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Lakers responded to last season's loss to Charlotte with more inconsistency

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The Lakers responded in various ways following their double-digit loss to Charlotte.

Coach Phil Jackson maintained an even-keel attitude, as did Lamar OdomKobe Bryant vowed he'd meet with the team to discuss the state of the Lakers. And center Andrew Bynum complained about a lack of opportunities in the post.

Just to clarify: This is the response the Lakers showed after their loss to Charlotte in the 2009-10 season. As far as their most recent loss to the Bobcats, the team appeared equally frustrated and calm. Bynum again complained about a lack of touches and minutes. Jackson appeared so disgusted that he talked to reporters for about 10 seconds but was kind enough to give the team Monday off. Bryant, meanwhile, avoided talking to the media altogether.

The Lakers have clearly been down this path before, with poor regular-season performances adding frustration to a fan base expecting at least a reasonable effort and at most leaving some questioning whether L.A. is championship caliber. The  Lakers' 2009-10 season featured a happy ending, but the way the team responded to its 98-83 loss March 5 to the Bobcats wasn't exactly a model concept to follow. Instead, it just illustrates how the maddening unpredictably and inconsistency the Lakers provide are neither a definitive answer on whether they're locked in at a championship level or if they're doomed to unravel.

The Lakers (38-18) have an easy chance to rebound Wednesday against Cleveland (9-46), which owns the league's worst record. But last year's performance following the loss to the Bobcats brings up some points to ponder. First here are some differences. The Lakers owned the West's best record by a comfortable margin last season even through their inconsistency. The Lakers this season are currently 8½ games behind the San Antonio Spurs (46-9) and one game behind the Dallas Mavericks (38-16) for the top spots in the West. The loss to the Bobcats came in March last year instead of just before the All-Star break. And the Lakers' 4-7 record in their last 11 games partly pointed to the sidelining of Bynum for his strained left Achilles and limiting Bryant because of a sprained right knee, two concerns that trumped needing wins considering that the Lakers owned the Western Conference's best record.

But the way the Lakers responded after their loss to Charlotte last year showed the same maddening consistency as they demonstrated on their seven-day trip, with a 4-0 start followed by double-digit losses. On paper, the Lakers won their next seven games, perhaps signifying things had turned around. Far from it. The Lakers needed Bryant to make a game-winner against Toronto. They displayed improved effort but had inconsistent execution against Phoenix. They committed 24 turnovers against Golden State. They had a second-quarter letdown that featured one point from the bench against Sacramento. And they also blew third- and fourth-quarter leads to Minnesota and Washington, respectively. All in all it was an effort that entailed only one victory against an above-.500 opponent, leading Jackson to challenge the team to go undefeated on its five-game trip.

They instead responded with a 2-3 trip for all the same reasons. It appeared the Lakers had turned things around with a balanced effort against Utah, but the Lakers laid an Easter egg two days later against San Antonio because of poor team chemistry. The Lakers may have improved their urgency, most notably in the past three games. By the time the Lakers reached that point, they threw away their goal in compiling 60 wins and worried solely about staying healthy.

So as the Lakers move forward, don't be surprised if they follow the same path. This by no means excuses their attitude. They frankly roll the dice too often and feel further validated when things work out. But for better and worse, this is how the Lakers operate, leaving fans split with frustration, concern and optimism on what the end result looks like.

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant works in the post against Bobcats forward Stephen Jackson in the first half Monday night. Credit: Sam Sharpe / US Presswire

 
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The Lakers are always consistently inconsistent sometimes. Yet more often than not, they're infrequent with being consistent. This paradox is contradictory in the fact that they are walking contradictions of a paradoxical nature.

DBDH!

And in an odd year, Lamar Odom is the most consistent Laker of all. Ironically, the same year he turned it on for a full season, Blake Griffin a rookie who missed all of last year, from his former team beats him this year (well deserved). Seriously this is just another perfect example of the Lakers being "consistently inconsistent" DBDH! Just another one of these wacky stories that make you go what??? Crazy, but it is what it is.

Mark, in your opinion, do u think their inconsistencies will become less and less closer to the playoffs?

