Streak Over, Lakers Back In The Crosshairs?

LOS ANGELES – Well, that didn’t last long.

The Los Angeles Lakers enjoyed the glow of that Christmas Day win over the New York Knicks for all of what, 18 hours? All of that “clicking” they were doing during their five-game win streak went up in smoke in a matter of minutes Wednesday night in Denver.

That “desperate team” label Steve Nash said they needed to play with every night was nowhere in sight during their 126-114 loss to a Nuggets team that flew in after spending Christmas in Los Angeles, just like the Lakers. The 126 points is the most these Lakers have surrendered all season. The loss couldn’t have come at a worse time for a team trying to right itself and continue its recent run.

A younger, faster and surprisingly much more physical Nuggets team — the same one that was rocked by the Clippers in the Christmas nightcap at Staples Center — ran circles around a Lakers team that seemed frustrated from the start with their inability to keep up. And just like that, the Lakers are back in the crosshairs, raising questions not only about the validity of that five-game streak but also whether or not they’ll be able to deal with teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder and Clippers (as young, fast and physical as they get) come playoff time in the Western Conference.

The Lakers’ youngest and most physical specimen, Dwight Howard, certainly didn’t seem up to the task against the Nuggets. He exited in the third quarter after getting ejected for a flagrant-2 foul for a hand to the face on Kenneth Faried, who worked the Lakers’ bigs all night.

Howard’s finger-pointing after a game in which the Nuggets outrebounded their guests 48-38 and piled up 25 second-chance points should be of particular interest to teammates like Kobe Bryant and Nash  as well as Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni.

“Guys got to be in the right spots and they have to be taught it and it has to be something that you practice on so guys can understand,” Howard said. “They have to go through it. You just can’t talk about defense or talk about where to go. You actually have to show guys where to go.”

Howard managed seven rebounds to go along with 12 points in the 27 minutes he played. But any signs of the three-time Defensive Player of the Year that fans had grown accustomed to seeing over the years were as faint as they’ve been all season. Howard hasn’t looked like his normal self after offseason back surgery.

And in the face of a non-stop rush from Faried, JaVale McGee and Kosta Koufos, the Lakers’ lack of effort and energy was glaring. That’s probably why D’Antoni didn’t hold his tongue when asked what effect Howard’s absence had on the Lakers’ comeback effort down the stretch. “Not a whole lot,” he said and then looked the other way.

“You can’t play a team on the road and time after time you stop them and they get the rebound and put it back in,” D’Antoni said. “You can’t do it … You can’t just keep coming back. You can’t just keep letting them score. For whatever reason they just had more legs. Whether they’re younger or faster, I don’t know, but we couldn’t keep them in front of us.”

The Nuggets didn’t show the slightest bit of restraint in attacking the Lakers where they felt they were weakest, in the middle. Faried assaulted  the backboards and the rim at every opportunity, living up to his nickname of the “Manimal.”

“I think it was a little bit of frustration,” Faried told reporters after the game about Howard’s hard foul. “He saw my eyes. I wasn’t going to back down. I wasn’t going to try and float it, I was going to try to dunk on him. He saw it, that’s why he put his hand directly in my face. That’s when I say, ‘Dang, I wish I would have jumped higher.'”

Bryant might have said it best in his final locker room salvo on Christmas, when he politely explained that nothing the Lakers do, good or bad, during the regular season will end up on their final report card. He scored 40 points for the fourth time this season against the Nuggets, extending his streak of games with 30 or more to double digits (10).

No one but the die-hard Bryant fans cares about that this morning, though.

“People can be extremely positive of how you are performing and the job you are doing the entire regular season, the entire playoffs,” Bryant said. “But if you lose in the Finals, you are the [expletive] worst. If you suck for the entire season and win the Finals, people don’t give a [expletive] about what happened before then. It’s all about what you do in the Finals. It doesn’t matter what you do on Monday or Tuesday. It matters what you do in the Finals.”

The Lakers have a long way to go to get there … to The Finals, that is. In fact, they might want to spend more time worrying about what they do on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and every other day until they secure a playoff bid.

They can turn their attention to The Finals after taking care of that bit of business.

