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Nothing goes right for Lakers in loss to Clippers

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The Lakers coaching staff had plenty of reasons to criticize the team following their 102-91 loss Wednesday to the Clippers.

"They just said we played like boneheads," center Andrew Bynum recalled.

The statistics clearly spelled out many of the problems, with the Lakers shooting 38.4% and dishing out only 17 assists. Though the Lakers had hoped Ron Artest's return in the last two games would improve the team's defensive discipline, he's still a work in progress. Meanwhile, the Lakers yielded 54 points in the paint and allowed 26 points in transition.

Even with these daunting statistics, the Lakers have found ways before to overcome poor performances against sub-.500 teams. But they couldn't against the Clippers, who survived 10 ties and six lead changes en route to their first victory over the Lakers in 10 games.

The Lakers were victorious over Houston on Tuesday, thanks to Bynum's dominance inside and Lamar Odom's near-triple-double. Against the Clippers, center Chris Kaman's 21 points and 15 rebounds neutralized Bynum's 15 points and 14 boards, though it was his first double-double in 24 games.

Odom had a near-triple-double against Houston, despite feeling lousy with intestinal-flu-like symptoms that kept him from Monday's practice. Against the Clippers, those symptoms still lingered, and Odom finished with only nine points on three of 11 shooting.

So much for the Lakers having an inside presence to fill the void of Pau Gasol (sore left hamstring), who helped the Lakers clinch a victory last week against Golden State with a pair of clutch free throws.

"I always say the strength of our team is our depth," Odom said. "During the season there will always be people who go down. Of course we miss Pau. But we would miss Drew, Kobe and D-Fish. The strength of our team is our depth. So we’re prepared for that to happen. We just didn’t play well tonight."

The Lakers missed Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant, but they were still present on the court. Fisher sat out the entire fourth quarter for the third time in the last week, going one of three for three points while backup guard Shannon Brown had 15 (the rest of the bench had eight points).

In a win on New Year's Day against Sacramento, the Lakers survived a 20-point deficit with Bryant making his third game-winner of the season. Against the Clippers, he finished with 33 points on 10 of 30 shooting. Though his 17 third-quarter points helped narrow the Clippers' lead to 79-73 entering the fourth quarter, it wasn't enough -- a rare case when Bryant couldn't successfully fight through the fracture to his right index finger.

"It’s sore," Bryant said. "It’s OK. I played through it."

Instead, it was the play of Clippers guards Baron Davis (25 points, 10 assists) and Eric Gordon (18 points) that dominated the backcourt.

"He was looking to ride that streak he got going in the third quarter," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said of Bryant."I tried to give him some rest. He got five or six minutes of rest, but he couldn’t regenerate that in the fourth."

Even though the Lakers still stand with an impressive 28-7 record, Bynum fears Wednesday's loss presents serious issues.

"We can't continue to play like that," Bynum said. "It's going to wear us out later on in the season."

-- Mark Medina

Photo: Josh Powell, left, Rasual Butler and Kobe Bryant await a rebound during the Clippers' 102-91 victory over the Lakers on Wednesday night. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times.

 
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Lets just call it like it was. The Lakers looked TIRED! Kobe wasn't able to get going, Fish was off, and Lamar on a back to back with stomach problems.

Yes it was disturbing to watch, but we just didn't have it last night. Tip-o-the cap to the clips.

Lack of focus. Bynum is not "dominant" yet, Odom is wildly inconsistent, Fisher is weak-mediocre, the bench guards can't be depended on, Artest is still fitting in.

They need Gasol, they need Walton, they need Kobe to stay within the offense.

Same as always.

DFish+
No D+
No effort+
No shooter+
No ball or team movement
= No W.

There. Save yourself the trouble. That pretty much summarizes it.

"Former Lakers guard Coby Karl was waived Wednesday by the Cleveland Cavaliers."
-
Hmmmmm... I do like that kid.

I'm having a problem with Phil's rotations/tinkerings:

In the first half he throws out there an offensively challenged lineup consisting of Farmar, Brown, Mbenga, Powell, and Artest (who hasn't been himself yet).