Yikes...MM you're about to really send the blog in a trading frenzy!

@mclyne – reppin LBC…yes! You dug deep for that one. And follow up with George…even better!

@Lew – welcome back. Pink in the house...I know you must be feeling better.


@Magia – actually the G-Funk credit goes to DBDH!

I've pretty much stayed away from the trade talk...but I will chime in and say I wouldn't consider Rudy and upgrade over Shannon. We're already complaining about too many outside shots and sometimes Rudy plays like he's allergic to the lane....too many 3's.

Mark,
The Lakers play tonight against Cleveland, not Thursday as your article states.

The Lakers are always consistently inconsistent sometimes. Yet more often than not, they're infrequent with being consistent. This paradox is contradictory in the fact that they are walking contradictions of a paradoxical nature.

DBDH!

Posted by: Don't Blame Del Harris! | February 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM
===========================

Would Fisher be a walking contradictions of a paradoxical nature?

Fisher, an NBA player. A *starter* nonetheless.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHgo4tPIjvk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3GHYPUiNwg&feature=related

"This by no means excuses their attitude. They frankly roll the dice too often and feel further validated when things work out. But for better and worse, this is how the Lakers operate, leaving fans split with frustration, concern and optimism on what the end result looks like."

Pretty much sums it up nicely, couldn't have said it better myself.

Read this article though http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=18787

Eric Pincus on new TV deal :Even with the future windfall, such a trade is certainly a stretch and there's no guarantee the Lakers would even entertain such a deal from a basketball standpoint, although sources say getting Mayo while his value is low is intriguing. If LA took on Thabeet too, they would be adding on about $6.2 million in additional salary (although more than half would have already been paid out). The tax bill on top after the season would be for the full $6.2 million.

Mark Medina,

"But for better and worse, this is how the Lakers operate, leaving fans split with frustration, concern and optimism on what the end result looks like."

An aptly succinct summary.

Outsiders wonder why so many Lakeraholics are chicken littles, it's because they do this to us so often. (By the way, bandwagoneers are not Lakeraholics.)

Those of us with a long vision know this and anticipate it... and deal with it. Those of us with short vision and long memories flash back to Finals losses to the Celtics, Knicks and Pistons... and freak the frick out.

Keep in mind that no team has LOST as many Championship series as the Lakers.

There's a lot of pain there. Ask Jerry West.

So, when the Lakers get crushed by the fricken Bobcats (The Bobcats? Really?) it is enough to drive a Lakeraholic into epileptic fits.

But it is their way, harsh as it is, we still love them.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

@PointFordward, thnks, good article. Dr. Buss thinking 3 steps ahead of everyone else. Not surprised.


Fascinating article, no doubt.

but...........................................

Yet again, another Shannon Brown trade. I'm just going to summarize the fine point in his contract.

Early Bird exception

This is the lesser form of the Larry Bird Exception. Free agents who qualify for this exception are called "early qualifying veteran free agents," and qualify after playing two seasons without being waived or changing teams as a free agent. Using this exception, a team can re-sign its own free agent for either 175% of his salary the previous season, or the NBA's average salary, whichever is greater. Early Bird contracts must be for at least two seasons, but can last no longer than five seasons. If a team agrees to a trade that would make a player lose his Early Bird Rights, he has the power to veto a trade.

Despite some fan(s) desires, Mitch Kupchak went to the Anderson school of Management and Graduated. Trying to trade a backup SG with an early bird exception is a waste of Mitch's time. He would have to dance with Shannon, with Jim Buss, possibly Dr. Buss himself, Memphis, Lionel Hollins, OJ Mayo and Hasheem Thabeet. It's a waste of his time.

OJ Mayo is a talent, there is no question. Players usually take a step forward in their third years. He hasn't. For whatever reasons, he's coming off the bench. Would Dr.Buss pay for talent? Sure, hasn't stopped in the past.

Hasheem Thabeet, there's too much to write on him coming to the Lakers, just a horrible idea. He wouldn't flourish, he wouldn't get all that much playing time. He's a project, raw, it's hard to say what will happen. I don't get that excited, thinking about his potential.