97 Comments

  1. digitioli says:

    ain’t gonna happen…

  2. king says:

    lakers need phil jackson

  3. digitioli says:

    Steve Nash is a leader and the consummate team player. The glimpses of what this team can be have already been seen in little spurts since his return. He may not be as quick as he was as a defender, however, he is a good team defense player, is crafty, and plays hard on that end of the floor. He leads by example and has made an impression on Kobe already – Kobe has played more consistent defense in the last 5 games than any time in recent memory. He has clearly been conserving energy on D for years to jack up more shots, and nobody has been able to get him off that tact. That said, if Kobe took 5-7 shots less a game and kept the offensive flow going when he gets the ball, the team, the whole team would play much better with him showing his trust in them. He’d also get better looks, have more energy for defense and the team would win more.
    I think Jamison is on the pine because his defense was really horrible and he stood and watched way too many times when he was the help defender who didn’t rotate. We’ll see.
    Oh yeah, I know nobody says much about the altitude in Denver – it is a MAJOR advantage – I don’t care what anyone says. It’s really hard to run when you can’t breathe…

  4. Lakers-R-Us says:

    The Lakers are not playing well! Too inconsistent. M. D’Antoni needs a young, fast team. The Lakers need Phil Jackson the Zenmaster!!!!

  5. erwin says:

    I was wondering why Jamison is being benched by D’Antoni? Players like Jamison should be given playing time on the court. Nobody can show his talent riding the bench, give other players time to shine otherwise, dont let them suit up and have only seven players on game day……

  6. Aditya says:

    Lakers better play championship level every night or I will be extremely disappointed. I watch every game. I am a die hard lakers fan. I cheer loudly when they win or winning.

  7. SaYO says:

    the lakers are clicking now
    everyone should understand they are an old team lol
    cmon lol you ever see kobe sprinting down the court and dunk it over anyone anymore? lols
    you ever see nash race someone down the court for an easy layup? lol
    they scored 114 points
    thats some pretty darn good offense
    theres only one reason why they lost
    corey brewer was hot
    you dont see dude scoring over 20 points often
    its so simple
    lakers almost lost to golden state warriors because jarett jack had the hot hands
    lakers just need to play better defense
    so that it wouldnt be the hot hands who wins it for the opp team

  8. yankee says:

    So much for the Nash effect. I tell you, these Lakers have a penchant for drama. They should just shut up and let their play on the court do the talking. ZenMaster would have put them in their place, for sure.

  9. Eaglos says:

    Kobe shoots a lot = Lakers loose (or barely win).

    Nothing has changed, Lakers just got some lucky
    plays from mediocre bench players and made a
    small winning streak. If Kobe keeps his endless
    shooting going, Lakers will struggle.

  10. Hunter says:

    Well guys, Im sure the Lakers will get into the playoffs, once they get clicking they COULD be dangerous they have the talent ON PAPER. The issue here is AGE and SPEED, they may have to make some trades for young 3pt wing players. Another issue is that Dantoni has NEVER preached DEFENSE. If they click and make some key trades they will win alot of season games but come playoff time down the stretch they will hit a brick wall to other definsive minded teams.

  11. Tophercheese says:

    I didn’t get a chance to watch all of this game, but from the box score, it just looks like the Nuggets had one of those crazy offensive nights. If you score 114 points and still lose by 12, then the other team is just making everything. Just like the Knicks vs Heat game in Miami a few weeks ago. They made everything, didn’t matter how good or bad your Defense was, they would make those shots.
    I think these NBA.com writers are prisoners of the moment too often. Because from their logic, just because the Lakers lost 1 game to a hot shooting team, it completely nullifies their 5 game win streak. Riiiight.
    I’m not a Lakers fan, but this was just “one of those nights” where you can’t stop the offense.

  12. elenes says:

    i really don’t like the professionalism of Howard. he keeps on pointing faults to anyone. If Howard and D Will will be team mates in the future i am sure that no coach can last a year. LOL…

  13. John Gibbons says:

    The Finals?!?!?

    Finals?!?!?

    They can’t even win a god damn game!

    Don’t be talkin bout finals!