Then;

7:00Josh Powell enters the game for Lamar Odom

Ya, that's normal, right? Powell at crunch time, right when the Clippers bring back their starters. Oh, and the Clippers score the next 9 points. And then Odom comes back, with 4:37 to go. Way to go, Phil. Let's just spot them 9 points at crunch time and see how that goes.

2:55Ron Artest enters the game for Sasha Vujacic

Really? Your only starter with a positive +/-, and he's been sitting? Oh, and just for kicks, let's mess with him some more, just in case he was planning on being productive. Let's start him in the 4th, pull him with 6 minutes to go, and then throw him back in with 3 minutes. Ya, that seems like a good idea.

You can't deny there's something going on, even if it's not to the extent I'm proposing. Maybe he was ordered to pay Mbenga and Vujacic so we can trade them, maybe he's teaching us a lesson in humility, maybe he wants us to focus that much more when we play Portland next, maybe he wants to get rid of the rediculous notion of beating the 72-10 record, but there's something else happening.

Scottie,
Odom is sick, Powell played well the previous game, no Gasol so Mbenga is the back up center, Vujacic has been playing fairly well lately. As far as Artest, it's not like he was setting the world on fire. He was just in his second game (a back-to-back) after being out for a number of games with a concussion, so it was very reasonable to take it realtively easy with him.

Our weakness at the PG spot is our trojan horse for teams to penetrate the Lakers for a win... Especially the way BD lit it up, wow.

I thought Kobe's rest was a bit too long; he seemed to be out of sync when he came back. Anyhow it is a long season, plus injuries so games like these are unavoidable. The Clippers played hard and they deserved the win; in the NBA nobody gives you anything; its a dog fight every night; the Lakers did not show up with energy and intensity possibly because the have beaten the Clippers last 9 games and at the same time the Clips did not want to make it 10.

The Pacific isn't the pushover it was last season. SAC and the Clips and GS are all better this time around with lots of talent.

SAC should take flight once they get their guards healthy, and the Clips might be able to use Griffin if he ever gets healthy. GS is downright scary at times and have beat BOS, ORL and CLE this season (I believe).

And of course PHX just capped off a nice win over HOU. Nash has 56 pts in the past two games and is somehow posting better #s than he ever has. He is right behind Mark Price for all-time best FT % following his 13-13 FT shooting in SAC the other night.

The West in general seems better than ever this season. Not so many gimme games to be had anymore.

Laker fan-

I feel your pain. Apparently those back to backs are tough even for young fresh legs. Maybe Kobe should have played all 48 mins. With all this rest Phil is giving him .. he should be very fresh come April.

I WANT TO PUT SOME GOOD ENERGY OUT THERE

i know what will go on in a few hours.

this is the first loss of Lakers to an under .500 team. at least it was on the road. :-)

but, we r doing Porland next, we need to break the losing streak in the Rose Garden. let those roses dry up.

and i hope, now, L will start to win against OVER .500 teams. it is right in time before the Texas 2 step (SA & Dallas) and after that Orlando and especially on the 8 game road trip - cleveland and beantown.

does the name Beantown comes from Kobe being chanted MVP in Boston?

also i know, that somewhere, in the snowy Ohio, Jon K is basking in glory, drooling over the Clippers victory. only for 10 days. next week on friday we can put them again in their place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

please, don't get to carried away today. :-)

DFisher is done. He is too old, too slow, plays no defense, and cannot score. How Coach Jackson continues to play him is questionable. Fisher looks like a lost chile in a crowd of professional players. The entire NBA guards run circles around him and shoot over him without problems. Clipper Davis showed just how bad Fisher is in his play. Fisher would do all good to placed himself on the bench permently and allow Brown and Farmar to get more playing time and develop. Bynum is another story in itself and he wants to be on the NBA all-star team ?? Come on, be serious !!

Fisher was absolutely awful. Has anyone on earth ever seen Andrew Bynum run? This guy never sprints on the court. He's one paced, slow. Try hustling some time, my man.


