Photo by Streeter Lecka I Getty Images

Alright, who flipped the switch back to off? Someone tell that guy that the season’s not done yet.

There is nothing like a 0-3 losing record to make that 17-1 start post-All-Star break practically forgettable. After that unbelievable beginning to the second “half” of the regular season, with the Lakers beating to a mushy pulp every team who got in their way; where every analyst claimed no team could beat them; when Lamar Odom was playing head and shoulders above the rest to in campaign for that Sixth Man of the Year award, the defending champs decided to throw up a trio of stinkers that has all but made that dominating run seem like a mirage.

For a month and a half, the 4-game losing streak in November was a distant memory. The 3-game slide to end the year was a mere hiccup. The 3-game bad spell right before the All-Star break was a wake-up call. So how do we categorize the latest 3-game losing streak right before the post-season? Let’s call a spade a spade – this new streak is, in short, bad news. It should be a cause for some concern and it doesn’t matter how badly the Lakers ended last year’s regular season but still managed to take the title. This is a new season filled with much more challenging obstacles than last year’s championship run.

In the last four days, the Lakers have retreated back to their old ways – playing against the scouting report, showing very little interest in playing the right way, ignoring their strengths and forcing their weaknesses to suddenly turn a new leaf. If the Lakers are the hare, then Denver, Utah and Golden State are the tortoise; a contest between talent and effort, and we all know which quality won in the end.

The Lakers started the game 18-8, similar to their start last night against the Jazz. But after shooting 52% in the first quarter and allowing the Warriors to shoot just 24% from the field, the visiting bench entered the game and helped the home team get back into it. To say what a liability the Laker reserves are at this crucial time in the season would be an understatement. The only things the Killer B’s are eliminating are themselves…right out of the rotation. Matt Barnes, Steve Blake and Shannon Brown have all but lost their outside shooting abilities, not to mention that spark that Phil Jackson always looks for the bench to provide. The only spark they’re igniting is a fire of confidence in the opposing team. 5-18 – that’s what the Killer B’s shot from the field today. The bench leader, Lamar Odom, didn’t have a great night either, going just 3-7 for his eight points and again with the single digit rebounds, not to mention six turnovers. The version of Odom in the last two games is eerily reminiscent of his inconsistent days last season, when there was no telling how much or how little would come from him. This season has been a world of change for Odom, being the most consistent Laker since October. Tonight, however, it was turnover after turnover, ONE offensive rebound.

And again with the zero offensive execution. Pau Gasol was 7-11 from the field for his 18 points and Andrew Bynum was 5-5 for his 13. Why, for the 100 millionth time, don’t these two 7-footers get more opportunities to score?! This strength in size thing that the Lakers have is such an exhausting theme to keep pointing out because the team doesn’t seem to grasp that it’s 100% foolproof…ALL DAY, EVERYDAY. They would rather attempt 19 three-pointers and miss 14, than give the ball to their big men who shot a combined 12-16 from the field.

The downside to Pau Gasol’s offensive performance? Again…again…again…his work (or lack thereof) on the glass. A defensive rebound to end the first half gave Gasol his 4th rebound when Bynum had, by that time, collected 13 boards en route to his 17. Lamar Odom, Ron Artest and Gasol TOGETHER had 17 rebounds. There were moments in the game, where Gasol or Odom’s eyes merely tracked the trajectory of a ball, only to have them land or snatched by a Warrior who did more moving than watching. Gasol and Odom used to be rebounding machines. Are they…done with that aspect of their games?

The Warriors locked up this game when they went up by 19 points in the second half, and not even a late-game show of attempted heroics by Kobe Bryant (25 points on 10-20, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals) could save the Lakers tonight; not when they start early but finish late; not when they hand out 17 assists but commit 17 turnovers; not when they get outrebounded by a team whose biggest player is 6’10” and doesn’t even average three rebounds a game.
Next up are the Trailblazers at the Rose Garden. If these last three games are any indication of what is to come in that arena full of curses, the Lakers could be looking at a seeding south of that #2 spot. Maybe Dallas can’t possibly catch them. Then again, who knew the Lakers would get close to overtaking the Spurs a month ago? Just sayin’…