  14. LAC All Day says:

    Can’t wait until 1-4-2013 so I can witness the LAC smack the Lakers back to the Stone Age. Must See BG is gonna make some Posters Yo!!! LAC Run LA!!!

    • Go LA! says:

      Yeah, poor Pau should probably wear a helmet when he’s trying to guard Griffin (and be sure to smile for the inevitable poster photo too). Also, very few players in the league can effectively guard CP3 1 on 1 and unfortunately for the Lakers, Steve Nash isn’t one of them.

      I’m a long-time Laker fan but to be honest and give credit where credit is due, the Clips are just playing out of their minds right now whereas the Lakers are not. Fact. Even Magic agrees with this. Both teams will continue to get better throughout the season but the Lakers have a longer way to go right now before they really become contenders.

      Lastly, given their current roster, hiring D’Antoni when they could have had Phil was clearly a major blunder. Unfortunately they burned that bridge so badly that it will be very interesting to see which coach they hire next – if the Lakers keep playing .500 ball w/ their roster (and payroll) Mike D won’t last the season.

  15. nino says:

    thats a stupid article…i mean what u expect? they wouldnt lose a single game anymore?! thats la tho, everythings gonna be a drama and u helped it

  16. Rastis says:

    This is typical lakers. Come prepared to play against New York and then just show up for the Denver game and expect to win. Howard is not playing well at all. Kobe is playing well, but he is being played to much. I don’t understand why they leave Kobe in the game when the outcome is decided. LA need to play better team defense and they will be fine. They have finals potential, but we’ll see.

  17. Shirley says:

    Everyone just support your team and quit hating on others . The majority of you probably never played team ball therefore it’s hard to understand to know why these grown man play the away they do. If Kobe scores he is a ball hog, if Lebron doesn’t score then he doesn’t have the killer instinct he needs to be a great player, or if Carmelo keeps scoring just like Kobe then what is he. Just enjoy the game and remember the fact that you don’t like a player or a team doesn’t matter. They still get paid and you still watch them on TV.

  18. nbaexpert99 says:

    Well this was not an easy game. The Nuggets are 9-1 at home. Especially on a back-to-back without D12 in the second half, this was not a bad effort for them

  19. Bok says:

    Their SIZE, CHAMPIONSHIP EXPERIENCE should be able to offset Nuggets’ speed & athleticism. But a coach that DOESN’T FIT with a QUESTIONABLE SYSTEM, LACK OF HEART FROM PLAYERS + LUKEWARM BENCH is causing this trouble. On the positive side it’s also good that these flaws are showing early this season so the management, if they’re willing, can still make necessary adjustments/fine tuning.

  20. mik says:

    Lak fans we will get it together. Lack of defense and not snatching the boards caused the loss they will make the adjustments and we will continue to get back on track. This one loss does not break my confidence in the lakers ability to become a successful team. If we can beat great teams like NY then we can beat teams that are not as great we just have to make the adjustments play with energy and simply focus. We have to remain just as focused at imposing our will on games wether its playing teams that are not the top teams in the league as well as those that are all the way at the top. I like what i mostly saw in the 5 wins now its time to take the positives from those wins and apply them to each game and take the losses and disect what caused them and work to make sure you either eliminate those or dramatically lessen such mistakes. So lak fans the world is not over because of this one loss keep faith in your team we will make it happen!!!

  21. CELTIC THUNDER says:

    howard your SH#T

  22. Oliver from Germany says:

    You overrated the loss. Against the Clippers the game was done at halftime. So George Karl, one of the greatest Lakers haters, decided to rest his key players for the Lakers and gave the game away. Farried, Iguodala, Lawson and Gallinari played together near 40 minutes fewer than against the Lakers. Besides the big games from Farried and Brewer and the fight, the Lakers had vs the Knicks, the loss isn’t surprising. The Lakers will loose again and again in games, they had a game one day before. The Lakers aren’t young and powerfull enough to condense. Additional the Lakers rotation is one man to short. I cannot understand, he let not play Jamison.

  23. chris says:

    he was just trying to push his mouth guard back in, whats the big idea?

