Forum Blue & Gold: I don’t think this can be stressed enough – starting 7-1 means there is little going wrong with the Lakers. That is a 72-10 pace if you can keep it up for a season, so let’s not overreact to one game.

Along those overreaction lines, the simplistic media meme out of the Lakers first loss of the season was “they are still not tough enough.” But I don’t see how you get to that conclusion, unless you went in looking for that answer. The Brothers K at the LA Times Lakers blog summed up the toughness thing well:

…but the Lakers were hurt equally, perhaps more, by (Detroit’s) small, nearly postless lineup that relied on penetration on the perimeter and excellent ball and player movement to take advantage of defensive breakdowns. LA dominated the battle for second chance points (16-9) and points in the paint (52-30). They had 16 offensive rebounds, besting their season average.

To me, the apparent lack of toughness was a symptom of a poor night of defense. The Lakers did not keep the helpline where they wanted it, they were not aggressive with their traps.

That was one the things seen by one of this site’s best known posters, Kwame a., when he was at the game Friday:

1. The Pistons spread us out well. They ran the high screen and roll with AI and either Sheed or Kwame. What I was impressed with is how they got the ball into the middle of our defense. This was the first game a team consistently comprised our defense in that way.

2. The Pistons made lots of shots, I was amazed at some of the ones Tayshaun and AI hit over our defenders. They did get a fair share of open looks off penetration, but they made shots too, credit to them.

3. Darius touched on this after a different game, but it was really evident last night- the ball dies too much in the halfcourt with the starting unit. Not only Kobe, but with Pau as well. We need to move the ball more in the halfcourt. A big part of the problem was simply not making shots.

4. I was a little disappointed in Drew Bynum’s lack of discipline and focus on defense. He floated over to a position where he was slowly attempting to double prince on the strong side. This let Kwame gain deep position and get easy hoops on ball reversals. This was partly Bynum’s fault, but the team as a whole did not rotate well. Of course, rotations look slower when the other team is making its shots, and spreading out our D.

Darius added to that:

I noticed Drew not being in good position on the baseline as well. Our traps simply were not there against the Pistons. Part of that was that the initial defender was not doing a good job of shading the offensive player and directing him to the trap, but the second part of that was the strong side big not closing down the baseline effectively and shutting down the penetrator. I remember one play in particular where Prince went baseline and Bynum didn’t step up effectively, letting Prince get all the way to the basket and do that reverse two handed jam on the other side of the basket. Needless to say, our defense was not sharp against the relentless dribble attack of the Pistons. Sure, Detroit hit a lot of shots (and I know that can lead to more frantic close outs and the want to crowd the ball handler more; both of which lead to easier penetration) but we still need to play with more discipline and energy on defense. Last night it just wasn’t there.

But, it was one loss in eight games. The Lakers have a few days off to absorb that loss before they try to start a new streak against Chicago. Kwame a. said the same thing after the Detroit game.

The Lakers will be alright. This will be good tape to show them to keep them from getting to hight on themselves.

  • PauKobeBynumOdomDynasty

    wuts Kwame a.?

    I believe that we have to overreact to this loss…we cant lose at home to the pistons. Fine, i mean there’s no need to overreact if the pistons played really well, but come on Kobe 12-30? Fisher 4-16? Radman…(who on trade machine guys succeeded in a trade with orlando with Hedo Turkoglu) just sucks. The lakers bombed it vs. a hyped crowd. It doesnt seem right to win back-to-back road games vs the mavs and hornets, and then lose at home to the Pistons.

    Thats just my opinion…

  • kPoAbUe

    i don’t take 7-1.

    i will only accept a championship.

  • Freshh

    Reality Check!

  • Chris Manning

    It’s a good loss for them to regroup.

    That and the Pistons played over their heads. It’s all a learning experience and the Lakers are human after all. Damnit.

  • Nick Lachey USA

    It’s a good wake-up call – let the team know that they got to be focused and play smart every game!

  • Logic Guy

    GOOD LOSS, BAD LOSS, BAD COACHING. Can we just give Phil a little blame here. He changed the success formula and it wasn’t because of what was happening on the floor. It was not because of Kobe taking 30 shots and missing most of them. It was failing to have Odom continue come in around the 6 minute mark for Bynum, allowing Bynum to come back in time to spend significant time with the second unit. Phil cut Odom’s time which hurt his feelings. Reducing Bynum’s time with the second unit reduced their effectiveness. Lamar was effective until frustration set in. I think the frustration was with Phil nodding out on the bench. Lamar is in a contract year, he looses his starting position then has his PT is cut.(This sends a message) All players are sensitive about things like that.

    When Kobe takes 30 shots the opposition can defend that. That’s why he does not shoot for a good average against good teams when he goes into the “Takeover” mode. When “Takeover” occurs, his team mates stop moving on offense because thay know they will not get the ball. Lack of movement on offense transfers to lack of movement on defense, causing you loose your rotations and the other team shoots for a better average. I don’t think Detroit has shot that well all year.

    Against good teams the Lakers need to use more shot clock trying to work the ball inside. Make the extra pass with fewer dribles. Clanking up long bricks early in the shot clock kills you against good teams. Also, Bynum must then finish. Go up hard whether you are open or not. You da baddest dude out their. Play with attitude.(Without fouling)

    The biggest screw up was Phil messing with with the substitution without any explanation. This could have a lasting effect on the chemistry of the second team. He may have lost Lamar. I don’t think Phil is big enough man to correct this blunder, so, that could be the end of your championship hopes LA. He stumbled onto something that worked then screwed it up. Don’t blame the players for this one. They need to be coached. When you have the best players, you don’t worry about matchups. Let the other guy worry about matching up with you.

  • the ape

    the loss doesn’t bother me. what’s important is how they react. anyway, the only streak that really matters is 16-0 in the playoffs!

  • sketch

    it’s just one of those games. the lakers have not been off to a good start in the last few games. we were able to pull it out in the end or just blew the other team out finally in the 4th, but not against a tested pistons team. they play solid d and know each other’s game well. now that they’ve got iverson at point, they can disrupt a lot of teams. sure the loss was disappointing and borderline maddening, but i’ll just say this last thing and i think that you’ll all agree…if rasheed wallace was able to “BANK IN” the last second 3 with a guy draped all over him…yeah, things were just going their way that night.


    On my job there’s a lawyer ,who graduated from UCLA and is a BIGTIME Laker fan and he said the same thing this article said at the beginning…THE LAKERS ARE ON PACE FOR 72-10,1 loss in-between 7 wins is a @#$%in’ perfect season if you ask me.

    The team is fine but Josh Powell is the guy we need vs Eastern Conference teams..he’s a BANGER and that’s what they do in the East,BANG!Lakers play too soft vs those teams and The Pistons did exactly what The Smell-tics did in The Finals…case closed.