Box Score
Pre-game Thoughts: Keep the turnovers to a minimum, help Drew on the boards and for goodness sakes, work the offense from the inside out. Golden State is a running/jump shooting team. Prevent run-outs.
Half-time Thoughts: 38-43 – Again with the early lead and again losing that lead. Again with the turnovers in bunches and again getting outrebounded by a team who has no business outrebounding them. Lakers shot 52% from the field after the first quarter but fell to 41% after half because the ball continues to get thrown away. Golden State is shooting just 39% but have had 15 more attempts because of 11 Laker turnovers. Andrew Bynum has 13 of the Lakers’ 24 rebounds, with Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol and Ron Artest combining for six boards. SIX rebounds from three forwards. Monta Ellis is getting anything he wants out there. Lakers defense always takes a hit when Bynum is on the bench.
Most Thoughtless Play(s)/Player(s) of the Game: For the third game in a row, who WASN’T thoughtless other than Andrew Bynum?
Most Thought-filled Play(s)/Player(s) of the Game: The Golden State Warriors, for showing up teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trailblazers and now the Lakers. For a team not even eligible to play in the post-season, the Warriors showed more heart and more smarts than teams who seem to have gotten so overconfident that effort has fallen by the wayside.

  • MrL

    Even though they played horribly come playoff time (which is very soon) the Lakers should be ready. Remember that even in the playoffs the last 2 years we were complaining that some games we looked slug-ish while others we did not.

  • T411Lakers

    Ok… can we still trade anybody….

    What happened to the lakers…We were playing with a purpose and passion…..now it looks like we don’t even care. Turnovers…Terrible offense…and with three 7 footers…HOW ARE WE OUT REBOUNDED BY THE WARRIORS AND JAZZ !!

    Well, rest the starters now. The Mavericks are losing as bad as we are, and I think we can’t really catch Chicago no either. What a terrible loss. I really thought this was over with.

  • Rafael

    If they don’t want to play, just leave the team training and practicing at home and lose the remaining games by w/o.
    Why bother?

  • Xtro

    AnOther tanked game

  • 242LakerFan

    Okay, I was exasperated by being outrebounded by the Jazz, but this? This has me bordering on apoplexy!
    Little itty bitty Warriors are tapping balls out, hustling to positions for long rebounds and just plain trying harder than Laker bigs. Shots are getting jacked up out of rhythm from 20 ft when there isn’t a single purple jersey under the rim to even attempt a rebound. And even when we get rebounds, outlet passes are tossed lazily toward the first purple jersey in sight with nary a thought for the white jersey standing within arm’s reach of the passing lane.
    And this time, I’m not even exempting Bynum from this equation. I don’t knoe how many times I saw him set a pick at the 3pt line then stand there like a useless lump instead of rolling toward the rim to get a pass or a possible rebound.
    And again, everyone is trying to make the highlight reel with forced passes in traffic, three-quarter court passes (usually to the other team) or just unnecessarily difficult pass attempts. Just keep it simple and play the game.
    And what could be simpler than to pass the ball into the post where 2 7’ers are operating in Munchkin Land?
    Jeez, that worked really well for the first six minutes, so why bother doing it again for the rest of the game? Drew’s low post presence and Pau’s high post/mid range skill should be a no-brainer for any team, but instead, we’re jacking three 3-pointers in the same possession and the only time the ball sees the paint is when it’s flying twenty feet above it on 3 long rebounds after misses!
    We are not a team that should ever need to win a game from outside of fifteen feet! We have three skilled 7’ers. Any outside shots should be wide open because the ball went in the middle first and the defense collapsed from fear of the inside game. It’s not complicated and it works for the few minutes they use it at the beginning of every game.
    They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I think it’s equally crazy not to do something over and over again despite the fact that it gets results.
    Crazy.

  • Luck Sucks

    Face it. The Lakers bench is a major problem. Every game its the same. The starters build up a lead and the bench gives it away.

    The only good bench players we have are Odom and Barnes. The only positive to last nights loss was that Luke didn’t play. He sucks the most.