  24. DWM says:

    What a joke. Kobe’s talking about the Finals, when he can’t even lead his team to a win in the regular season. None of the 5 games they won in their winning streak were great wins. They were all won by a margin of 5.8 points. The Lakers never dominated in any of their wins, not to mention, the teams they played had standings just as bad as them.

  25. Laker fans are full of excuses because they know they won’t have what it takes to even come out of the west. There going to deal with injuries before the playoffs start that’s if they even make the playoffs lol. Can’t talk bad about the heat 20-6 and fresh off a championship.

    • greg says:

      Howard is 6-10

    • purpngold says:

      It’s one game buddy, one loss, Lakers are not worried about a regular season loss, sounds to me like you’re worried about how long your team can continue to play well..God forbid an injury to either one your queens. Keep checking the w/l column. Lakers are coming boy! Watch your as..

  26. SoulChorea says:

    Wow, a whole article about a team’s chemistry going up in smoke because of this one loss. This was the tail end of a back-to-back, in which LA beat a very good NY team. They fly out to Denver, where the air is thin and the guards are young and quick, and just couldn’t keep up. Not to mention a holiday week where no one in any profession is quite at their best. Also not to mention Dwight getting ejected right when LA was making their move to take the game back. It’s all good. Kobe had 30+ in all 5 of those wins, and he gets like 30+ in almost all the losses, so what’s the big deal?

  27. big bang theory says:

    my theory of the lakers. they will not make playoffs, and get 1ST ROUND pick and kobe will retire. well its been a good run.

  28. lakers fan says:

    I think that it’s a bit hasty to criticize the Lakers after one loss the day after a good win against the Knicks, and a five game win streak. Everybody loses. I’ll still be worried if they haven’t pulled things together after the all-star break.

  29. NHbleedsGREEN says:

    IF I HEAR ONE MORE THING ABOUT KOBE SCORING OVER 30 I AM GOING TO SMASH MY TV. HE SHOOTS LIKE 27 FGS AND 13 FTS EACH GAME. HE SHOULD BE AVERAGING 50+ PTS A NIGHT AS MUCH AS HE SHOOTS.

  30. Haha all you laker fans thought you were back and than you get hammered by the nuggets. You have gasol and Howard two 7 footers and you get out rebounded by a 6’8 guy lol I can’t wait for the heat to beat them January 17th. One last thing how’s it feel being below .500 hahahaa

    • purpngold says:

      You are just another Lakers hater, the Lakers are known for winning, enjoy your cheap shots for now, at the end of the day LA stands as the more accomplished organization. You can bet we’ll be in the playoffs and in the mix for yet another championship

  31. Matt says:

    I am a lakers fan, but all these fan comments are crazy. Stop pointing fingers at everyone. This team is playing bad right now because of lack of chemistry. Not because of Kobe shooting to much, not because Dwight isint taking enough shots, not because Pau is struggling with Dantoni, not because of Dantonis offense. They are just not playing together.

    These articles are getting just stupid. If the lakers win a game, there is an article about how they are clicking on all cylinders. If they lose they are on a path of destruction. Just let them figure it out.

    Lmao

    • purpngold says:

      Thats all courtesy of Sekou’s weak opinions every other day. Nothing better to do than report supposedly season long status based on the results of a single game. Whatever, everyony is entitled to their own opinion..
      The season is a marathon not a sprint..

  32. Cory says:

    I think Laker fans need to calm down a little here. A single loss on the second game of a back-to-back in a place where the Lakers haven’t played well at all recently, and the world is falling apart again. Can anyone remember that the Lakers just beat two really good teams, or does that not even matter because of a single loss? I say wait and see if the Lakers can rebound at home against Portland and Philly, and if they can, great, the Denver game was just an ugly one, if they can’t, playing the blame game will be at least slightly warranted.

    • Lkrfan says:

      I did not see the game (courtesy of DISH network), but I am hearing from the NBA sports commentators that neither the defense nor the energy was present. Also, in listening to some of the team’s comments, one of the biggest problems seems to be that chemistry is lacking. If these guys can’t get on the same page and communicate, it won’t matter how rested they are or how much energy they have. Add this problem to a team that has to compete with younger, faster teams coupled with a offense system that requires them to run and gun with such teams, you have a recipe for failure. The Lakers have got to sit down in the locker room and get it together before they can be consistent on the court. This team has some obvious shortfalls, but they are too talented to be where they are in the conference standings.

