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Lakers continue poor effort in 95-87 loss to Golden State Warriors

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Walking nearly side by side, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Coach Phil Jackson walked out of a tunnel at Oracle Arena and conversed. There's no use trying to lipread what was on the television screen, but the Lakers' 95-87 loss Wednesday to the Golden State Warriors provides plenty of conversation starters.

The most tempting of course points to the standings implications. The Lakers (55-23) can rule out catching San Antonio (60-19) for the top spot for the Western Conference; the Lakers in the midst of a three-game losing streak and San Antonio having won three consecutive games to lock up the top seeding. The Lakers also shouldn't be surprised if they can't match up with the Chicago Bulls (57-20), winners of four consecutive games, or stay ahead of Boston (54-23). And the Lakers with four games remaining in the regular season aren't exactly solidifying their stake for second place in the Western Conference, owning only a 2 1/2-game edge for second place over Dallas (53-25), though the Mavericks have suffered a four-game losing streak.

No, the most disturbing question is how did the Lakers suddenly morph from a playoff-bound team that went 17-1 following the All-Star break into a disinterested squad that just lost three consecutive games? The difference, statistically speaking, appears staggering. The Lakers during their 12-1 effort in March averaged 101.2 points, 45.2 rebounds, 21.8 assists and 7.8 steals a game, all signs the Lakers looked mostly engaged in ball movement and effort. Through only three games in April, the Lakers have averaged 93 points, 42 rebounds, 19 assists and 5.5 steals, all signs that the ball movement has been sporadic and the effort has been spotty.

I explained in great detail that it's a misnomer the Lakers can simply flip a switch and play good basketball or else their play during their 17-1 run would've happened earlier in the season. But it's very plausible the Lakers can simply flip a switch and play bad basketball, letting all their hard work simply go to waste. What it means in the big picture is that the Lakers' losses were a happy ending for Utah's and Golden State's otherwise sourful seasons. It's also plausible that one game seeing how Denver thrives with more teamwork and less Carmelo Anthony will prepare them should they meet the Nuggets in the playoffs. Regardless of what this means in the long run doesn't matter. It simply needs to stop.

These are the games where starters should be enjoying rest because Jackson is readying them for the postseason and the Lakers are putting together double-digit leads. Instead, Lakers forward Pau Gasol sat for most of the fourth quarter because his 18 points on seven-of-11 shooting also came with a lack of aggressiveness on both ends of the floor. These are the games where Bryant should be enjoying the fact that he doesn't have to carry much of the load. Instead, he entered the game with 6:13 remaining in the game and scored 10 of his team-leading 25 points in hopes it could salvage a late-game, come-from-behind victory. These are the games where the bench should enjoy more opportunities and savor the increased playing time knowing it will be more limited once the postseason starts. Instead the Lakers' reserves once again blew a second-quarter lead that never become retrievable.

The only thing remotely positive to come out of this game was Andrew Bynum's rebounding (17 boards) and the Lakers' strong start, going on a 10-0 run to open the game. Both Bynum, Bryant and Gasol nailed turnaround jumpers. Bryant stole the ball and pulled up for a jumper on the left block and Bynum fed two dump passes that set up open mid-range shots for both Gasol and Derek Fisher. Just like that, it appeared the Lakers put their poor effort against Utah behind them.

But not quite. Despite Jackson's effort in integrating both Bynum and Gasol with the reserves, they still allowed Golden State to put together a 10-0 run and take the lead at 24-23. As entertaining as it was to see Bryant go for a reverse layup in the fourth quarter dra a foul for a three-point play, hit a long jumper off a pick and roll and drive to the basket with ease late in the game as well as Matt Barnes explode for six points in 22 seconds, the Lakers should've never gotten to that point.

It's easy to treat the remaining regular-season games as a nuisance, knowing the playoffs are quickly approaching. But the Lakers should be at their peak once the postseason starts, and the Lakers are nowhere near resembling what they should be once that time comes.

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers power forward Pau Gasol sits on the bench during the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's 95-87 loss to Golden State at Oracle Arena. Credit: Kyle Terada / US Presswire / April 6, 2011

 
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3 pt shooting is gonna kill this team. HOW COULD OUR BENCH BE WORST THAN THEY HAVE BEEN THE LAST TWO YEARS. OKC is close to the 3rd seed. The Lakers better beat Portland and OKC because they could have to play both in the playoffs. The Lakers look like a tired team and part of that is the age of the team. No bench and no shooters bad combination.

Phil Jackson's quote comes in mind, " "fatigue makes cowards of us all." I hope Lakers get all their losing out of their system by playoff time.