The CLips are likable enough as long as they keep losing to the Lakers.

Somewhere Jon K is fighting with himself.

JohnnyV,

Coby Karl did have a nice shot.

He knows the system.

He would make an excellent double agent after infiltrating the heart of LeBroniac Nation.

Hmmm...

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

I have been a blog reader since Kobe hit 81 on Toronto, i happened along the site to get a local feel for the event, anyway, I read EVERYDAY, and am a Life long laker fan, except for the affair I had w/ a certain 66 guy in Chicago, (whole 'nother story) anyway. I feel LA plays to the comp. each night, I find myself yelling at Jordan, cause he is selfish, and wondering why the heck KB24 shoots all the time. in my opinion and its just that, we would be much better as a team is KB avg. 6 plus assists a game with maybe 25 pts. and Dfish needs to go to the bench. as a team we are good, but not great, just being honest. they defer to KB too, much, I dont blame them but the rest of the gang are professional as well. step up.I have proposed a trade or two. here they are... Bynum for Bosh and jarret jack, and AMMO and farmer to make the $ work, and Bynum to nets for Harris, and Lopez, plus whoever for the $. it help answer our most glaring weakness PG, and it get the kid in a position he obvious needs A LEAD on a team, lopez is a grinder, harris is quick enough and will grind for Champ, bosh wants out of oh canada, and would work well with Gasol... I will post more going forward. always enjoy the post of the vets here Jonk, lakertom, faith, etc! GO Lakers!

Clippers: confident, a statement game, a definitive game plan to beat the Lakers, yada, yada, yada.... Oh, and a decent triple threat point guard.

Lakers: Ron Artest's second game back, Pau's injured, Luke's injured, and I don't think they started playing defense 'til the end. Night 2 of a back to back....

All in all, I somewhat expected this. Troubling? Somewhat, though I'd still say the loss to the Mavs and Cavs were more humbling. But before we get ahead of ourselves, the Clips are 1 for the last 10 against the Lakers. But the biting aspect of it is....they won the last one.

Still, I'll say for the Clippers, getting to watch the Lakers almost night in and night out affords them the best scouting opportunity out of anyone in the league. Everyone watches the Lakers, and they live in the Laker's city (not the other way around). They definitely played their game plan.

As our former Blog Lord alluded to in the ESPN pre-game, if Eric Gordon had been on another team, he'd be more highly touted. He's pretty good. Overall, I like the way the Clips are playing, and I think when Griffin comes back, they'll truly surprise that bottom half of the playoff picture.

Why does Fisher start ? He has the lowest field goal % of the team. This is a Phil Jackson superstition.

Again Bynum is softer than ice cream! He made a few 8 ft shots missed way to many 2 ft shots (missed by 1 ft) and his as the great Chic Hearns would say, "matador defense." zerooooooooooo. I WILL CONTINUE TO WRITE THAT THE LAKERS WILL NOT WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP UNLESS HE SITS LIKE LAST YEAR AND ODEM COMES IN FOR HIM DURING LONG STRETCHES OF THE GAME. BYNUM IS A MOMENTUM CHANGER! (THE WRONG TYPE)


The Lakers coaching staff had plenty of reasons to criticize the team following their 102-91 loss Wednesday to the Clippers.

"They just said we played like boneheads," center Andrew Bynum recalled.

THIS IS A COMPLIMENT TO BYNUM-VERY LOW BASKETBALL IQ

VMan,

"Somewhere Jon K is fighting with himself."

True. I love to see the Clippers play well. I hate to see the Lakers lose.

I guess it's safe to say that losing to the Clippers hurts less than losing to anyone else. If the Lakers would have put on the same performance against the Celtics, Cavs, Trailblazers, Suns, Mavs, or Nuggets, I'm sure I would have knocked over all the bookcases in my living room and tore out all the stuffing from my couch.

Luckily, that was not the case.

I am hopeful about the Clippers. Beating the two best teams in the NBA (Lakers and Celtics) is not something that the Clippers have previously been good at. We all seem to easily forget that the Blake Griffin is the best rookie in the NBA right now. He will have an impact when he returns. In addition, the Clippers have the Timberwolves' draft pick next year. So, there's reason for future optimism.