  33. bunbury says:

    To Kobe: you need to win enough basketball games to make it to the playoffs.

    I want to see more touches for howard and gasol IN THE PAINT. It’s going to get worst– “finger pointing” has started.

  34. NotWorking says:

    LOL! it’s so funny to read comments of L.A lakers fans i mean get over 50%, then you can talk about kobe’s rol in the team or “The Finals” (which they obviously won’t reach), because you still bellow 50%.

  35. Jeff Lee says:

    They lost because that’s their style, they hardly win in back to back.

    Agree w/ Kobe that “what you do in Finals” matters the most, however if you don’t do above average during season you won’t do good after-season (as reflected in history). You just have to do above average without losing players to injury though.

    • Gameon says:

      you meant to say if you don’t do it in the regular season you will only get to the finals in your dreams……..News flash the Lakers are not making it to the finals Kobe is delusional as always. You actually have to play well and win games to get to the finals.

  36. Malex says:

    terrible ejection…he didn’t even come down in a swinging motion like i’ve seen so many other players get away with. he just put his arms straight out and kept unknown denver player from elevating. definitely not worthy of an ejection. bad officiating.

    • All City says:

      The Refs called it Denvers way through the first 3 quarters calling a bunch of ticky tack fouls on the Lakers, when the Lakers were driving to the hole and getting contact from multiple Nuggets they couldnt get a whistle!! Every time a Laker went to the rack they got fouled, some were light like the fouls called against the lakers but most were obvious hacks, the refs did not call the game both ways evenly! They babied the Nuggets thru the first 3 & n the 4th called fouls against Den. to make the box score look even.

      Its obvious the game was called in Denvers favor, for you naive fans with lack of detail I’ll put it simple,David Stern controls the Refs and dictates how refs call games!

      A friend of the family is a retired NBA ref who had a long extensive career and let me in on what happens behind the scenes.

      You dont have to be a fan of any team in particular to acknowledge the fact that the Refs are coached by the League and are provided a game plan of how each game is to be officiated prior to tip off.

      • Pakyaw says:

        Excuses again…first it’s the coach, then wait for Nash ,Dwight still not 100%,gasol still adjusting..and now blame the refs?…what’s next? Not enough supply of Gatorade or water on the bench?…plsssss..pffft

      • Average Joe says:

        Why would the refs baby the Nuggets when the Lakers bring in more money for the League? It doesn’t make any sense. The more simple explanation for the Lakers’ woes (and probably the more relevant) is the lack of team play. Blaming the refs like this shows a remarkable lack of common sense.

      • Average Joe says:

        And besides, if your comment that the NBA gives refs a “game-plan” on officiating every game is true, then why don’t the teams on the wrong end of the whistle do anything about it, huh? If the organization you belong to intentionally tries to screw you, wouldn’t you try to screw it back? And every team was screwed, at one time or the other, by the refs and the lack of any formal complaint or lawsuits against the refs or the league should be evidence enough that the officiating, though leaving many things to be desired, is honest enough. Lakers fans like you, who blame the refs if every excuse fails, should learn to think more before you comment.

  37. jambner says:

    FIRE Mike D. ! Having Dwight in team and not using him in offense is crazy! Not having any defense even more crazy! Bring some coach to bench, Mike is pure clown, much worse than Mike Brown.

    • Pakyaw says:

      Did u ever ask yourself,maybe Dwight’s need to learn how to shoot ft first , before feeding him the ball…

      • yankee says:

        Dwight has only one true shot: the dunk. He has not taken the time to develop a reliable jump shot. His hook shot is atrocious, even at point blank range. Never mind the free throws. Howard has a low basketball IQ, probably the product of his dominance in high school, where he towered over everybody, and the lack of college coaching. At this stage of his career, I don’t think he has it in him to learn new offensive moves. Olajuwon tried to teach him some moves, but his pupil did not master them. All in all, without his jumping ability, Howard would be a big DUD. You are catching a glimpse of that right now.

