The camera zoomed in on Kobe Bryant sitting on the Lakers’ bench, dressed appropriately in a black suit as he watched his team beaten to a pulp on the court. He rubbed his closed eyes constantly, perhaps hoping that he’ll open them and wake up from a bad dream…a really bad dream…a nightmare.
That’s what this season has been, despite all the promise that the Lakers showed in summer camp, training camp, the pre-season and even in the first game where they knocked the Clippers off their socks. That first game of the season seems like ages ago, because tonight’s contest was really no contest at all.
Except for a short-lived three-point lead by the Lakers in the first quarter, it was all Clippers all the time (even without the services of an injured Chris Paul), capped off by a 123-87 loss for the purple and gold.
Free throws – 25-28 from the line. In a close game, this would’ve been key. In a game where your opponent’s largest lead was 43 points, a good free throw percentage doesn’t matter so much.
They’re there – the very lowest point since the last championship season in 2010, and tonight was one of their worst games. They gave up a 43-point first quarter to a Clippers team who shot almost 71%. The third quarter, their Achilles heal, was a 31-8 point disparity. The Lakers scored just eight points in that quarter on 10% shooting. Six Lakers scored in double figures, led by Kendall Marshall’s 16. He was the single “bright” spot, adding to his total were 10 assists and four rebounds. Every other player in a purple uniform didn’t produce any better. Pau Gasol was only 5-15 from the field, Jodie Meeks was 2-10, Nick Young was 3-14 and Ryan Kelly was 1-6 . The Clippers, were led by Blake Griffin’s 33 points on 12-15 from the field. He also went 9-11 from the charity stripe, a once upon a time weakness for the forward. As usual, the Lakers were also outrebounded, 56-47 and they racked up 21 turnovers that provided the Clippers with 37 points.
It was reported that Xavier Henry would be examined in the next week, and that Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant would also be evaluated soon after that. This would otherwise be good news, had the team been playing even remotely better than they have been. Unfortunately, news like this produces nothing but more uncertainty and false hope – which seem to be the theme of the Lakers’ season anyway.