These reasons are inconsequential. Again, Shannon won't veto his clause this year. He's going to be a Laker until July 1st.

Sonnybelfast, Chiang Mai is in northern Thailand... nowhere near Indonesia.

Posted by: David | February 15, 2011 at 07:58 PM

Good going David. You get an A.
Actually it's up to a ten hour flight from Chiang Mai to Jakarta,
with a layover in Bangkok, of course.
Actually made the trip a few times myself,
back in the day. Rob...some trivia...
what great movie is this from?

http://www.last.fm/music/Vangelis/_/L%27EnfantHollyweird.

I won't even bother you folks for a few days.
I know you're gonna be feeling really bad in only a few hours.
But Cleveland...really...how did that happen?

Go Kings!

Sonnybelfast


Notwithstanding all of the excuses and lack of
motivation assertions, could the plain truth be as
simple as the Lakers are not that good this year when
other teams have gotten better?
tion

Try that link again

http://www.last.fm/music/Vangelis/_/L%27Enfant

Sonnybelfast

tips hat to LRob*

Nate Dogg says hello.

This DJ be Warren D...BDH!


DBDH!

Sean,

Why are you so certain that SB would not veto his Bird rights? Are you a pesonal friend that has talked to him? Just curious.
Players have various reasons to agree to be traded, if they have a say, and not all of them are career-oriented. I believe Shannon wants to stay with the Lakers in the hopes of winning another championship. However, after this season he may exercise his player option and become a free agent again. So, if the right situation were to present itself now, and he believes that another team will offer him a long term lucrative contract at the end of the season, he might go for it.
Many times family dictates where these players want to play, or a particular location that has to do with where they grew up or went to school. So, as much as you're right about Shannon's Bird rights, it's not an impossibility for him to agree to be traded.
Having said that, I do believe he goes nowhere and plays with us through the season. There's a better chance of Blake and the rooks to be involved in a trade, if there were to be one. The Lakers options for trades are very minimal, unless they pull the blockbuster deal, which I highly doubt.
GO LAKERS!

DBDH, LRob,

My fave from the G funk era

Rat tat tat.. tat... dee dee dum dee dee dum
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EngnPYe_NE&feature=related

We are not going to lose tonight. We can't. If we lose all hell will break loose, burning rocks will fall from the sky, players will get traded, PJ will be asked to leave early (an an obvious lame duck) and we will have lost every bit of swagger that we still desperately clings to. It can't happen tonight - not against Cleveland. It is the first "must win' of the season. I think we will respond. When our backs are against the wall, we come through. There is no doubt in my mind because...

I am a Lakerholic.

@ Magia32, LRob, and the rest... a forgotten fave!

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/sy-10889360/mista_grimm_indo_smoke_official_music_video/

Nothing like watching a dated video with blurred out brand name clothing.

DBDH!


@DOC4DALAKESHOW... I agree with what you say about the players looking to penetrate rather than taking outside shots. When we take so many jump shots, especially long and corner 3’s, we often end up igniting the other team’s transition offense. For a big but slower team like the Lakers, efficiently running their Triangle Offense is the basic building block for playing solid team defense. That is a point that I’ve been repeating over and over this year and that Jerry West recently listed as the main problem that needs correcting and the reason the Lakers defense has struggled.
...
What is interesting is the difference in offensive strategy between the Lakers and the Celtics in preventing other teams from taking advantage of the their size by pushing the ball in transition. By design, the Lakers use the great spacing afforded by properly running the Triangle Offense to ensure that they have players in position to get back on defense as well as in position to attack the offensive boards. The Celtics, on the other hand, simply just have everybody get back after a shot is taken, believing that strong transition defense is more important than offensive rebounding. That strategy, combined with their league best shooting percentage, is why the Celtics statistically are a very poor rebounding team. They sacrifice offensive rebounds for transition defense.
...............................
TOM

ANY Lakerholic who wastes time worrying a game in bleepin February will affect the playoffs in distant April needs to take a long weekend off. With plenty of brain rest.

~~ confirmed Lakerholic since '64

I'm bored.