  38. Toyin says:

    The problem is the coach, D’Antonio, his system will never win game, here we go again, Phil Jackson is the answer to this problem, offence only win few games not championship, hope Lakers organisation realize this before it is too late to bring Phil Jackson back. We have the talent but the wrong coach.

  39. Ricardo says:

    I’m just glad the Lakers are facing all the turmoils early in the season and not the playoffs; from injuries, play style to team morale. The lack of a true point guard shows, the team still adjusting to the coach style of plays offense and defense (none existing in ways) and lack of energy from some of the players. I hope when they’re reviewing game or watching the films of their game, they can have a better strategy against younger teams such Clippers, Thunders and so forth. They might want to take an approach like the spurs slow the game down by utilizing that pick and roll more often and spread the floor instead of run and shoot.

  40. W/E says:

    Kobe is talking about the finals and his team is still bellow 50%, keep losing regular games Kobe Bean and you wont even reach the first round of the playoffs this year.

    • purpngold says:

      Kobe is not worry about the playoffs at the moment, he knows making it there is not even a question, despite our current 500 record. It’s just a matter of time before we develope chemistry and we’ll have the momentum and be playing our best basketball at the right time of the season, when it matters most. Towards the end of the season and in the playoffs. As long as the Lakers are healthy, the Black Mamba knows, as well as us Lakers fans..

  41. Oleg says:

    This was The Nuggets – I wish they can play this kind of team basketball every game. It would be amazing to watch and cheer for them – regardless to the result. Fast, full of effort and energy ball game – loved it.

    Very good article – thank you.

  42. cheryl says:

    Say all you want about Kobe’s 30+ points per game but he is more about setting records than winning games. Kobe is not a team player. There is Kobe’s team – himself and the Lakers-everyone else. For all his finger pointing and whining about his teammates not stepping up, I say: Kobe, it starts with you. You are a ball hog and a whiner. You have no defense. You stand around watching the game and are the last one down the court. But, you are the first to point fingers at your teammates. OF course you score 30+…because you try to do it all..and you can’t..then you do your “poor me -I have to do everything” routine.

    • QuestionMark says:

      He is not about winning games? So I’m guessing those 5 rings and 2 of which were without Shaq was a fluke?

    • The Truth says:

      @ Cheryl: You said it all, that was a hard truth you said.

    • Dirty-D says:

      Hush! lol. Points alone won’t define him. He has even said “rings are the only way he will be measured against the best at the end of it all”

    • DEE says:

      @cheryl its obvious you are a kobe hater and your basketball knowledge is that of a squirrel. Kobe has no defense ….. really thats why he makes all defensive first team almost every year other than last year. He is shooting over 47 percent from the field. The reason we lost that game is because of rebounding and nuggets shooting lights out from 3 point range

      • Hm says:

        Even Phil Jackson admitted that most of those awards are undeserved. His defensive ratings and steal statistics every season show it too: Kobe is not a great defender, only one-on-one and when he wants to be.

      • Krishawn-MIA says:

        not over 47% just 47% and it could be a whoooole lot better if he wasnt jacking up every shot

    • Rooney says:

      Cheryl you are probably bandwagon clips fan

    • pej says:

      Kobe is trying to score more by himself because the rest of the team are not so reliable outside shooters. If you have with you players like Shanon Brown, Derek Fraser or Frye, it’s different story. Lakers is going to be a great team was proven when they beat some good team, Warrior and New York. The Denver defeat is due to D. Howard ejection that their ability for comeback failed. Offensive rebounds by Nuggets killed their hope steal a win in Denver.

      • Dublife says:

        Cheryl you are talking to the blind and haters of any team that is doing better than the Lakers. Pathetic. Those are TYPICAL Laker Fan responses….

        When we get a new coach…
        When we get Nash back…
        When Pau is traded…
        When Pau comes back…
        O yeah who cares because Kobe has 5 rings.
        LMAO!!!
        How about — When Kobe stops being an a-hole and starts to really lead this team? How about — When this team starts to actually LIKE each other they will play better? Stop focusing on bandwagons and focus on the real issues.

