At least it’s only the pre-season.

In their sixth game before opening night, the Lakers shot 5-19 for 26.3% in the first quarter when they only managed to score 14 points to Utah’s 24. Misses came from behind the 3-point line, from mid-range as well as mere inches from the hoop. The defending champions might’ve left their offense in Los Angeles County because they couldn’t find the hoop tonight if they’d been standing in it.

The starters couldn’t get, well, started quickly enough. Pau Gasol, one of the team’s (heck, one of the league’s) most efficient scorers, didn’t get his first shot in until a minute left in the first quarter. He managed 11 points on 5-13 shooting, eight rebounds and two steals for the night. With Kobe Bryant still clearly trying to work through his conditioning, strength and timing on the floor, Gasol is offensive option #2 for the team. The only silver lining in his performance in tonight’s game is that his struggles in scoring are a rare sighting.

Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant shot no better than Gasol. They suffered early and throughout the game. Fisher was scoreless, going 0-6 and Bryant managed just seven points.

Enter the second unit. The Lakers coaching staff have been experimenting with various line-ups with the team’s enhanced group of reserves, and tonight may have provided a winning formula in Steve Blake, Shannon Brown, Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom and Theo Ratliff – BenchMob 2.0, if you will.

Behind by ten points in the second quarter, BM 2.0 went to work. Blake put in a driving layup, Barnes hit a corner three, Shannon Brown converted on another jumper, then Blake hit a three; and in the midst of this scoring run was the master passer himself, Lamar Odom, who led the game in assists with nine dimes.

The second half was more productive for Pau Gasol, but it was more of the same otherwise. Each time the Lakers came to within a few points of the Jazz’s score, they would go limp on defense and allow another Utah run. It didn’t help that they ended the evening shooting a paltry 33.3% from the field and a mere 6-21 from behind the arc.

There is still much to learn for the newcomers and much more to refresh for everyone else. The defending Champions have a week to figure it all out.

Box Score
Pre-Game Thoughts: Five pre-season games down, three more to go!
Half-Time Thoughts: 38-32 – Utah is shooting 44%, while the Lakers are shooting 30% (12-40). The Lakers are lucky they’re only down by 6.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: Lakers offense – being that there was barely any to be identified.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Working B’s – Barnes, Blake and Brown, the only players, other than starter Pau Gasol, who scored in double digits and together shot 48% from the field. They produced 36 points off the bench, accounting for almost half of the Lakers’ score.

  • http://THELAKERSNATION LAKERSFAN4EVER

    THEY WILL BE JUST FIND

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    bryant gets all the credit in the wins,he should eat these ugly loses……………..

    • laffs atu!

      Lebra gets all the credit in the wins, he should eat these ugly loses…………….keepin it real or playing it stupid!

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    I only have a couple of more excuses for their losses. It’s getting really close to the start of the season. They won’t gel instantly but they better get it together soon. They need to remember that even though Miami has a target because of the three, the lakers are world champs and they also have a target.

    • laker realist

      Relax…they will get instantly better! Its the pre season!!! I swear have you guys not watched a pre season before.

      • ICE CREAM MAN

        Preseason or not to preseason, that’s the question…..You are correct, there is no reason why we should be screaming “the sky is falling” but a loss is still a loss in the minds of a competitor. I would rather them get used to winning then loosing. Just my opinion….excuse me…..”You Kids!!! get off my bumper!!!!”

        • 242LakerFan

          I’m sorry, but these losses are not that important. I don’t see Kobe or Fish looking like this is eating at them. Preseason is never about wins or losses. The bench showed cohesion and some spark. That’s what this game was about.
          You got any Heath Bars?

  • LaKeR bOy

    Pre season is for the bench player & rookies to play more minutes, so we dnt give a shit if we lose. When the regular season starts now that shit is gon be crackin, them Lakers gon get that W period

  • Bring back Cook

    The Lakers need to bring back Brian Cook. He is ballin for the Clippers!!!

  • Robert.

    The most important thing to take from all this is what Anna mentioned: the ‘bench’ played well.
    .
    At this time, there is NO need for the starters to turn on the switch. They have to pace themselves, because they take on the brunt of the season. It is good for the starters to get the ‘willies’ out of their system now. It is good for them to gauge their level of play. These are just professional ‘scrimmage’ games.
    .
    If they turn on their switch ‘now’, what will they do in the finals? They need to have juice for the finals.
    .
    So, these games are purposeful for various reasons: 1) to see how the bench takes up their role, 2) to see how the ‘new’ team to learn how to play together, 3) for the starters to see how other teams operate, etc., 4) for ‘injured’ players to get a ‘decent’ workout, helping to build up to ‘season’ speed.
    .
    Think about this: last year, the Cavs had the ‘most’ wins in the regular season. LBJ played ‘lights out’ all year long. And then he burned out in the playoffs – totally! He’s gonna do the same this year. That is not ‘smart’ basketball.
    .
    Lakers are fine, win or lose. Season ‘really’ starts in April 2011.

  • 242LakerFan

    WOW! Blake, Brown, Barnes, 3banks and Ratliff just beat the starting 5 in a scrimmage. Maybe we should start them, eh? LOL
    I’m looking forward to watching 3banks develop this next couple of years. He has some serious potential.

    • Leaderfish

      Doesn’t surprise me. I bet Blake orchestrated that victory and the starters were probably playing like individuals. I would have love to watch how they did it.

  • tradesasha

    fisher still sucks balls!!!

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    Yeah. You guys are right. I just hate it when they loose. Besides, i have to remember that the starting center is out which moves everyone around. This is a good team and a good bench.

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