This is a far, far-fetched theory but I wonder if the Lakers are going through a grieving process with Phil leaving, especially Kobe who must have a strong attachment to him, positive or negative. Grieving doesn't just happen when someone dies or leaves, but also in anticipation. Perhaps during their winning streak, they were in bargaining stage, "we'll listen to you and play hard if you come back." But maybe now their depressed realizing that he won't. Hopefully, they come to acceptance of Phil leaving come playoff time and play their hearts to send him off the right way - winning a championship!

Overall, the lack of engery and effort from the entire team (minus Bynum) has been hard to watch. They need to finish strong and make sure they stay the 2nd seed in the west.

The second unit needs to get it together. Lamar has been great all season, but these last 3 games have been disappointing (lack of judgement and way too many turnovers) Shannon has to get back to his form from earlier in the season. Whatever he needs to do, more time in the gym...whatever just make it happen in the playoffs. Phil already said that they want/need Shannon to play like he has a chip on his shoulder again. I am totally underwhelmed with Steve Blake this whole season...he has the 15 plus zero point games this whole season (the most on the team). I was thought he was supposed to come in and me a 3-pt shooting specialist. In retrospect he was a bad signing- could have gotten someone for less money I am sure.

At the end of the day, the whole team needs to get it together...bring 100% every night, just don't show effort when you feel like it. And Lamar and Shannon (esp Lamar) have to be the leaders off the bench, they have been here before...make it happen!

Boynamedsue,

Good point.

Kobe Bean will make sure they send off Phil the right way. I just can't see them LOSE in this years playoffs. I'm sure Kobe won't allow that to happen.

The Lakers are unbeatable when it's DO or DIE.


LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

Frankly, I never worry about 0-3.

Also, amazing how some Boston Fans talks smack here, when in fact, they are the ones who are in deeeeeeeeeeppppppp trouble! Good Luck with Nenad at Center. Shaq's not coming back.........LOL!!!!!

As long as we are healthy, THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS.


LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

Point guard position is a huge weakness.
Said it before.

Fisher is a defensive liability and offensively inconsistent.

Don't buy the Fisher veteran argument.
Fisher is terrible however ...

Steve Blake is WORSE!
Blake was the rage on this blog when signed.
Folks said Blake was an UPGRADE over Farmar.

Said then and say now.

Farmar is MUCH better than Blake.

The Lakers current problems can be summed up with two problems- turnovers (lack of focus) and free throws. They have really been missing too many freethrows lately. I think they missed about 10-12 pts last night from free throw shooting. They have got to do better. Also, I don't know but both Pau and Odom are not playing well. Both appear to be uninterested. I'm thinking Odom may be hurt. I love Pau but one thing I have noticed about him is when he gets pushed around early (outplayed, like by David Lee) he does not play well. I've seen it alot this year from Pau. I still think they will win it all, but they need to consistently stay focused. We all saw what they did going 17-1. When they play like that, no one can beat them!

"Pau Gasol's soft reputation continues to be overblown"
April 6, 2011 | 5:08 pm
-- Mark Medina

What a timely and brilliant post/thread!

---------------------------------------

Gasol gave up like 7 points at the end of the 3rd.

A Girlish scrub with pony tail RIPPED the ball out of his hand. (remember the same in the Denver game - it was Nene)

Next possession lost the ball again (same reference - Denver game)

And for the Grand Finale, he shot AN AIR BALL.
(His face looked deflated on the bench while thinking:
"I'm not on the court at the end of this game?
After going 7-9?
What's wrong with Phil?
I'm his favorite player to WATCH")

Why didn't Phil do the benching against Utah and Denver?

I know, I know…

He is the most skilled BIG in the NBA.
He is the Leader of the Lakers.
He is a Superstar.
He is an All Star.
He has CLASS.

If you repeat that many times as the Lakers Mantra, or if the LA Times will repeat it for you together with ESPN, TNT, ABC and Yahoo, you have to believe it!

Sleep well Lakers Nation. Amar'e and Perkins are smiling from the sky!

Wondering how many hours, minutes and seconds will take until the same WRITERS/commentators will look up for excuses for Gasol - the hammy, the knee. Actually Mark Jackson was questioning it at the end of the game with Gasol ostracized on the bench.

"I'm bulimic and I need more Cream Puffs to feel Full. But I'm not a Fool!"

What, me worry?

No, but the DBDH clan is not surprised at all. Typical pre-playoff drama. The number 2 seed has the better bracket match-ups, anyway. Lest we forget the mini-skid/malaise the Lakers went through at this time last year, and the subsequent celebration in June...