    • ilikebasketball

      i agree almost completely.

      except luke.

      luke i think would be a better point guard than blake.
      luke at least seems to understand what he needs to be doing when he is out there.
      Blake runs around like he just won a contest to play with the lakers. he has no idea where to go, how to control the offense as a point guard or how to hit a shot.
      and some of you may say “wellthe triangle changes it for the point guard, its not about a pg brining it up”. maybe for the starters, and for someone like fisher who understands whats going on. but Farmar at least at times knew how to control the tempo and pump up the bench. He looked like he knew he was the point guard out there. Blake looks like a lost child wandering into the middle of a movie.
      worst trade i’ve seen the lakers make in a long time.

    • Nick

      I couldn’t agree with u more. This is just a putrid bench. Shannon Brown is good for an occasional dunk, barnes is good for starting a fight and providing energy once in awhile and thats about it. Blake is awful, odom is basically a starter. This is the worst bench in the West outside of New Orleans. And the funny thing is, the Lakers are really arrogant about it, they just go about their buisness and think that their 5 starters and Odom will be enough to get it done… while teams like miami, chicago, and boston were improving and acquiring talent.. L.A felt they needed to do squat in free-agency and through trades or buy-outs. When the season ends u have 1 man to blame… Mitch Kupchak.

  • http://www.kaley-cuoco.info Kaley Cuoco Insider

    Bottom line: People need to chill out ^. Its only 3 losses. We don’t need to trade anybody. We don’t need to sign anybody. The bench sucked the past three games. So what? That doesn’t mean they suck. We have one of the deepest bench in the league. What else can you ask for? Chill out, the team is just bored, just like how they were bored before the All-Star. They’ll be ready come playoffs.

    • ilikebasketball

      what it comes down to is we have always sucked towards the end of the season. true. the weird thing was going 17-1 out of of the games. or 17-3 now.

      last year, did we lost 6 of the last 11 games or something?

      so i’m not too worried.
      though our bench looks more lost than i ever remember them being in the last 3 seasons.
      and i was about to say maybe the bench gets their energy from how well the starters play…but that really hasn’t even been the case. all season big leads have shrunk.

  • kanon_

    Fisher again….trying tooo many shots, fake layups. For me he is very important in the Lakers rotation, but for his age, he should just play a Rip Hamilton’s shooting style, just stand in the corners, waiting for the 3-point baskets. And YES, PAU & BYNUM SHOULD HAVE MORE ATTEMPTS!!!, but please, more REBOUNDS. I kown that with Bynum chasing all rebounds the number of Gasol and Odom should down a little bit…BUT NOT BY THE HALF!!!.
    And the bench, cmon, i know there’s no need to switch the alert button, but i don’t know how the bench is going to respond in the playoffs.

  • http://www.attorneyguide.com Big Shot Bob

    I would have loved to see Phil just get up and walk off the court in disgust after last nights game. Too bad he’s just as much of the problem as Kobe. How much longer can they get away with not caring about the game? Lamar said that the Utah game was their worse loss of the year, so they go out and stink it up again? Great leadership Lamar.

  • Dre81

    Fisher & THE BENCH minus odom and barnes are our problems

  • bbz62

    sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… try just a little pls.

  • Lebron is scared

    Last year they only won 4 out of their last 11 games. Better to lay eggs now than in the playoffs, I guess.

  • Kings of the West

    no worries fellas. Couple losses here but I am confident that the Lakers will be ready for playoffs

    • 242LakerFan

      I believe you’re right, but it’s damned inconsiderate of them to put us through games like these on the way there.

      • JS

        Especially for people (like me) who spent tons of money to see the game. I realize they’re people, and that they will have bad days, but to just NOT try in the least (as it appeared last night) is just inconsiderate to the paying fans who make it possible for them to earn the millions of dollars they earn.

  • Nate Mcmillian

    Well leave it to the lakers to completeley break down near playoff time. When it rains it pours with this pathetic team. Derek Fisher, and Steve Blake may have a 7 figure salary but they have a 2 digit IQ. Guard the damn 3 point shot is that really such a hard concept to understand. All you guys that that get onto people about dogging on Fisher well if someone does not produce they deserve all the hard times people give them. Steve Flake and Dick Fisher are the sorriest point guards in the entire NBA.

    • 242LakerFan

      I’m sure all the members and coaches of the 2010 Celtics, 2009 Magic, 2002 Nets, 2001 Pacers and 2000 76’ers would agree with you just how sorry and stupid Fisher is.

