Lakers Falling, Can They Get Up?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — I was hoping a decent night’s sleep would give me a fresher perspective on what I saw from the Lakers last night.

I thought it might clear up the vision that seemed a bit blurry during and after the Lakers’ 109-92 drubbing at the hands of the Hawks before a record crowd of 20,190 at Philips Arena.

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Nope!

And this is no April Fools. I am witness, these Lakers have fallen and I’m wondering if they can get up in time to defend themselves and their title?

I saw nothing to inspire me last night.

“They just outplayed us,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said, “regardless of inspiration.”

Most startling was that the Lakers actually tried to turn on the gas against a game Hawks team and couldn’t do it. Kobe Bryant was in full Black Mamba mode and it didn’t seem to matter.

“What we did just didn’t work,” said Lakers forward Ron Artest, who took a shot to the chest from Hawks sub Mo Evans (18 huge points) and didn’t respond in kind, a move symbolic of the Lakers’ entire evening . “We tried to win but we just couldn’t.”

It was an alarming performance for a team that doesn’t seem to have the same win-a-title-or-else edge to it that it did a year ago.

And it wasn’t like this was some starters-on-starters playoff fight.

Hawks coach Mike Woodson‘s playing rotation is usually tighter than a Lady Gaga original. But he went eight deep into his rotation and caught the Lakers with combinations they had no answer for.

Evans had one of his very best games of the season and Zaza Pachulia had his first double double (10 points, 10 rebounds) in a year, the last one coming in a win over these same Lakers late last season. Jamal Crawford was his usual explosive self, prompting Bryant, to anoint him “hands-down the Sixth-Man of the Year.”

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The Hawks did their part last night, they showed up for a matchup of supposed contenders.

The Lakers, however, have us wondering … can they get up?

27 Comments

  1. kobeyfan says:

    DEFENSE is the key, everyone knows that. . .
    I just hope they’ll wake up come playoffs time.
    I think there are problems WITHIN the team. . .
    so better fix them up, and show them that they’re all wrong with their analysis. . .

  2. louie says:

    The writer isn’t just talking about the past game. They recently lost 3 straight, and they have dropped off from how they played at the start of the season. Their bench isn’t explosive like it was earlier, either. The Lakers are down, but you know Kobe and Gasol have a 6th gear in them, and the playoffs is a whole different animal.

    PS.
    If I was a Laker fan, I’d be AT LEAST worried about the team. Just this past week Vujacic had an argument with Coach Jackson, as well.

  3. eddie spaghetti says:

    the lakers are not playing well lately.. there’s no sense of urgency on their side coz they know they’ll end up on top of the western conference anyway.. when they realized that they can’t catch up with the cavs for the best record in the nba, they started to play loosely.. probably they’re in a sense of complacency knowing they made the playoffs anyway.. but still, i think they should start getting their act together, start playing with more “defensive” intensity, which i think, has been very inconsistent all season.. if they want to repeat as champions, they should start playing like one coz other teams are getting more confident playing them…

  4. 24blackmambaKB says:

    should of kept ARIZA

  5. 24blackmambaKB says:

    The Lakers will be ok , i hope

  6. […] Los Angeles Lakers machine is sputtering a little bit. Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers is finding out that lately, his game face is not scaring […]

  7. Justin Francisco says:

    this is so abusurd. why alway’s the lakers is in the center of every controversy? theyre not a perfect team neither the perfect tandem of pau and kobe. this season is a injury hit season for them, BUT they manage to win 50+ wins this season most of the games without pau or kobe or luke or andrew. so can you tell me why almost of all this so called NBA ANALYST are alwayspin pointing on the lakers when they lose awful or what? tell me. ugh why why? playoff time will be challenging for kobe and the lakers, but they can persevere it i know. all the laker fans their we must have some faithe 0n them, we know kobe is the best player in the game today? and the best in close game’s too. so back off laker haters they lose because they are not a perfect team. is cleveland perfect? is orlando perfect? is boston perfect? is dallas perfect? or even the denver nuggets is not perfect. so come on, use your little minds on analysing. OK??

  8. Heat 2010 says:

    NEWS FLASH LAKERS FANS: IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN AGAIN. =)

  9. lesLAKE! says:

    i’m little bit concerned the way the champs is playing…but..i still believe come playoff time lakers will be more focused and consistent especially when bynum is back! don’t lose hope LAKER fans! it’s too early to judged them.. go lakers!!

  10. jay07 says:

    Why is it always such a big deal when lakers lose a game? Are they supposed to win every single game they play? Even Jordan’s bull didn’t win 81/81…or did they and i missed it? We lost to a very good and talented Hawks team. Orlando, cavs and Boston fell to them too but nobody made such a big deal out of it!!
    must say i hate your analysis!!