DBDH!

Could have not said it better DBDH! Nothing to worry about!

Was there a game last night? Was not aware that Lakers were playing, I thought Butler was playing against an NBA team.

DBDH was right. That fabled switch is again on auto pilot where scare crow C's just stand around in the Center post like those headless statues at the Coliseum in black and white.

Will they ever win again on the remaining games of the season? Scary to make any kind of predictions when the switch is off. It appears that they're betting against themselves to illegal bookies, how'd you expect to win in this kind of scenario while the Coach has an itchy-bit*hy ears and LO on reality TV. His name is no longer LO but a reality moniker,TO. lmao!

It is just a replay of last season, when we lost 4 of the remaining 6 regular season games. A lot of people were saying that the Lakers were not ready for the playoffs and will be upset in the first round.

Oh well, we know how last season eventually ended in a parade on Figueroa, right?

The Nuggets stoled their invincibility cloak. They will be eliminated in the 1st round of the playoffs!

pj should have bench fish along with pau. i will say it
again fish is the weak link on this team,and pj will
continue to play him as long as he is coach,because he
is loyal to fish.there are players on the bench who can
come in an play better than fish.

everything else aside, i think it would be fair to say that there is something wrong with the way the lakers are playing. it appears to me that everyone is looking of an "ANSWER", as if once this was identified, things would fall in play. people have suggested a great number of things to explain this. my feeling is that it is more in line with "death of a thousand cuts" rather than some magic bullet. kobe is injured his hands are a liability to him at this point. pau looks more tired than angry,there needs to be some grieving going on re: pj. when cap left there was a rocking chair for him. i know its different, but there is no closure, blake STILL seems afraid to take a shot when he has it.the worst part of this is that WE can say what we want, but the team is the only one who emotional heavy lifting and steer the I'm afraid all we can do is to rearrange the deck chairs

LAT reported this morning that Spero takes over the position vacated by Joel Meyers. It is a welcome sign, I just hope they (Stu and him) will practice and research some new style in broadcasting during the off season. Bring in some Laker energy and enthusiasm of the youth even though they have aging voices. Chick @ seventies appear in cognizant with what clicks to his audience, he always employ research and continue to improve himself. His known critic is Marge, his wife and producer, Susan Stratton. With Stu, he gives knowledge and critic but sometimes there are so many and takes away from the ball game.

It was also reported that Bill McDonald is lobbying LAT to place his name on radio together wit Mychal. Nope, every time I see the face of Bill on TV, I could imagine a snake-oil salesman at Olivera St peddling something. His competitor is Money Smith with all kinds of goodies in his bag of tricks. I hope they will get a radio play-by-play announcer who could describe the game as though you're on TV, put more energy and excitement to listeners and motorists who're angry parked at a gridlock zone. Well, I suggested Fran Fraschilla, the play-by-play announcer during the Fiba Tournament or perhaps a "unknown" announcer who took broadcasting in our UC or CalState universities. Let's give a chance to our qualified but unemployed youth who are the Lakers future fans, not these recycled broadcasters. lol!

re: PJ, has anyone heard of any plans for his leaving?

Embarrassing.

On a positive notes, at least the Lakers won't have to face these teams that give them so much trouble in the playoffs.

i mean a ceremony to honor him

Fish, Blake and Brown may determine how far the Lakers go this year.
They have been horribly inconsistent.
3-18 from those guys won't cut it.
Why doesn't Bynum get more shots?
I understand his focus is D, but it seems he could be more of a factor offensively as well.
I'd sure rather see him taking more shots than the three guards who can't.
No perimeter threat, it hurts.

Fish, Blake and Brown may determine how far the Lakers go this year.
They have been horribly inconsistent.
3-18 from those guys won't cut it.
Why doesn't Bynum get more shots?
****

I totally agree about Bynum...I wish Bynum got more shots as well. All three guards need to step up big time. I worry more about Blake than Brown or Fisher. Blake has shown NOTHING this season that should suggest that he has potential. I thought he was brought in because of his perimeter shooting ability as well. Brown started off on fire and needs to go back to whatever he was doing at the beginning of the season...and realize if your outside shot it not falling..take it inside!!

Tom Daniels

The Portland Traiblazers will be in the playoffs. While the PSP believe the Lakers should beat them, if we play this way against them come playoffs then we are toast with jelly.

And yes the PSP agree that Bynum does need to get more shots. Also Phil ' sleeping on the bench' Jackson needs to run more plays to get clean open looks for our perimeter players and not just the kick it to the corner for a three.

