Lakeshow Spotlight: A Tale of Two Lakers

twolakers

They were the best of teams. They were the worst of teams. Watching the Lakers play against Denver and Houston right after pounding the red-hot Suns was unbelievably frustrating, akin to watching a brand-new Ferrari drive down the street with two flat tires.

Against the Suns, we caught a glimpse of the well-oiled machine that the Lakers can be. They shot about 58% with 36 assists on 53 shots made while holding the Suns to 37% shooting.

But against Denver, it was a different Lakers. Slow rotations on defense. Stagnant offense, with the shot-clock always almost out before someone threw-up a poorly advised shot. A lot of one-on-one and no passing. The result? 35% shooting with 19 assists on 31 made shots. Denver torched us at 43% shooting with 28 assists on 37 shots made.

What accounts for such poor play? The “they were tired from playing the night before” excuse works once, but how do you explain the loss in Houston? This Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde temperament of this team cannot be explained away on injuries or altitude. The real culprit? Attitude.

The Lakers are still drunk on their Championship draught. They show up most games expecting to win and to win easily. Knowing that the only games that matter happen late in the Spring, they could care less about the regular season. Finally, they don’t really respect most teams enough to try hard. The combination of these factors amount to a very unmotivated Lakers team. They know how good they are.

Meanwhile, ever other team in the league wants to make their name at the Lakers’ expense and brings their “A” game.

The Lakers seem to get motivated only when they play a team they truly hate, truly fear or after they’ve been truly embarrassed. So basically circle the games against the Spurs, Suns, Cavaliers, and Celtics and any after a bad loss or two. Those are the games you can expect to the Lakers show up and play hard. The rest of the season you can expect the lackluster, just-good-enough-to-win-most-the-time efforts to continue.

That being said, these Lakers remind me of another Lakers team: the 2000-2001 Lakers. Shaq showed up at the beginning of the season overweight. The team seemed bored and unmotivated all season long. They struggled with injuries. They struggled with the Shaq and Kobe dispute. And then they turned it on. They came in a few games behind the red-hot Spurs as the second seed in the West. Shaq dove for loose balls. The whole team played their hearts out. And the Lakers broke records by sweeping their way to the Finals and then crushing Allen Iverson’s 76ers in 5.

So don’t fret. Lakers will do great things. Just don’t expect them anytime soon.

Other spotlights…

  • I’m still not sure what the Thunder’s colors are.
  • I really didn’t like seeing Ariza in a Rockets jersey. I was even happy for him when he drained that three.
  • I loved watching the highlight of Fish laying out Scola. I hate Scola.
  • Brooks seriously looks like he’s in high school.
  • Gotta love Houston. Japanese-owned arena (Toyota Center) in America with Chinese advertising.
  • Kobe doesn’t get nearly the same amount of calls that LBJ gets.
  • I think the Piston’s coach has been brokering sub-prime loans.
  • You can take the team out of Detroit, but you can’t take Detroit out of the team.
  • Short Dog

    It’s all gravy considering the injuries we have had early.
    Once we get the whole team out there then we will be doing damage.
    Lakers #1
    F the rest

  • lakerville213

    its pure arrogance on the part of the lakers…they showed this last season too…”we won’t play hard against charlotte and their likes because we’re the lakers and we have our eyes set on the finals and christmas day games against the celtics…” so my dream of a laker team topping jordan’s 72-10 does not seem likely. but this cocky swagger of the lakers is also a good thing. that confidence got them a championship banner despite disappointing dead weights like sun yue and adam morrison. by the way, ammo needs to get his act together if he still wants to play pro ball at all. other notes: bench needs to be the bench we saw two years ago. to be honest, i think the true heart of that spectacular bench was ronny. no pun intended. loved the guy.

  • Kid Kaos 310

    Once Pau returns, things should go back to normal with our bench and performance across the board. On another note, LeBron does get more calls than Kobe, but maybe because he attacks the rim more often.

  • 007

    man, ron is seriously pissin’ me off with his HORRENDOUS free throw shooting.

    • WifelovesLuke

      But you gotta love his “D”, rebounding and passing.

      • http://LakersNation Marwan

        Amen to that WifeLovesLuke

  • WifelovesLuke

    “The Lakers are still drunk on their Championship draught. They show up most games expecting to win and to win easily. Knowing that the only games that matter happen late in the Spring, they could care less about the regular season. Finally, they don’t really respect most teams enough to try hard. The combination of these factors amount to a very unmotivated Lakers team. They know how good they are.”

    Comment based on opinion and not fact….just like the rest of the article.

    • Sean All Ivy

      If you have watched the Lakers over the last two years you can see that he might not have facts written on paper to back up his thesis but he is definately right. We always play down to our competition and it bites us sometimes. This isn’t a newspaper, its a blog site. Almost all blogs are based on opinion.

  • Sean All Ivy

    Very true points in the article. And I also agree with Short Dog that the injuries have messed up our flow. from not having Pau take pressure off our guards to Lamar not being our go to off the bench.

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  • tom

    hmm. lakerville213 MIGHT have a point. although josh powell is slowly coming into his own, i still have games where i tell myself, “man, i wish ronny was here…”. hahaha. he doesn’t deserve to be in the warriors, and the warriors don’t deserve his services. i sincerely wish the best for ronny turiaf.

    • tom

      oh. and to trevor ariza too. :D
      i keep telling all my friends, “i feel like trevor will come back home eventually… just like dfish.” hahahaha. he’s another guy who deserves nothing but the best. true class act.

  • allthewayLA

    I just cant imagine if we play 100% every night. DAM-N!

  • http://LakersNation Marwan

    Now that Pau is back, we need to feed him the ball alot, just so he gets back in rhythm because you know injuries can take the rhythm out of you, like it did to Drew. Once he sees is going in, he will get confident and wouldnt be afraid to shoot or drive in.

    Lets just hope he comes back as hungry as ever.

  • same23

    I cannot believe Pau is back, he is definitely a powerhouse on the team. All of you fans should support him and others by keeping morale high. I would like to give you all Los Angeles Lakers memorabilia from my client Steiner Sports. This will knock out competition.

  • juliyos

    Spell Check… LOL

    Lakers BACK2BACK!

    Meanwhile, ever other team in the league wants to make their name at the Lakers’ expense and brings their “A” game.

  • Anna Gonda

    Love the Ferrari analogy, Bobby! That’s exactly what it feels ilke when you know they’re capable of playing like the sleek, shiny and fast machines that they are. And like you, I hate Trevor in a Houston uniform too. It will never look right to me and I still can’t help cheering for the guy. I still think he’ll be back though….some time in our future. And when he does, he’ll be ready to lead.

    • http://LakersNation Marwan

      He wont be back. Im pretty sure that Rockets would want him, and try to mold him into their franchise player. I would love to have him back just like DFish was, but I dont see it happening.

  • http://LakersNation Marwan

    Man, how I miss Ariza though, you think Mitch would be able to get him back for Sasha, Ammo and Mbenga? Thats already $12 million worth for Ariza who stupidly accepted Rockets’ MLE.

    We couldve resigned Ariza if Sasha’s contract expired. We used the MLE we were offering plus Sash’a $5 million, just to keep him happy. Dammit Ariza, come back, if you do, dynasty time. Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Fisher, Odom, Artest, Ariza.

    Dammit! We miss you Ariza.