clutterIs anyone else witnessing the obvious mediocrity inscribed in the Lakers’ performance as of late? I hate to say it but, it’s almost as if we have no heart; no love and appreciation for the game.

Sure, the Lakers were plagued with an unpleasant altitude, an inordinate amount of poor officiating (regardless of the remark that “poor officiating is a loser’s lament” as proclaimed by Coach Van Gundy after Game 4), and a bloodthirsty Denver team still bemoaning their loss in Game 3, but it isn’t as if we met the challenge.

Our aggression and intensity has been consistently undermined in this series by the Nuggets’ presence in those areas.

Where are we?

We can hardly keep a significant lead, much less come back easily from a deficit, and our intensity turns up a notch as the minutes remaining in the game begin to dwindle into scarcity (not as soon as necessary to say the least).

It’s bad enough that we’re sluggish and more predictable than we have ever been, but then, we fans get the common courtesy of seeing our exhausted MVP admit that, “We got whooped” in a press conference during a post-game interview (after he contributed 34 points to our overall score for the night no less, at least someone attempted to do their job).

It tugs at your heartstrings to see our Purple and Gold clad warriors so down, but it really isn’t hard for them to beat the Nuggets, and it’s actually quite frustrating that the Lakers’ won’t just make the necessary adjustments and play to their full potential.

I’ve heard many gripes about how the Lakers are exhausted because they’ve played eleven Playoff games in 22 days, but that really is no excuse. If we wanted it, it was right there for the taking. But it isn’t achievable if defense continues to decline.

The Nuggets are killing us in rotation; their quick ball movement catches us not rotating fast enough with the ball, so they can roll off the high pick with our backs turned and dunk it on us. They’ve been doing it all series, and I promise you they will continue to hail some pretty embarrassing plays on us if we don’t step it up a tad.

Also, Chris Andersen is not that much of a threat. He gets off on leaping around like a demented eagle, if we put a body on him, there’s no room for a ridiculous amount of activity from him. While we’re at it, we should probably review boxing out in general because our rebounding is pitiful on both ends of the floor.

But I’m not here to rag on my boys about the little things, I would just like to make it known that it is indeed, little things.

Little things are quite easy to change with the right amount of effort and conformity, let’s hope that we’ll be the bloodthirsty ones come Game 5.

  • sketch

    Come on fellas! Now that you guys are back home for game 5… let’s go out there and tear it up! Punch those Thuggets right back in their mouths! I wanna see Melo mopin again! This time Sasha, you go and taunt that ghetto bird JR Smith and yell in his face! Kobe cross that scrub Dirtay Jones over and make him “trip” over his own feet! Fish, this time you’ve gotta hit the big shots and let Chauncey know that he’s still just a rook compared to the championship experience that you’ve seen! Bynum, send Nene’s $h!t back to Rio! LO, dunk on that fool K-Mart and tell him that his blue light special ain’t gonna fly in this town, this is the city of Angels and it’s about time that we fight back! Play with determination, energy, ferocity, confidence, and swagger! Come out and run these fools outta our town with their cowardly tails between their legs! Send George Karl to the WNBA where he really belongs!

    GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!! WAKE THE FCUK UP AND KICK THEY @$$!!!!!!!!

  • KING

    ^haha that was actually funny lol

  • Sean All Ivy

    Good article. That’s the same stuff I’ve been screaming at my TV for the past 4 games. If we ever play to our potential this team can’t touch us.

  • Melbourne

    how about going big? We have an advantage in size that is not being utilized. I’d like to see a lineup of Bynum, Pau, Odom, Ariza and Kobe.

    Bynum and Pau have a massive size advantage over nene and kmart, and pounding it inside would help draw fouls. Odom is big enough to keep carmelo from crashing the boards or posting up, and he’s big enough to do a decent job staying in front of him, which would turn him into a jump-shooter, which is what we want. Ariza could gamble off Dahntay Jones (and he’s at his best roaming the passing lanes and trapping) since Jones isn’t a shooting threat. Kobe is already guarding Billups.