Thanks
PSP Intern

Bynum doesn't get more shots because Kobe continues to take about as many shots as Bynum and Gasol combined. Between his gambling defense giving up wide open shot after wide open shot, and his propensity to dominate the ball of offense (while shooting a low percentage), Kobe is as much to blame for the last 3 losses as anything.

Seems to me that when your young center plays with the energy and passion that Bynum has shown of late (40 rebounds in last 2 games!) you need to reward that effort by pounding the ball to him. Instead, the Lakers (starting with Kobe, but by no means limited to him) jack up three point shots and just mindlessly swing the ball around the perimeter. Every single half court possession should start with a post-entry pass to Bynum or Gasol. That these guys haven't figured this out yet is really, really disappointing.

Artest, fish, blake, and brown combined for 4 for 27. That explains this game, its not complicated. If you have perimeter players who can't shoot...you will not win games. It's basketball.

Lucky for me was busy and missed last nights game.. Had a bad feeling about that one. Looks like its time to go back to the Tivo experiment. Hey if the lakers keep flipping their switch I can flip my Tivo switch too.

Bynum doesn't get more shots because Kobe continues to take about as many shots as Bynum and Gasol combined. Between his gambling defense giving up wide open shot after wide open shot, and his propensity to dominate the ball of offense (while shooting a low percentage), Kobe is as much to blame for the last 3 losses as anything.

Seems to me that when your young center plays with the energy and passion that Bynum has shown of late (40 rebounds in last 2 games!) you need to reward that effort by pounding the ball to him. Instead, the Lakers (starting with Kobe, but by no means limited to him) jack up three point shots and just mindlessly swing the ball around the perimeter. Every single half court possession should start with a post-entry pass to Bynum or Gasol. That these guys haven't figured this out yet is really, really disappointing.

Posted by: God | April 07, 2011 at 08:16 AM


A VERY SIMPLE FIX:

Phil asked Kobe, "WHO IS OPEN?" and Kobe responded, "no one except me".

Phil then suggested:

"I like to see everybody involved in the game," Jackson said. "I've tried to preach as a basketball coach, even though we have a guy that dominates the ball in Kobe, basketball is not a one on one game — it's a team game."


It's those darn green shirts that they have to wear. Too much Celtic green in the building is sapping their energy.

Time for the TIVO experiment - TIVO it, look at the box score after the game is over and then decide to watch it or not.

At least until the playoffs start.

Looks like we'll be out in round one if Pau, LO, bench does not get its act together soon!

Also, what was that series of DFish shots!? Trying to finally get him involved offensively a few games from the playoffs!? I think he missed 3-5 shots in a row from open spots and in the trees. Yikes! Experiment in training camp, PJ.

Remember: Late last year we had significant injuries to Kobe and AB, so - no - this year is not just like last year. There is no injury excuse this year past the usual myriad of Kobe injuries. This year is inexcusable and lazy and weak and forced. Take your pick of which adjective goes with which player(s).

Looks like to me there will be a housecleaning no matter who comes in next year. This squad is not motivated enough past Kobe, MB, DF. A yelling coach is what they need right now - not one sitting on his laurels passively while Rome burns. Get rid of the laughing blow-this-one-off attitudes seen in LO, LW, et al when they are blowing it up on the court and off. Too many off court distractions this year for LO, RA to focus on their real job - basketball, IMO.

This Laker team is shooting free throws worse than I did! Hard to imagine!

As it was stated, turnovers and rebounding hustle are what is killing us in past 3 games. Kwame-Pau is seemingly going through pouting motions out there right now. I say rest him until the playoffs. Play JS, TR, DC and get some minutes for them. We are losing all these games anyway - might just as well rest some players instead of wasting their pathetic efforts on the court during the rest of the practice season (now looks like training camp season).

i think our team lacks youth, shannon brown is the only youngster and he just doesnt cut it for me.

Not a good effort...Great article!

i think our team lacks youth, shannon brown is the only youngster and he just doesnt cut it for me.

****

I agree with the youth statement. Shannon and Andrew are the only 2 who are in their 20s. In the off season it would make sense if they brought in a couple of more younger players with athlethicism and speed to add to what they have now. I also think that they should work with Shannon and Andrew in the offseason- they have some good raw talent there that needs to be cultivated. A lot of other teams have young players who help bring that extra energy. The thing is the Lakers are not paying what some of these other younger players want...