  11. lAKERS LET the hawks win last night,why? cause they bored, beating the hawks would be like taken candy from a baby. Lakers vs whoever in the finals 2010 DUHHHH, hopefully Celtics, cause they got the best talent

  12. frank yoboue says:

    hi i.am a lakers fan and is true we have not been playing well lately but good team fall short sometimes it doesn’t mean they bad all of a sadden they will pick up soon there is nothing to worry about or not yet i should say go lakers kobe the man

  13. Ryan Hager says:

    The lakers need their edge back.They have no chemistry right now and i dont think theres enough time to get it back.Kobe is being Kobe and Pau is being Pau.But other than that lamar is banged up with a shoulder injury and is not playing agressive at all.And despite the two all stars L.O. is the most important player on our team.We have no point gaurd play right now.Dfish’s legs are gone! Im sure he will come through in the playoffs but he is by FAR our weakest link. Farmar plays well at times and cant do anything right other times.Sasha’s hurt lukes hurt bynum’s hurt lamar’s hurt, kobe has a broken finger and ron artest is not fitting in the offense.These small factors are fastly becoming a huge problem.Yes we are the defending champs yes we have the second best record in the league.But as a die hard lakers fan who hasnt missed a game in 5 yrs.(league pass) i really dont believe this team is championship quality.It really hurts to say it and i really hope im wrong! But untill i see that fire they played with last year i dont think we make it out of the west.Go LA!!!

  14. KOBE MJ says:

    EVERYBODY IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OWN OPINION AND I RESPECT THAT… THAT’S THE BEAUTY OF IT, IT GIVES FLAVOR. LAKERS LOSING COUPLE/ FEW ROAD GAMES REALLY DOES NOT BOTHER ME. THEY HAVE PROVEN OVER TIME THAT THEY CAN WIN ROAD GAMES. CONFLICT BETWEEN PAU AND KOBE? IT’S JUST MEDIA TRYING TO DISTRACT THE TEAM BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT LOSING TEAMS CHEMISTRY IS THE ONLY WAY THE LAKERS WILL LOSE. KOBE HAS MATURED AND NOT SELF CENTERED ANYMORE INFACT HE HAS BEEN PASSING THE BALL A LOT AND TAKING LESS BUT EEFICIENT SHOTS. PAU GASOL AND FISHER WILL HAVE BAD NIGHTS WHICH IS NORMAL. PLAYOFF TIME COME YOU WILL SEE THE REAL LAKERS… FISHER WILL MAKE SHOTS, KOBE AND GASOL WILL BE A GREAT TANDEM, BYNUM WILL DOMINATE, ODOM WILL ENERGIZE THE TEAM WITH HIS USUAL SKILLS, BROWN AND FARMAR WILL MAKE OUTSIDE SHOTS AND RON ARTEST WILL MAKE LIFE HARDER FOR THE OPPONENTS. LAKERS JUST NEED TO DRIVE TO THE BASKET MORE OFTEN AND MASTER HOW TO DEFEND THE PICK AND ROLL. LAKERS FANS SHOULD BE HAPPY BACAUSE ARTEST IS PLAYING GREAT WITHOUT DRAMAS. THE CAVS LOST THREE IN A ROW ALSO BUT WAS NEVER SENSATIONALIZED ???? THE CAVS WILL BE TESTED ON A BEST OF SEVEN SERIES. ANY TEAM IN THE NBA CAN BEAT THE LAKERS IN 1 GAME…. BUT IT WILL BE VERY TOUGH TO BEAT LAKERS IN A BEST OF SEVEN SERIES EVEN IF IT HAS TO BE A ROAD GAME.

  15. cwcharle says:

    Yes, we are still the top seed in the West, but we are playing like garbage (not beating the elite teams, not winning on the road, beating under .500 teams by only a few points). don’t forget, we got a lot of our wins very early in the season. We have not been playing championship caliber ball over the past couple of months. Forget the records, we have now given the rest of the league confidence that we can be beat in the playoffs. I hope Bynum coming back will correct a few of the problems (hopefully he can stay healthy for once) and maybe even good ol Luke Walton can bring some inspiration. We also need to get Odom plyaing like the all star that he should be instead of picking and choosing when he wants to show up. And don’t even get me started on the rest of the bench play!!!

  16. William says:

    I hope Pau Gasol will improve his defensive strategies. Lakers really needs his defense and its hard for them to win without it. All of them can score, Kobe and Odom. But when the team is playing defense, it seems that they are a little bit lost. I hope they can do something to overcome this weakness, because I beleive Lakers is the real champion!!!