    This would be the best possible lineup, I think, and Odom and Kobe can share the ball handling responsibilities.

    Any lineup without Fish and Sasha playing more than 10 minutes each would be ideal.

  • 808lakers

    If the Lakers would only read some of this sh.1t

  • Showtime21

    I could not have said it any better; especially about the rotation, lack of boxing out, and poor rebounding. I’ve been saying it all series. Great article.

    Let’s go Lakers!

  • Kobe8

    It’s the defense the Lakers use. They use help defense too much, that’s why there is a lot of space for 3 point shooters and offensive rebounds. If they played man-to-man defense you would see the difference. I don’t know why they double people like K-Mart, Birdman and Nene. These guys have 0 offense, their offense comes from offensive rebounding. So Phil Jackson needs to notice that quickly because IF we play Orlando, we might get f’d leaving free shooters.

  • Shril

    First of all. Lakers need to realize. Kobe is doing his thing. But the rest of the players should at least feel angry that guys like Birdman and JR are outplaying us. They should be mad that those guys just come in ant taunt them right to their faces. If he dunks on you or knocks a shot on your face.. You should give it right back, and let them know u will not tolerate it. Deny the lane. Crash the Boards. Play like angry dogs for once in the season damn it.

  • kaypee83

    This basketball organization is doing shit! they are going to play the same way they did last 2 days!

  • ade

    Like your comment Shril. The lakers needs to want it more than the Lakers. A lot is at stake

  • LakerLand_Nostradamus

    Tonight the Lakers boys will take care of business. They better be, because if we lose. Bye, bye ring…

  • gugy

    Yes we have problems, everybody knows that. But just have faith.
    Last season we were unstoppable until we reached the finals, this year we can’t say the same thing, so maybe the end result will be different.
    Have faith guys.
    Kobe is probably looking at this an fantastic opportunity. Cavs is not making to the finals, Boston is gone. Yes Magic is good, but the Lakers can take care of them. I think Kobe will kick into gear tonight and Lamar will finally have a strong game. Go Lakers!

  • http://www.myspace.com/on3s3qu3nc3 123kid

    ^nicely said! believe in our team and stick with them. i know some of us or all of us have are frustrations with a lot of our players and are talking about wanting some of them out already, but just keep believing and soon we will all be cheering and celebrating at the championship parade!!!!

  • Envision4

    Sasha stop taking contested 3′s, Fisher you too… Please god stop playing Walton, you suck and do nothing for your team yet you pull a technical foul in the 4th while we are down??? GET THE F^*& OUT and ride the pine where you belong. I’ve never seen such a one dimensional player in the NBA. Stop dribbling the ball across the court hunched over and only using your right hand to dribble because you have no dribbling skills….you freak me out when you do that. Stop shooting in general because you can’t even make little 5-10 footers, stop posting up because you have one move, you spin and you either miss or get blocked. Come and sit here with us fans and watch the game, know your role and that’s not on the court, Melo is laughing in your face everything he’s got you isolated because you’re a joke… 4 fouls and a technical in 2:30 seconds??? Not on that, but LAZY PATHETIC fouls. STOP PUTTING YOUR HEAD DOWN AND LOOKING AT THE FLOOR CRYING WHEN YOU MISS A SHOT OR MAKE A MISTAKE YOU GIRL, GROW SOME AND GET YOUR BUTT BACK ON DEFENSE, STOP HANGING YOUR HEAD.

    Bynum… WTF dude really? You want playing time? Look how lazy you are. You need to focus on defense cause that’s where we need you. Stop taking mid range jumpers, and start dunking the ball with some passion no layups my god you’re the biggest guy out there play like one. Their guards drive on you all freaking day and you still haven’t learned that if you can’t get there to take a charge then let them go and use you 5-7-8 inch advantage and block from the side or behind instead or getting there late, doing nothing but picking up a personal foul while giving them an AND-1. Dude… watch Dwight Howard play or hell even watch The Bird Man play, always weakside or from behind blocks.