So I came up with a new theory to float here...

The Lakers are losing all these games INTENTIONALLY.

That's right, they're trying to lose games.

They already know they can win the championship, so they're tanking games to try to get as good a draft pick as possible.

Yeah. That's it. I heard it from a very reliable source.

DBDH,

Ahh, the good ol days.

Native Angeleno - I am telling you, this is a must win. They will win, so my point will not be proved. But if they lose... you heard it here first. Not tonight, not against Cleveland, not after getting our ass kicked by the Hornets, not three in a row... Heads will roll. Buss is a patient guy, but he will make some calls. They have to win. They will play with desperation. They will win. They have to. I'm just sayin'... ;-)

LongTimeLakerFan,

That reliable source of yours forgot that we don't have a first round draft pick. We sent it to the Nets along with Sasha. So maybe we are tired of winning and want to see the Nets become a better team, so they know what that's like. I'm bored too. :-)

LTLF,
I hate to break it to you but when to talk into a mirror, it doesn't really count as a reliable source outside of the room you're in.

Now, you have to open the window and allow some oxygen displace some of the fumes from the model glue and spray paint before you become a Celtics fan.

JR

@Laker J- Here's my reason why I'm so sure.

Lakers and free agent point guard Shannon Brown have agreed on a two-year contract worth $4.6 million, Brown’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Thursday morning. ‘Shannon could have made more money somewhere else, but I think he really wanted to play this out with the Lakers,’ Bartelstein said. ‘They’ve won it [all] two years in a row and the chance to win three straight [championships] doesn’t come around every day.’ Brown is likely the last piece of the Lakers’ offseason puzzle. Though the negotiations took longer than expected, he and the team had expressed a desire to work a deal.

You're right about people changing their minds, however, even you realize no team in the NBA will give Shannon Brown, guaranteed money, at his rate. With a lock-out coming down the wire, you're an imaginative optimist J.
Not happening. He's sticking around for the year, he gets a lot of playing time when he's effective, Kobe's been his mentor, and while a lot of people hate on him, he's improved since coming to the Lakers.

And for the record, Artest, Blake and Shannon are all at the league average or above the league average for 3pt %.

Artest is 35% average
Blake is 37% above average
Brown is 38% above average

So from now on, don't refer to these three specific players and say, they're not good 3pt shooters, they're not bad either. We're a middle of the pack 3pt shooting team. Not great, not bad. Just Ok.

So, I keep reading these blog entries that talk about how 2000-2001 was the same poor performances and that Lakers team won the ring.......... And how last year's team had the same tendencies to be lazy and blow games with easy opponents and won the ring.

BIG DIFFERENCE THIS YEAR FROM THOSE YEARS, FOLKS! 2000-2001 we had another HOF in his prime (Shaq) plus many very TOUGH and non-lazy veterans on that team. Last year, as MM pointed out, Lakers had a large lead in the Western Conference standings. Both of these facts made for an easier potential to overcome lazy regular season attrocities. BAD HABITS are what the Lakers have been doing this year and their collective laziness and softness THIS YEAR will be almost impossible to overcome. They are now 6th in the NBA and moving down. At their current rate of poor attitude and random play, they will end up about 9th, IMO. They may even be challenged by the Suns in the Pacific, which is ludicrous! Maybe 5th in WC.......

So knock off the Pollyanna crap and examine the difference in those two scenarios to this year's disaster. I have been involved in watching/coaching/playing live basketball at the highest levels for almost 60 years and this year is different. It truly is............which is why many of us are distraught - and not because we are trolls or bandwagoners!

Lakers fans here would kick the _ _ _ _ out of opponents with our passion, but we can't, so we worry ourselves to a frenzy while our window of opportunity continues to close (Kobe's career trajectory). That is why the worry from this fan is so intense. There may be others who feel the same? I was a fan in the '70s when it was impossible to hope for a Lakers dynasty.

In #24 (8) we ride!

Hi
I want lakers to Play better and win. I am a die hard lakers fan.

Give LTLF a break! At least he is trying to come up with a viable explanation for why we are playing like a bunch of punks... ;-) - and not in a good way like The Sex Pistols or The Ramones...