      • ilikebasketball

        hahahaha

    • Nate Mcmillian

      Well said Nate in addition Fisher at least one time a game is going to drive in and throw up it at the rim hoping to get a call. One or two things will happen either he gets blocked or he misses it horribly. Has Steve Fake ever hit a shot all year long? I really believe we have the sorriest two pint guards in the league. I do not know how these two morons can face their team mates when they play like this every single night. One more thing I looked up their percentages Blake shoots 35 and Fisher shoots a whopping 38% and these are wide open shots for these morons. That is percentage from the field not the 3point line from the field that is just pitiful. Old man Steve Nash shoots 49% and his shots are contested.

      • LakerMarc

        ur complimenting urself..thats awesome!!!!!!!!! and very arrogant (tongue in cheek)…now watch some of these fans get all worked up.

      • Nate Mcmillian

        I do not know who you are posting under my name but I agree with the points you made. Please whoever you are do not post under my name.

        • tectash

          Sorry Nate it automatically placed your name when I tried to reply to your post sorry.

          • Nate Mcmillian

            Its cool man I just wondered who that was. Anyway nice post though.

  • Barracuda

    It’s just so hard to find “Quality Help” these days.

  • Toni

    Is it just me, or was there some free throw disparity between the number of times the Golden State Warriors were went to the Free Throw line as opposed to the Lakers?! … I mean really, do you think that Matt Barnes would just throw away the ball, the way he did without some contact?!? Please!!!!

    As for Pau, who incidentally is my favorite member of the Lakers, it is rightly so that Jackson benched him for half of the 4th Quarter as he was not doing anything out there on the court! Don’t get me wrong as he is a very important aspect to the Laker team, but there are a number of times that he needs to man up and not let the other PF or Centers on other teams “own” him.

    • JS

      I was there and there were definitely a lot of no-calls for the Lakers in the second half. I guess Stern is sending out his game fixing orders to his refs to help make the end of the season a little more exciting…
      Sorry, gotta go; some men in black suits just busted down my door.

    • Luke Sucks

      If you take the ball into the paint, you are more likely to be awarded free throws. It’s that simple.
      The Lakers problem was not getting the free throw attempts. It was making them.

      • JS

        They missed way too many free throws, obviously, but that doesn’t excuse bad officiating. The Lakers played like shit and didn’t really deserve to win, but it definitely seemed as if the refs were intent on making sure that they didn’t, which isn’t really their job.

  • Laker Warrior

    Fisher smells like old fish. Bake suck s why did they trade Sasha At least he can shot and play defense

    • rondo

      How do you know he smells like fish. Are you in his Jock?

      • LakerMarc

        lmao…now that sasha is gone ppl ask why??? poseurs…..

    • ilikebasketball

      they say that about fisher every single year.

      its old.

  • Lakers All the Way

    Give me a break. Anybody who keeps posting these comments aren’t true Lakers fans. No one is perfect. They had a good run since the All-Star break. It’s better to let off the gas a little than to peak to early. They’ll be fine come the playoffs. I honestly think they don’t really care. They wanted the two seed, and they should likely get it. Stop worrying so much. Also, to the guy eating into Fisher. You must have forgotten who basically won the game in Boston last year in the Finals, or maybe you weren’t watching.

    • ilikebasketball

      i think that is what the main worry is.
      peaking too early and the bench.

      those are just concerns.

      though i do think the 2nd seed at this point is probably better for us in the long run.

      • LakerMarc

        well its different from the last 2 years and maybe they’ll get a different perspective on evrythng…and for this 3 peat to happen…maybe this time its the best thing?

    • Luke Sucks

      You are wrong and I will tell you why. True fans care about there teams but are not blind to their deficiencies.
      IMO Luke does suck. Does that make me a hater? No it’s just my opinion. He has a terrible shot, makes a poor pass for every good pass and is lost on defense. Are you still with me?
      Fisher IS getting old and he CANNOT keep up with the younger PGs. Does that make him garbage? Of course not but that was why the Lakers brought Blake in.
      To have both Fisher and Blake playing lousy does impact the team. I could go on but I think you get my drift.

  • lakerman34

    I said it in the shoutbox, and got s.hit for it, but c’mon.

    Look at the box score, and look at how many minutes our starters are playing. Chances are we are gonna get the 2nd seed, and we are in cruise mode right now.