Been sayng it all year...Fish is the weak link for the Lakers. Please ..please retire after this year Fisher. You are now a joke out on the court. No speed, no defense, awful shooting, cannot make layups, or even free throws now. Blake is bad also seems like he is scared to shoot ?? Kobe threww away two fo the three losses with turn overs, really bad shots and being a ball hog. Forcing his shots is his game now and he is totally missing everything. Kobe..this is a team sport and there are four other guys on the court with you !!!

Thank goodness the long NBA season if FINALLY ending.

The NBA season is just too long. 82 games is just too many. And after 82 games, they let over HALF of the teams into the playoffs from each conference. Pretty goofy if you ask me.

Let's get this season over with already and get on to the real deal.

Lakers Playoffs - "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

Phil doesn't coach games. He coaches seasons. A win is always nice, but he is exactly where he wants to be: close to the top seed without revealing his hand.

Why don't we kick it into Bynum or Pau more? Why do we only see plays drawn for the corner 3?

It's because those plays and sets won't be added until game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Teams can imagine what the Lakers will throw at them.

But seeing is believing. And nay-sayers don't believe because they don't see.

"Why don't we kick it into Bynum or Pau more? Why do we only see plays drawn for the corner 3?

It's because those plays and sets won't be added until game 1 of the NBA Finals. "

I read these statements several times and still can't find any sign of sarcasm. You can't possibly believe that to be true, can you? Running your offense inside out is not some trick play to be unveiled in the big game as you would some gadget play in football. This is basic offense, and if you think that a team can just "fake it" for about 100 games and then suddenly change their offense for the NBA Finals you apparently have not watched much basketball over the years.

This team does not give the ball to its big men because its guards (primarily but not only Kobe) all think they are better shooters than they actually are. Perimeter shots by Kobe, Fish, and Shannon (to say nothing of Blake...) are FAR lower percentage shots than attempts in the paint.

Not featuring your big guys makes it harder for everyone, and makes the team worse. In doing so, the Lakers give games away that they have no business losing, and the result of that is that it will take another stroke of luck (like the last 2 years) to have home court advantage in the Finals--and now this year, even in the conference finals. THAT is "exactly where he wants to be"? I sincerely doubt that....

Oh GOD I thought you'd have more faith than that...I guess you're just used to everyone believing in you.

But seriously, the lakers aren't running the offense. I think it's obvious that the bench comes in and does what they want. Kobe comes in and does what he wants. Pau doesn't have to be assertive. Bynum has time to add a layer to his game. Phil has time to catch a few Z's.

The losses to to the Warriors and the Jazz show that the Lakers are scared of playing them in the playoffs. Good thing they can't make the 8th seed.

Since you forgot to quote opening statements I'll do it for you: "Phil doesn't coach games. He coaches seasons."

Boy the last three games really stunk up the Staples Center. Difficult...no...horrible to watch. Are they just going through the motions so they don't get hurt? Did that 17-0 run take it all out of them? Are they indeed suffering the effects due to their age? Silly me, I thought they were getting paid millions to lay it all out on the court for the season, not just when they felt like it. Keep it up, Lakers; keep showing the other teams that you CAN be had, and expose all the ways that other teams can beat you. (Cleveland, Golden State, et al...really, now). Half the Losses you've had have been ugly, stupid ones. I was so happy to see the way the Lakers had been playing since the All Star Break, and I have been so discouraged seeing them fall back to the lazy, apathetic uncoordinated, unmotivated play of Dec, Jan, and Feb. Truth be told, The Lakers that you so easily have reverted to WILL NOT threepeat, and that will be on you guys.

WOW! All of these people worried about the Lakers!? OMG! Lakers finished the season horrible last year and guess wat....... THEY WON A CHAMPIONSHIP! These Laker critics never change; when L.A is winning everyone says "Lakers are unbeatable and I don't see anyone beating them". When they lose a few "Lakers are old, they are tired, their bench sucks". Anyone with Lamar Odom coming of the bench then your bench doesn't suck. Also Matt Barnes brings great energy. The 2 guys coming off the bench that need to get it together is Shannon Brown and Steve Blake. Lakers have been playing great defense, is just that lately their offense looks stagnant like they look lost and kinda bored. Lakers are built for the playoffs because in the playoffs run n' gun and jacking up threes don't win championships (which is the teams L.A loses to in THE REGULAR SEASON) but that style of play doesn't win championships.For example how many championships does Phoenix have, how many championships have the Knicks won lately, Golden State hasen't even been in the playoffs for like 3-4 years because of their style of play.

Also when L.A went 17-1 after the all star break no one was saying Lakers are old and tired. Lakers can't win every game give 'em a break.


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