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L.A. Times' Mark Medina discusses Lakers' 120-106 loss to Oklahoma City Thunder

--Mark Medina

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Wow, another loss and come tuesday another. #4 seed and an early exit to Denver. Where are the Practice season BOZO's namely kobemvp888.

Right or wrong, it appears to me that during this recent losing streak, the Lakers haven’t set the tempo or intensity level but rather, have merely tried to match the play of their opponents. This means they are not playing aggressively and if they seem to have a chance to win a game, then they try to pick it up a notch, otherwise, they’ll just go through the motions just to finish out the game, hence the media observations as well as from the coaching staff that the team lacks focus and intensity.

Furthermore, it seems that there’s more importance and relevance from the opponents to win games against the Lakers. Heck, it’s been that way all season long. After all, they’re the two-time reigning champions so if you can beat them this late in the season, it gives playoff bound teams a bit more confidence. On the other hand, the Lakers have nothing to prove. Sure, it would’ve been nice to secure HCA for the Finals and finish up as 2nd seed in the west – which as of today, is still a possibility – but this “old” team appears to be placing health as the paramount objective going into the playoffs.

My point is this: the team’s intensity, focus and execution will increase to a level that other teams will have to try and meet and exceed in order to win a series against them. It won’t be the other way around as it is today. This is a team vying for its 4th straight appearance in the NBA Finals and they’re the odds on favorites to win their 3rd in the row.

The “real” season starts next weekend and that’s when we’ll see the “playoff” Lakers team take the court. They’re a proven road winning team and they will steal HCA in the upcoming contests in the playoffs. It’s no secret that if the “regular” season Lakers show up in the 1st round of the playoffs, they will be “one and done.” The last thing they want to do as a team is send Phil Jackson to Montana without another championship ring. This team has proven talent and they will prevail against the upstarts in the NBA.

Prediction: The Lakers will enter the playoffs with a 7 game losing streak and begin another winning streak when it counts: The Playoffs!! I will tell you this: No team in the NBA wants to play them in the post season. They're all counting on each other to eliminate them. LOL!!

"We're worried about our execution. That's all we did then and that's all we'll do now." #24 K. Bryant

"Everything about the Lakers is geared toward winning playoff games. It's what they do." J.A. Adande

"Even when we didn’t make the playoffs, I thought we'd win the championship." Dr. Bus

"...they're shaking like virgins on prom night."
viewer comment by faithdalakerfan @ 10:03 pm

Go Lakers & In Buss We Trust!!

Give OKC credit they outplayed the Lakers and deserved the W. The key play in the game was the 3 by Sefolosho. The Lakers played good d on that play and forced the guy they wanted to shoot to take the shot. He hit it and OKC never relinquished the lead. OKC is very hard to beat when KD shoots 11-15.

One of the oft overlooked strengths of Perkins is his screening. He creates a little more space for Durant and Westbrook to operate. So its good that the Lakers got a chance to see the new look Thunder so they know the necessary adjustments they need to make if/when they meet in the playoffs.

@ms - nice pregame selections.

@Triangulator - Grover in the house with his Dr. J tribute. Cool.

@frmkt - I agree with everything except the 7 game losing

@LRob - LOL!! :-)

ok fellow lakers fans, i know it's still the regular season, but it's officially panic time. this bench is so bad, starting with shannon , and not including LO. the second unit is so unreliable that it puts EXTREME amounts of pressure on the starters to carry the entire load. i know blake finally got his touch back, but this is a very concerning issue only a week away from the playoffs. if the bench doesn't turn it around, the lakeshow might not be performing past the second round.

@frmkt-excellent observations. I remember just last year about this time the Lakers were playing very erratic, the "experts" went on record as saying they could not get behind this team because they never knew which Laker team would show up. Even Kobe said they had multiple personalities. Last year the real Lakers didn't show up till after the 1st round. Which Laker team will show up in the playoffs this year? The individuals of this 5 game skid or the team that went on the torrid 17-1 streak after the ASG. Las Vegas knows more about handicapping than any of us (yes even you trolls) and they still have the Lakers as the favorite to win the championship. I believe the Lakers will gell and peak at the right time and win their 3rd three-peat. Raising their 17th championship banner and send PJ off with the legacy as the greatest coach ever. Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This team lacks everything this year, intensity, ingenuity, versatility, and leadership.
The one year that PJ needed to be his absolute best he mails it in. But what the hay, he can always blame Kobe, it's a win win proposition. Win it all and he's God, lose and it's Kobe's fault and another book tour promoting his latest book "Why Kobe isn't Michael"

Of course there is plenty of blame to go around....

1. Kobe- in a year Kobe could have shared the ball a little more he took the team out of the offense too many times and was a liability on defense. Only this year he didn't have many moments to make people forget about his ballhog mentality.

2. Gasol- keep noticing he dislikes contact, his position IS power forward correct?

3. Fisher- His LACK OF IMPACT costs the Lakers so much. Take the blinkers off and look around people.

4. Lamar- Reality Show star. No NBA star.

5. Blake- another PJ blunder, he should have shared duties at PG this entire year. How demoralizing it must be to play behind one of the worst PG in the NBA.

6. Barnes- He was non-factor in last years playoffs with the Magic and has had little value this year, still like his toughness. Knee injury could be a viable excuse.

7. Artest- The only thing that saved him last year's was his playoff heroics and that's the only thing that will save him this year.

MITCH KUPCHAK- Should be fired, breaks up the second unit of a back to back champion and replaces them with over-the -hill bigs and aging unathletic journeymen.

phoenix isnt a box seat holder, he is a 42 yr old over weight meth addict. he works at kfc and has a paper route, his name is jacob and dont pay attention to him. he is a habitual liar and a thief. oh yeah he lives with his sister and her husband. hey jacob, now what?

First of all Laker fans, it is not is 2011 and there are many more talented teams than there were last year. At the top of that list now is the Thunder with their addition of Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka's move to the starting lineup which has boosted his confidence and his game. The Thunder used to be easy to longer. If the Lakers screw around and lose home court advantage to OKC in the play-offs, game over.



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