@Laker J- That part about 3pt shooting, wasn't directed at you. It's generally for the bloggers, who think we're the worst shooting team in the league.

Yeah, Steve's below his career average, not a big surprise, a new system, new teammates. He's still firing at 37%, with a lot of ball left.

If anyone's looking for a dropoff in 3pt shooting, it's Kobe. Now, when he hits them they're usually big time shots and he has made 12 in a game. No doubt, can get hot. He's shooting less than 32% this year.

And for some reason when we're talking three point shooting, No one talks about Lamar. He's shooting .374% from beyond the arc. That's like Chris Mully Mull wet from downtown and with his skills when the balls on the floor.
Some peeps need to do some homework and give the Jamaica Queens product some love for serious improvement.

Oh yeah, I forgot about the New Jersey thing...

and my source corrected me - he told me the REAL reason they're losing all these games...

They want to be the lowest seeded team ever to win a championship.

Right now that record is held by the 95 Houston Rockets, who win the title from a 6 seed. So the Lakers have a lot more games to lose, but they're trying hard to get there.

PROPS to NuggetsCountry for a FRIGGIN OUTSTANDING post!

Might I also add a little thought in this theme.

FORGET and IGNORE the team's leadership expressing anger and dismay -especially the coach. That is all THEATRIC done for PR reason only. They were only trying to mollifying an angry fan base by saying the right things -things that they don't really believe themselves. Basically lip services that's all!

To put it directly the coaching staff may fake indignation but far from it, their attitude is still CAVALIER, INDIFFERENCE and LACKADAISICAL.

As far along as Jackson's reign, that's his entire basketball philosophy: TOUCHY-FEELY ZEN CRAP. A basketball philosophy that stresses softness, cowardness and avoiding confrontation at all costs.

That is why the team with its lineup of SUPER-DUPER STRATOPHERIC talents along with a HUGE payroll consistently UNDER-achieved.

Yes, that included the championships.

Had this team been coached by Gregg Popovich or Doc River or Jeff Van Gundy it would have won not just those championships but won them EASILY in addition to winning 65+ games every single season.

NuggetsCountry,

As long as they win their division, the Lakers are guaranteed a top 4 seed, so they need to play well enough to hold off the Suns. The Suns would have to go on quite a roll or the Lakers would have to totally fall apart for that to happen, but I suppose it could.

However, and this is important, if a lower seed than the Lakers in the other 2 WC divisions has a better record, that team gets HCA in the playoffs.
So even though they get a top 4 seed, they could be facing a 5,6,7 seed with a better record and thus, not have HCA.

But that appears pretty unlikely as well, at this point.

Art: Good factual clarification, but I am talking/worrying about HCA & the trend this team is showing will mean losing that for much if not all of the playoffs, however long they last for the Lake Show. (Unlikely we would be playing Suns, but who knows.)

Some sort of attitude adjustment will be necessary after ASG for this team to allow my antacid supply to not dwindle so fast. lol

LTLF,
OK, I'll go with that one.
I need a drink!
JUSTA (and not the blogger formerly known as Justamambafan) where are you!!?

JR

The Lakers always come around and play better during the playoffs. Fans have nothing to worry about as the Celtics did the same thing last year and made it to the Finals when the ultimately lost to the Lakers in 7.

NuggetCountry,

Yep, I am on board with the rest of what your comments and share your concerns.
You made some good points.

Another thing, the Lakers have a tough schedule from here on out, except tonight.
The only gimmee's (maybe) are 2 against MN and 1 vs the Kings. They also have the Clippers again twice, but that's no longer a gimmee. Could be interesting.
25 games, could they go 10-15?
Nah...

That strategy, combined with their league best shooting percentage, is why the Celtics statistically are a very poor rebounding team. They sacrifice offensive rebounds for transition defense.
...............................
TOM

Posted by: LakerTom |
===============

And that may be what cost them the Finals last year, they were out rebounded, especially that game 7.

LongTimeLakerFan,

Brilliant observation. It's the only thing that makes sense.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!


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