  17. jeff wharton says:

    Lakers are in serious trouble…worst interior d in the league right now.Cannot get stops.DFish is a major liability shooting and defense.A repeat ain’t going to happen with or without Bynum

  18. Vince says:

    For all the blind Laker fans out there… open your eyes. The Lakers have been one of the worst teams over the past couple of months. Do they squeeze out tight victories? Yes. Do they need Bryant to save them when they suck horribly? Yes. But that doesn’t always work because Bryant can only make some shots. He’s not a MJ. Anyway… If you’ve noticed over the past month the Lakers are just down right a crappy team. I’ve been saying this the whole season and it’s finally coming full circle now. This team is just not dominating… they weren’t last year either imo. They almost lost in the playoffs last year and struggled against all 3 matchups up to the finals.

    To the above comment… Bynum 2nd best center? Please… Robin Lopez of the Suns is a much better player than Bynum. His entire all around game is pathetic and I can’t wait until he fades away.

    So mark my words the Lakers are not even in consideration for the Finals and are most likely getting knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. Sort of like when Dallas lost to Golden State a few years.

  19. Bish1321 says:

    I have to admit, as a Lakers fan I am a bit worried. Sure, people say they are coasting and what-not until the playoffs, but I see absolutely NO chemistry with this team. It seems there are internal conficts going on that we can only guess and speculate as to what they are. I don’t know if any other Lakers fan has noticed, but it seems Kobe is not getting along with Pau very well. I have seen Kobe get mad at Pau numerous times because of Pau’s lackadasical effort on defense. Pau cannot defend the pick-and-roll very well at all, and teams are exposing his weak interior defense. I have watched every single game this year and every game last year, and last year they played much more as a team than this year. The Lakers have hardly won that many big games this year (for the ones they did, it was hardly in convincing fasion — unlike last year). But, I understand this is the regular season, and I am really hoping they get their sh*t together come playoff time. We need Bynum in order to repeat, because with Odom starting, the Laker bench is inconsistent and, at times, horrid. I don’t know though, many other teams seem to be much more hungrier than the Lakers.

  20. bigtone615 says:

    AND BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY THIS, I WATCH EVERY GAME NOT JUST THE HIGHLIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!!LEAGUE PASS BABY

  21. bigtone615 says:

    ITS CRAZY THAT WE ARE STILL THE NUM. 1 SEED IN THE WEST COMPARED TO HOW WE’VE BEEN PLAYING, IM JUST MAD AT HOW WE PLAY AS A TEAM, OUR TEAM IS ARROGANT AS HELL AND THEY’VE ONLY WON 1 CHAMPIONSHIP, WE PLAY LIKE WE CAN CUT IT ON AT ANY MOMENT AND LOOSE B.S. GAMES CUZ WE CAN’T. DO THEY NOT UNDERSTAND THAT DEFENSE IS WHATS GONNA WIN US ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP NOT OFFENSE, EVERYONE WHANTS THEIR TOUCHES, COMPLAINING ABOUT IT, FORGET SOME TOUCHES EVERYONE KNOWS WE CAN SCORE, PLAY SOME CHAMPIONSHIP DEFENSE, PLAY LIKE U WANT THE CHAMPIONSHIP NOT LIKE YOU’RE GONNA BE GIVING IT………..

  22. berlin says:

    not a fan of the lakers but everyone who commented on this is right. why is it such a big deal that they lost? they lost on the road, to a good team. not at home or not to an awful team. things like this happen! they’re still a good team. theres no way dallas can take the number 1 spot from them.

    i’m a huge phoenix suns fan by the way 🙂 GO SUNS!

  23. pst says:

    Have the Lakers fallen??!?! That would be a completely irrelevant statement unless they lose in the first round of the playoffs. Remember THEY ARE THE CHAMPIONS with the SECOND BEST RECORD. Sounds like to me they are standing up pretty good but playing complacent and bored AKA….SAND BAGGING

  24. ricky says:

    GtuddaC. you’re retarded. are they the number 1 team in the western conference? yes. are they playing like doggy doo doo? yes.

  25. Amar says:

    I hear this every time the Lakers lose a game. Like the above poster said… GTFOH!

  26. Jett says:

    The lakers are fine! People forget the l.a. is playing without the 2nd best center in the league ( BYNUM ) right now! The lakers are the only team that can have the 2nd best record and yet still people act like something is wrong. Lakers honestly havent played well the entire 2nd half of the season, but still no one is close to them in the west standings. Everyone calm down, lakers will have bynum back soon and be in full-throttle come playoff time!

  27. GtuddaC says:

    lol…this is hilarious. The team with the second best record in the league, who happens to be coasting in the most competitve conference is being asked “what’s the problem?”….GTFOH!