The biggest problem with the Clippers is Baron Davis. If we think that we, as Lakers fans, get frustrated with the inconsistency of Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom, imagine having to have your team driven by Baron Davis.

Last night was like watching Magic Johnson with a beard push his team and distribute the ball. Some of Baron's bounce passes last night were things of pure beauty. He CAN be that good night in and night out, but he instead chooses to phone it in 55-60% of the time. It's enough to pull one's hair out.

It would be nice to see the Clippers maybe upset someone in the first round of the playoffs, perhaps have a hallway series eventually. That would be cool.

But the Lakers are the better team, as should be the natural order of things.

It just looks like we need some rest. We've got a lot of season left and unless The Bench Mob starts soaking up some more minutes, we could become succeptible to fatigue and, with that, injuries.

Cause for concern.

Go Clippers!!!!

GO LAKERS!!!!!

TPeso29,

Nice to have you aboard.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

"We played like boneheads," said Bynum, who was coming off strong outings against Dallas and Houston. "I was out there missing buckets, it was a tough shooting night for everyone, but we can't let that stop us from winning."

HE DOESNT GET IT. DEFENSE WINS. POINTS IN THE PAINT 54-34. HOW MANY TIMES DID KAMAN ROLL TO THE BASKET AND EVERYONE EXCEPT BONEHEAD BYNUM!!!

AKA Scottie,

"In the first half he throws out there an offensively challenged lineup consisting of Farmar, Brown, Mbenga, Powell, and Artest (who hasn't been himself yet)."

If Phil doesn't start putting The Bench Mob in key stretches of games during the first half of the season, then we won't be able to put them in key stretches during the second half of the season, AND then The Bench Mob will be useless in the playoffs and, thus, our Achilles' Heel.

Yes, I understand your frustration, but you've got to see the big picture here. Remember what we're playing for.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

LakerTom,

This one's for you:

http://tinyurl.com/ydfuyq4

Excuse me, I'm now going to take my three legged dog on a walk through the snow to investigate the strength of the ice on a nearby frozen pond. Try that with your cat sometime.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

JohnnyV, Coby Karl is better than Morrison IMO.

And let's face it, 2 Kobe's are better than one....

131-92:

Yeah, that back to back hurt us for sure. The Clips might actually start to get some respect. Sorry that your team has had injury issues as well. How's KG and PP doing? When are they supposed to be back?

MM,

In your post game comments you didn't say mention a single word on dfish and his horrible play... What is your take on dfish? Do u think he deserves to start and average over 30 minutes?

I don't get it.. Its like everyone witnessed a horrible murder and no ones saying a thing.

Lakers lost the game, the leprechaun reappears on MM blog. No welcome from any troll but just waiting for any Laker debacle before they post. It never change, and wait till they become a dominant team, you'll hear more leprechauns chattering.

With regards to the Lakers loss to the Clippers, with the resurgence of young Clippers on b2b w/o Pau, do you really believe Lakers could get a sweep on them this season? The first two games with the Clippers were awfully close and last night Baron Davis was the king of the court and he was in the company of Kaman, Smith, Butler and Gordon. On the Laker side, it was Kobe-Shannon which was not enough. Unfortunately, Kaman-Smith did better in the post than Bynum-Odom, they were out rebounded, out foxed and out scored as well. As we have said before, if Bynum could not fill up the void of Pau's numbers in the post, we lose the game. He has to assert himself and not just waiting to be fed.

Jonk

The biggest problem with your clippers is not baron davis but donald sterling and then mike dunleavy.


Someone explain to me how a couple of their guards could dribble right through the paint, and get one layup after another without being contested. And where is this great Ron Artest defense when we need it.

I think the temperature here is just about right. The Lakers may have played a bad game, but the Clippers also have some good pieces and had dropped nine in a row to their roommates. The law of NBA averages, particularly with a team in title defense mode, makes losses like this inevitable. The "overdog" just wants to get through the game. The "underdog" comes with playoff intensity, particularly at the champs, and ESPECIALLY if those champs are the Lakers.

