their chances of grabbing the victory. Really? I sure hope this isn’t true, because that’s one of the most pathetic things I have ever heard. Man up, Spaniard.
I love how Harpring is already writing them off, saying the Lakers aren’t as good as everyone thought they would be. How many times do they need to be reminded that we’re still building up our chemistry and adjusting to a brand new offense, as well as the fact that our two best players are playing injured. Not to mention Nash wasn’t around either, and we have a total joke of a clown. Wait a few weeks, and then the patience of the veteran fans will certainly pay off as many break their angles jumping off the Lakers bandwagon. You guys know who you are.
As Metta quizzically shot a three pointer with the last possession, the camera was zoomed in on Kobe, who was halfway to the locker room at that point. The body language didn’t look good, and Kobe looks extremely frustrated. It’ll be interesting to see his reactions and how the team regroups for the next game.
Yet another disappointing and downright lackadaisical performance by the Lakers after they briefly righted the ship against the Pistons. The team just looks lost without any identity, and frustrations seem to be mounting regarding the new offense. What caught my eye were Metta’s 12 FG attempts vs. Gasol’s 9. No way in HELL should Peace be chucking up more shots than Pau. Coach Brown doesn’t seem to be doing much; Jackson would have most certainly given his players an earful by this stage. Of course, comparing the two is like comparing copper to gold but at least act like you give a damn Mike Brown. This guy’s a goner in the near future.
Overall, the problems obviously still remain. Blake is still infuriatingly deficient, Jamison is still struggling badly, and the bench is still in absolute disarray. It looks as though the starters will really have to pull their weight for this team to stand a chance until our 2nd unit gets it together. Apparently, Brown has decided to plug in Metta into the 2nd unit to try to balance out this anomaly. Really, Metta at the two? I can only shudder at the thought of him chucking up threes with the 2nd unit. Brown just doesn’t have the charisma and respect to enforce his will on his players, and it’s clearly showing in their performance or lack thereof. Let me get this straight, we managed to get a capable 2 in Jodie Meeks who is sitting in the doghouse, so now we’re going to switch Metta to the two? What the hell is this dude thinking?
As far as the dude who pepper sprayed a Utah Jazz fan after the loss, really dude? It’s people like you that instills the wrong image of Laker fans to the rest of the world. Be passionate, don’t be stupid. There’s a big difference, it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out.