    Ideally, I think Laker management should send the starters to Hawaii, let them get the spa treatment, have them come back a week before playoffs ready to work.

    Whoever’s panicking, just stop. The ‘red-hot’ Lakers will be back come playoff time.

    • LakerMarc

      u know what lakerman? as fans we don’t come out here to get shit from anyone..if the others don’t like what you say…they can fuck themselves….

  • awesomerob24

  • Brown Hater

    I actually think it’s matter of them not caring right now they have nothing to prove to the Warriors or the Jazz who they beat up on regularly they don’t care about getting home court and the 2nd seed actually look like the better route right now anyway, I ‘m sure they will be ready to play against the Thunder & the Spurs & then tank the Kings game. So just wait for the playoffs people because boredom as set in again.

  • patrick

    We just screwed overselves we will lose at Portland. And give The C’s Heat, and Bulls home court in the Finals. And now Dallas are ducking games so we play OKC in 2nd round. OKC win tiebreaker over DAL because they won their division.

    We will end up play Portland, OKC, Spurs and At c’s if we make finals I think we are done. And tell that loser Lakersland Nostradamus to put a sock in it. I am a shamed Lakers fan.

    • T411Lakers

      I don’t think we will lose to Portland. Lakers are gonna be so mad that they will down them in the first quarter ( hopefully). I doubt we are done. Last year we came out hot from All-Star, then lost 7 of 11 of the last games. And won. We are 17-4 with 4 left. So trust me, the Lakeshow’s not done yet. They will go into round 1 and destroy the Hornets, not face Portland. Dallas is soft and sucks and OKC is to young to beat us , and we will hang the spurs out by their limbs in the CF’s. The celdicks forfeited any chance to even TRY to beat us with relying on Shaq. Lakers gonna win in 6 against the bulls, and I see no team, other than Miami, that could seriously beat us in a 7 game series. And rest is also a factor. You are guaranteed at least a day off between playoff games> When the Lakers won 9 they had a game or 2 with 2-3 days off before hand. Utah-Denver-Utah-GS was in a far shorter span, with a back to back.

      • LakerMarc

        very good assessment and I think ur 100% dead on…..The celdicks fucked themselves when they cut Perk and now that Perk is with OKC dsnt mean the same thing…OKC does not equal Celtics…Lakers all right but losing this way is losing momentum and makes us look bad…but just bcs a similar scenario occured last year dsnt mean the same result translates this year…

  • Nick

    And while we’re at it, what is this big uproar in the Lakers lockeroom about Pau Gasol being soft?? He’s soft! It doesn’t mean he’s fucking slava Medvedenko… he’s obviously a very good skilled player and 1 of the best power forwards in the NBA… But he is soft. Kendrick Perkins, Ben Wallace, Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason, Charles Barkely, Karl Malone, Moses Malone, these are all examples of guys who are aggressive and physical, guys who would fight at the drop of a dime, guys who intimidate the opponent with their size and ferocity. Once again, he is soft…. It doesn’t mean he has an STD, or that he beats senior-citizens in his spare time, but HE IS SOFT. Pau likes to avoid contact and rely on his above average skill to get the job done. He can win head 2 head against amare stoudemire any time he wants but he is SOFT. Even u stupid Laker fans need 2 realize that. Derek Fisher may flop alot, and he may be one of the worst PG’s in the NBA, but the guy isn’t soft.. he plays as hard as he can and he isn’t shy at all about contact or about banging.. get it? Pau = good but a soft little bitch. Fisher = sucks but tough

    • andy

      its obvious your a loser who needs to try to explain some thing like this in another teams forum. go read a book. or get laid.

      • LakerMarc

        LMFAO!!!!! Classic!!!

    • LakerMarc

      And Nick you suck the most….and the thing is you talked about this so go back and do as you said about 2 months ago ….go and get Kobe’s cock stuffed in your mouth u moron!

      • 242LakerFan

        Stop letting the Master Baiter keep baiting you! He has admitted that he just wants to bait you into responding. Don’t step in his sticky mess.

  • Chi-Town Walt

    @luck sucks you’re definetly right the bench is terrible L.O. play’s more minutes than some starters the rest of them need 2 step up!