Teams get up to play the Lakers REGARDLESS of the record. Expect to see more losses like this along the way.

yellow fever - I definitely highlighted D-Fish's bad play in this sentence don't you think? "Fisher sat out the entire fourth quarter for the third time in the last week, going one of three for three points while backup guard Shannon Brown had 15 (the rest of the bench had eight points)."

Today's post obviously showed that the Lakers presented many areas of concern against the Clippers. But it is fair to point out during the live chat that many people were talking about Fisher's play. While he definitely struggled defensively against Baron Davis, so did the rest of the team. He had more problems offensively where he had bad entry passes, had four turnovers and only went one of three from the field.

Fisher's poor shooting is nothing new. It's well documented that he went through a shooting slump during the playoff run last year, and then coming up with big shots against Orlando.

Phil's reluctance to limit Fisher's minutes may have to do more with his lack of confidence in consistent bench play than anything else. Don't forget I did point out that Fisher has sat out the entire fourth quarter in three games in the past week.

I think the boneheads note delivered and addressed in the locker room summonizes completely the inmost essence of this game.

I personally look forward to tomorrow battle.

Time for ending that 8 game black cloud over our shining purple&gold sun.

Bonehead time no more, thanx.

Not only was the loss not troubling, it was expected. Lakes were coming off a tough game against Houston, who really are the hardest playing team in the NBA. The Clips, who we had beaten 9 times in a row, have been playing well lately. It's hard to beat ANY team 10 times in a row. Lastly B. Davis, when he brings it, is a great player. All those things add up to a pretty decent chance of the Lakers losing.

@Edwin Gueco how do you get Kaman-Smith out rebounded Bynum-Odom? LO and Drew had 30 rebounds, Kaman-Smith had 20.

Mark G & Jon K. -

I completely agree. Baron could easily be a super-duper-star (even considering a great deal of his athleticism was robbed due to his knee injury), but he does seem like he phones it in a lot.

Oh well. There's always another game. Tip the hat to the Clips for putting on a show.

i look forward for another Kobe buzzer-beater in Rose Garden so they will be paralyzed 4 another 6 years

I thought Phil should have kept Kobe in while he was feeling it. But i also think once Kobe came back in the game he was looking to shoot on every possession where it started to become predictable and the Clippers just pulled away.

Jon K,

I hear you about needing the bench mob, I just think the substitution patterns were to erratic to be effective. If you're going to rest Artest for 3 minutes in the 4th quarter, either do it the same way every game, or at least make it make sense. It's not fair to Artest and Powell to keep replacing one for the other without contiguous playing time.

As for Fisher, I agree that he shouldn't be starting. He still can't make a layup in traffic, can't defend the quick guards, and seems to commit at least one silly fouls every game (last night it was the foul right before halftime).

All love,

Scottie.

yellofever,

"The biggest problem with your clippers is not baron davis but donald sterling and then mike dunleavy."

I'm not sure that's entirely true.

Those two can be frustrating at times, but if you know the history of the Clippers pre-Dunleavy, it was generally pretty horrifying with the exception of the brief Odom-Brand-Darius Miles Era.

It seems that Dunleavy has convinced Sterling to actually begin spending some money and that's led to a more talented cast of Clippers than we've seen before.

Go Clippers!!!!

GO LAKERS!!!!

Is it possible that the Clips are entering into a new era of respectable basketball? It sure seems like it. Lots of solid pieces and a decent pipeline of talent. If they were a stock, I'd be investing.

Kudos to them, as i have no problem having a second team to root for, and no problem at all knowing exactly which team I'm rooting for when the two meet [GO LAKERS!].

Here's a simple question: I think we all recognize that the Lakers are an exceptionally good but flawed team. The flaws are our weak guard play (bad D, no penetrators, poor spot-up shooting) and inconsistent play down low. ARE THE LAKERS GOING TO MAKE ANY TRADES THIS YEAR OR NOT? I'd like to see us at least roll the dice and pick up one more athletic guard for AMMO. I don't think Sasha has any trade value though, mark my words, he will regain all of his form on the next team he plays for (he will play so much better on a small market club).