      • I know..laker fans are full of excuses because they know they won’t have what it takes to even come out of the west. There going to deal with injuries before the playoffs start that’s if they even make the playoffs lol. Can’t talk bad about the heat 20-6 and fresh off a championship.

      • 16going417 says:

        Dublife??? More like dumb life. Not every Lakers fan is blind. Some of us can formulate reasons as to why things are not working. Does not mean we all have to hate another team to do it. As a matter of fact, most examples you pointed out deals with the Lakers directly (i.e. New Coach, Nash and Pau).

        And LeBRON owns KOBRICK…. Come back and talk when your franchise has 16 championships…. Season records mean nothing. Remember when LeBron had the best record in the league with the Cavs. Did he win the championship that year? I don’t think so. Stick to the topic at hand and don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

        You guys are just upset because even when your team has a winning record; the Lakers, with a losing record, are still more interesting to talk about.

      • All City says:

        Lebron stayed in the East for a reason! Its the easiest road to the finals, period! If Kobe played in the East his whole career he’d have 8 rings by now!!

        The Western Conference has been the toughest conference for the past couple decades and will remain that way going forward.

      • Max says:

        Now I smell the comment about Frye, that post just may be my neighbor and I do not believe he has ever played the game of Basketball, so hold on to those comments. Now I love the Suns, but let us call a spade a spade and not even go there about the Suns, who I have supported always. They need time to rebuild and then take another shot for the Cactus Ring. Not even close this year, not ready to peak, just yet.

    • Go NETS!! says:

      You must’ve never played a single bball game…You have 5 pieces on the court. Some of them will have to be a scorer. Kobe didn’t build a reputation for being one of the greats simply bc he hogs the ball his whole career and yet there are still other players that want to play with him. Everybody have good nights and bad nights, for a scorer, on a bad night, you’d look like a ball hogger. Dwight doesnt put up big numbers like Kobe on the board, but his presence on the court alone gives many coahces headache and changes the way they play the game. On a bad night, Dwight may look like he is no where to be found on the court, the same with Nash and Gasol. The bottom line is, can anybody else on the Lakers be a scorer as efficient as Kobe? You may be able to prove that a in a few games, but you’re talking about the whole season…can anybody be as consistent? The scorer will always get the ball hogging name, like Camelo used to, MJ, etc. The Lakers coaching staff need to play Chess right now. The team is not young so they can’t change the player’s game like they could with other teams. These guys are old and cant chane their skillsets. The coach must know how to use the right pieces and their combo of skillsets to win games..If you’re a good coach, you can use just a Knigh and a few ponds to Checkmate..

    • tybg4 says:

      agree one hundred percent, cheryl

      • purpngold says:

        you and cheryl can jump in the same bandwagon and get out of dodge, go get some bball knowledge, its ovious at the moment you dont have any..

  43. […] …Dwight Howard: Frustrated Lakers Star Deserved Ejection for Egregious ActionsBleacher ReportStreak Over, Lakers Back In The Crosshairs?NBA.com (blog)6. LeBron and Miami Heat win NBA championship; Orlando's Dwight Howard […]

  44. 16going417 says:

    They may have been focused on the finals after getting Howard and Nash to sign in the off season. However, it is obvious they need to focus on their current state of play now.

    We have said it before and we will say it again. It is D’Antoni’s style that is not working. How do you have the most dominant center in the NBA and anther hall of fame 7 footer and you get out rebounded (DEN 48 LAL 38)??? On that same note Lakers were offensively out rebounded as well (DEN 20 LAL 11). And how in the hell does Denver score more points in the paint (DEN 58 LAL 38)???? I tell you how by LAL running D’Antoni’s system and jacking up 3 pointers all the time. Metta needs to go to the hole and stop jacking up 3’s. Why is Howard setting screens at the top of the key? Post him up!!!

    And LAL defense is nonexistent. I still say get rid of D’Antoni…..

    • Max says:

      A New Coach just got to LA, and already the Lakers loss is his fault. Sounds so familar, always put the blame on the Coach. Mike D. can Coach, but needs players that can produce, after all he is the 2nd Coach for the Lakers this year?? So, let us place the blame where the blame belongs. LA bought a DUD when they bought “Superman”.