    We can’t win this with just Kobe, Gasol and Ariza… the rest of you need to suck it up and play ball.

  • WatWudChickSay? (WWCS)

    I believe the Lakers will win tonight for two reasons: first, they are going to feed the ball into the low post to Kobe, Pau, and, if he shows some grit and gets good position (a big “if”), Andrew; and, second, because the league is now frightened out of their wits of a Magic/Nuggets Finals so the refs are going to call the game a little more evenly.

    But if the Lakers come out flat, hang around the perimeter, and fail to attack the rim, while the Nuggets continue to play fast, aggressive basketball, then the refs are going to call it in the Nuggets favor, AS THEY SHOULD.

    A passive Lakers squad loses (as they should), an aggressive Lakers squad wins (as they will).

    It’s up to them.

  • Michael_23

    I think the article is irrelevant. Yes, they played with no heart vs Houston sometimes, but I think the Lakers met their match.

    They’re just not executive well on offense. Houston’s D I believe is even better than the Nuggets. And it’s only 1 game they got blown out. Personally, I think the Lakers got tired of the ref’s inconsistency with the calls. Even when Denver got most of the calls on them on techs, it just shows how bad our officiating is.

  • Jammer

    Let Farmar or Brown play more minutes. They can’t do any worse than D-fish. They hustle and are more aggressive. The Lakers are more up tempo when they are in the game. Also give Powell more time, so he can bang in the paint. The Lakers are not anticipating the rebounds. They stand and watch the shot and don’t react until the ball bounces off the rim or backboard. Mean while the Denver biggies are moving and getting in position to get the rebounds

  • WifelovesLuke

    Tatum, take a deep breath young man. It’s called a playoff series for a reason. As long as the destination is met (The Finals) the journey is just a sub plot. Every team in the playoffs has had bad games. As long as you leave this round with 4 victory’s it’s all good. The climb to the top is going to have obstacles. Can this Laker squad conquer those obstacles? So far, the answer has been yes. Enjoy the journey, little guy!

  • Miles

    Phil needs to start Bynum and Odum and Brown and bring Pao and Fish off the bench while Kobe gets a rest. Kobe can’t play 48 and Bynum and Pao on the floor at the same time is a bust. Bynum can’t get his groove on off the bench so let him start and give us a solid 4 min per quarter.

  • Tatum

    I’m a girl. But thanks for your opinion.

  • Tatum

    By the way WifeLovesLuke, when I am told I have a deadline…and we’ve been playing as haphazardly as we have, barely pulling away towards the end to snag the wins we did, this is how I’m going to write…I haven’t been impressed and that is my opinion. But I can’t begin writing about the Finals until we shape up and get there now can I?

  • Ronnie

    Mediocrity? Does anyone ever not blame the lakers? They are tired, banged up, and relying to heavily on key players but on top of this the Denver nuggets are energized and rested. Its not the lakers playing mediocre (they pulled out two wins based on 4rth quarter execution) its the nuggets playing hard and the lakers winded as hell. They will win today, 100% energy at staples. game 6 will be important because we know denver will be playing with desperation, but I think we can pull out one win and if not….big deal we close out in seven. Nobody ever put and asterisk on a Larry Obrien trophy, either you win the series or you dont. It dont matter if it goes seven games in every round, or who you play against…..if you advance, you advance pure and simple. If you win 4 games and lose 3 in June, you win the title, pure and simple. You dont have to sweep through the playoffs, what does that prove? That you want to be known as the greatest team ever? Thats stupid, the ring makes the legacy, not the way you get the ring.

  • gugy

    the good thing is the Lakers is seems as the underdogs and most the media is picking Denver to win.
    That’s good, since they all guaranteed the Cavs at the Finals and that will hardly happen now.
    I said this many times. The only team that can defeat the Lakers is the Lakers itself. If they bring energy, determination and confidence, nobody can beat them on this league. It really is a matter, what Laker team will show up tonight that how Denver will play.