Peace,

"Teams get up to play the Lakers REGARDLESS of the record."

Correct. When the Lakers play, you have a larger crowd and greater intensity, which is ultimately good for the Lakers (if a little exhausting). The reason being that the Lakers are essentially playing the entire season at playoff-lite intensity and no other team has to so consistently pump up its game to win.

As a result, the Lakers train at picking up their game, while other teams do not; thus better empowering us for the playoffs.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

131-92:

Yeah, that back to back hurt us for sure. The Clips might actually start to get some respect. Sorry that your team has had injury issues as well. How's KG and PP doing? When are they supposed to be back?

Posted by: Caliphilosopher | January 07, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Thanks for asking. PP is back. He played last nite.

Lakers lost the game, the leprechaun reappears on MM blog. No welcome from any troll but just waiting for any Laker debacle before they post. It never change, and wait till they become a dominant team, you'll hear more leprechauns chattering.

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | January 07, 2010 at 10:22 AM

I was offering my sincere condolences. Having just lost to the Clipps, I know how you must be feeling this morning.

When do you expect the Lakers to become a domainant team? I thought this was that year? I must admit they are dominant when it comes to buzzer beaters. They play great free throw defense in the last minute of games.

These guys are simply too fast for Fisher. It's worse than last year, Baron Davis was simply sizing up Fisher and deciding whether to blow past to the left or to the right. Eric Gordon was too fast when Fisher ended up on him.

- Who do you give the bulk of the minutes to though? Farmar wasn't doing much better and Shannon Brown clearly isn't the greatest passer NOR clock management genius, as sadly... Phil had to stand up and yell at Shannon to not rush a shot up before the end of the quarter. COME ON! That's high school stuff, Shannon still doesn't understand simple clock management or just slowing the pace down when it gets to frantic?
- There ain't no PG to replace Fisher... and I don't believe we have a first round pick this year so... something's gotta give... if Farmar has trade value, we better do it now or lose him for nothing at the end of the season and then become paper thin at the PG slot.

that was the CLIPS Championship game last night, so let 'em have it..Doesn't mean they eclipse the Lakers as the team of L.A.or nothing..We simply stink when we just show up, plain and simply..Our guys, outside of 2 or 3 to be made nameless, are just playing to be playing..Come in with their lazy ball and expect to just launch shots and make highlight reels and not make the simple play and or smartest play and play within the system..IN my opinion, they are too complacent..

We need some new, hungry, yet talent on this team. Somebody who is gonna bring it every night like Craig Smith does for the Clippers, like Ricky Davis does for the Clippers..

I am not suggesting Mitch retool entirely, but I do think an adequate change is needed..We'll see how things unfold but our game has been very inconsistent and now its starting to show.

I see a disturbing trend and if Phil doesn't do anything about it, I am certain it will end up hurting the Lakers. Kobe dominates the ball too much. I thought he was past this selfish and stupid plays after last year's stellar performances but I am wrong. It wasn't just last night's game but almost all the games they have lost. Whenever he believes his supporting cast is not performing, he just comes down the court and if he gets or has the ball, goes one on five. The must infuriating thing about the whole absurd idiocy is that he shoots poorly in these games. He needs to be told that shooting 30% and expecting his team mates to hustle and get rebounds when they will have no chance to make plays when the opportunity presented itself will not wash.

I was at that game and you could tell the Lakers looked tired before the game even started, Kobe had played 41 minutes the night before, Artest wasn't in the flow, Fisher and Odom looked tired as well, Bynum never run's so you can't tell if he's tired or not, but Kaman is a force down low and neutralized Bynum to some extent. Baron Davis was fired up and on, and wanted to beat the Lakers in a bad way, kobe couldn't answer this time. We Can't win them all, NO PAU HURTS US ALOT.

Lakers are not the same team without gasol, the true soul of the team.


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