      • 16going417 says:

        I agree Dwight needs to work on his game, but D’Antoni was NEVER the right coach for the Lakers. I never thought D’Antoni was the right man for the job and his record is proving it. The Buss family wanted to bring Showtime back, but Showtime does not fit in with this older roster. However, D’Antoni is forcing the issue and it is resulting in a losing record.

        The problem is D’Antoni is not managing his players very well and seeing Dwight not being posted up, Gasol shooting 3’s and Metta not going to the basket more often tells me it’s D’Antoni.

        So, it sounds familiar because it’s true…………

    • tybg4 says:

      what do you mean how did the nuggets outscore the lakers in the paint, the nuggets are a slashing high octane team. mikeD is a terribly overrated coach: no rings with that suns roster; the matrix, amare, nash all in their primes. cmon

  45. joanvonnegut says:

    The problem is LA being old and slow. They just focused on size not speed. If you are slow, you will lose does not matter how big talented players you have.

    • Laker fan 2012 says:

      I agree they need to go after some fast players.

    • Max says:

      Too old, where did you get your BB IQ? Ever heard of Kidd???Did he not help take the Mavs for a ring? Now he is older than Nash and Bryant, so no excuses about age. Lakers need a new Center, they bought a DUD wrapped in Gold. Anyone buying, Howard needs free bus trip somewhere else.

  46. Dutch_laker fan says:

    Its really painfull to see these kind of games from my team considering almost everyone is back from his respected injury’s. But denver was a formidable team without Iggy last year and gave us quitte a competition in the playoffs. Now with Iggy onboard against a team thats still getting its bearings almost halfway trough the season cant say Im suprised at the outcome. I just hope that eventually everything starts clicking.

  47. Doyle Rader says:

    This is a damn good bit of writing.

    • Gameon says:

      yeah it is!

      • E-SY says:

        And the past couple of games where a perfect illustration of the difference between LAC en LAL:

        LAC


        ..
        .

        Denver


        ..
        .
        LAL

    • Go NETS!! says:

      The top half of this article is stupid! Why do they keep on bringing up DH’s effort and energy and compares it to himself when he was Defensive Player of the Year? He repeatedly told reporters that he is not 100%. His nerves in the left leg is still affecting him on and off and that affects his performance. He’s 100% on the day when his leg feels fine. but your leg don’t get back to 100% consistently right away. It takes time. As for the hard foul, sometime you just gotta do that when your opponent is having too much fun of a night. You need to send the message across and making them think twice next time. Otherwise they become overly confident and start to think they can actually keep dunking over you and all when they really cant, it’s just one of their good nights…

      • Ace says:

        I disagree with you “Go NETS”. In basketball there are other ways you can respond, like i.e. dunking over your opponents yourself, going for a nice block, contesting the drive and making the offense get a charging foul, or also going hard for the ball and risking a foul. shoving someone in the chest, neck or face area is not basketball, it’s UFC. Maybe Dwight is just not a real basketballer? Maybe he would have a better UFC career? Look, Bob Zapp figured that American football is not his thing, so he took his talents to K1. Everyone knows him, even if he hasn’t won against the big names, he still is famous, and he probably has a lot of fun.
        Maybe Dwight should consider that there are other options for him to have fun…because I don’t see Dwight having fun when playing basketball. He is trying, but it’s not real, he tries to be funny but it doesn’t seem to come from deep within, it all looks so fake. And then he gets frustrated so easily, and tries to dump responsibility on others. I feel this man just doesn’t like to play anymore. Maybe it’s because of his injury, maybe because the drama he went through in Orlando, maybe he just has an attitude problem, I don’t know, but he is just not being honestly happy playing out there.
        Think about it…

      • Max says:

        Now, hold on, if Howard is hurt then he can speak, right? I would think he has a brain as well. If hurt then say so and get off the floor and let someone else have the spot. I am afraid that he still needs to remain in the nursey for a couple more years.
        I Like Howard but NO commitment for Lakers. Said his fans on twitter caused him to miss all those FREE THROWS????NOT,Stand up big man and say I need time to grow up, then I can be the “Superman” FREE THROWS WIN OR LOSE GAMES.