Kobe’s 40 points wasn’t enough to get the Lakers a much needed first win against the Clippers last night. For the season, the Lakers fall to 0-3 while the Clippers improve to 2-0. Nobody thought they would be saying that before the season started. The Lakers are now 0-3 for the first time in 34 years. To give that some perspective, Jimmy Carter was president, The movie Grease had just come out, and gas was 63 cents a gallon. So is it time to hit the panic button?
The real problem here seems to lie in the play the Lakers are getting, or perhaps not getting, from the bench. Nothing could make that more apparent than looking across the hall to our counterparts last night. The Clippers bench runs quite deep, something that showed easily as they were able to outscore our bench 46-16.
Against Portland, our bench managed to outscore their opponent by a whopping 15-13 margin, while in the season opener our bench was outscored 37-17. The fact that in three games our bench is yet to put up 20 points is kind of scary. Jamal Crawford put up 21 points against us alone last night. I should note that Steve Blake was forced to start last night, but that doesn’t make me feel any more comfortable about the situation.
The bottom line is, I think this is a situation that just needs to work itself out. Three games is not enough to start making judgements about the remainder of the season, especially knowing the players we have on our team. I think we all are just a bit disappointed in the results, given the super team that was put together in the offseason. The good news is that team is still there. Our starters will continue to get healthier and play better, as will the bench. As Kobe said, patience is key here. The bench will get better, and if it doesn’t, we as Lakers fans should have full confidence in our management to make it get better. And as ridiculous as this is to say based on the talent of our lineup, we did in fact play without one of the top point guards in the league last night.
Maybe I’m just being optimistic, but at this point it’s better than the alternative.