  • what will be

    Don’t get me wrong, the Lakers still have the goods to go all the way, and I’m pulling for that 100%… However…

    The role players are not pulling their weight…IE Sasha Walton Farmar Brown…

    Odom is off track…and not even rebounding well…

    Kobe is settleing for too many out side shots, and missing more shots than he is making…

    all this can fall into place, but the above must change, quick here…

  • lakerman1

    Most of these people are whiners.The Lakers won 65 games by playing in the same fashion and why would they come out with the intent to lose a game no team has ever won every game’ i believe in my heart that the Lakers play to win every game and even if they did everything everyone harps on they would still get criticise. There are those including the commentators who expect the Lakers to Dominate every game. We got this far playing this way and we will win the same way. I like Michael Cooper because he is a true Laker unlike Magic & Jerry West,like wifeloveluke says root for the team quit putting them down and it would be nice if there were more dedicated laker fans instead of all of the band wagon celebrities’at the game i am from the hood and i stick with my boys even if they don’t win.

  • AL the Laker Fan you should meet.

    ahhhhhhhhhhh

  • AL the Laker Fan you should meet.

    Game 5…I know Im ready! Are the Lakers I would assume they would be pissed!!! All they have to do is come out and execute the gameplan…No easy buckets,one shot attempt on D….Get the Defensive boards and box out….Then attack this team the way we did last year…IN THE POST!!!!! They have no answers. Let’s GO LakeShow…Lets Hear the Cheers LAKERNATION! Game 5 is ours!!!

  • sketch

    [Comment ID #73284 Will Be Quoted Here]

    NO, YOU’RE WRONG LAKERMAN1! The Lakers did not play like this during the first half of the season. They absolutely dominated the competition! They were like the Atomic Bombs and the other teams were like the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki… they were decimated! Then the second half is when we started to play inconsistent and the start of our downward slide. Ever since then, the team has been trying to right the course, but has also been easily blown off course!

    I think that they’ve got their sight on the prize, that’s for sure. But I think that in doing so, they’re also overlooking opponents and have become somewhat disinterested with them all except their potential foe in the Finals. This team has gotten this sense of “entitlement”, that they deserve to get to the Finals and win the Championship and that the Western Conference playoffs is just a “practice run”!

    Well, I think that they’re waking up from their slumber now. I think that the Thuggets have gotten their attention and that if the Lakers aren’t careful then the tortoise will end up winning this race over the hare!

    I think that we can all agree that from top to bottom, our team is way better than the Thuggets. They’re definitely outplaying us with energy and determination and that’s why the series is tied at 2-2. Also, the poor officiating of letting the Thuggets get away with excessive contact, dirty plays, and force doesn’t suck for them. Despite all that, our team still needs to come out and show everyone that they are the best team in the League and punch the Thuggets right back! What’s the best way of getting a bully off of your back? You stand up to him and kick his fcukin @$$! Watch out Thuggets, you guys are about to get your @$$es handed to you!

    GO LAKERS!!!!!! LAKERS BY DOUBLE DIGITS TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!

  • AL the Laker Fan you should meet.

    sketch-hey man u said it best !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Logicguy

    TIME FOR A CHANGE Win, loose or draw it is time for Phil to go. He is retired. This team is young and dumb in the fundamentals of the game. Phil does not work well with a team like this. My recommendation is to bring Hubie Brown in here for one or maybe two years to teach Rambis how to teach fundamentals, current day strategies, discipline and matchups.

    Poor big man utilization in the offense (Shaquism 101- If you dont feed the big dog , he wont guard the porch.)
    Little gunner guards that can’t play defense or get the ball inside.
    Too many three point shots from a team that does not have a three point shooter.
    Players not knowing game, clock or foul situation.
    Not knowing how to stop a run or call a timeout to settle team.
    Not exploiting mismatches, Not riding the hot hand etc……..

  • sketch

    [Comment ID #73331 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Thanks. I was only off by 1 point… I said double digits, we won by 9. Stupid Ariza for giving Melo an and 1, otherwise it would have been double digits! Hahaha!

    GO LAKERS!!!!!