Getty Images | Photo By Lisa Blumenfeld

Maybe the Lakers are starting a new Christmas tradition: Don’t give in to a much-hyped game by playing heartlessly and showing exactly how little you care. Well, point taken, guys – you don’t feel the need to prove yourselves to a newly-formed team in Miami, but did you have to get blown out of your own home court…for the second game in a row?

The game STARTED well for the Lakers. Lamar Odom converted on Kobe Bryant’s lob with a thunderous dunk. He followed that with another slam from another Bryant assist. Then Derek Fisher came in and hit one from downtown, giving the Lakers a 7-2 lead…and that’s as good as the Lakers looked in this game. The remainder of this Christmas afternoon at Staples was as unbearable to watch as Megan Fox trying to “act.”

Miami’s big three played to win in front of this huge Christmas Day audience. Together, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh produced 69 points, 29 rebounds, 18 assists, and six steals. James alone finished with a triple double – 27 points on 8-14 (5-6 from 3PT), 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Ron Artest may have had intentions on defending and stopping James from going off, but after just two and a half minutes of game time, Matt Barnes subbed in after Artest picked up his second foul. Artest, like the rest of this Lakers team, is clearly still trying to find his game on both ends of the court, and based on what we’ve seen so far this season, he’s still got a ways to go.The Lakers’ big three of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom managed 48 points, 23 rebounds and 12 assists, but of these three, only Odom shot 50%. Bryant and Gasol combined for just 14-33 and the rest of the Lakers didn’t do much better.

Pau Gasol, considered the more dominant and skilled forward in every pre-game preview/article/report that pitted him against Miami’s Chris Bosh, was basically a no-show, with Bosh outplaying him from all aspects – the greatest difference being effort and aggressiveness. In 36:30 of playing time, he reverted back to the Gasol that everyone called “soft,” not fighting for or even positioning himself to rebound, forgetting his 7-foot stature and not even attempting to block shots (he could literally raise a hand without hopping and hinder attempts), cowering and letting his offensive dominance fall at the hands of Zydraunas Ilgauskas? Andrew Bynum’s return was supposed to invigorate Pau, was it not? He said it himself. But these last couple of games, Gasol has looked nothing like the player who holds a FIBA World’s MVP honor and two NBA Championship rings.

Andrew Bynum (six points on 3-5, five rebounds and one block) played his regulated 17+ minutes, but with the way Gasol was playing today, the Lakers might’ve afforded to play him more with Odom than with Gasol.

Kobe Bryant did what he could in this game – score (17 points), set up his teammates (7 assists), play defense (5 defensive boards and a steal), but something looked eerily familiar. He (and Odom in spurts) seemed to be the only one playing with a purpose.

“I think these games mean more to our opponents than they do to us. I think we need to get that straight,” a sullen and clearly frustrated Kobe Bryant said in his post-game presser. “We need to play with more focus and put more importance on these games. I don’t like it.” Amen, Mamba. You and thousands of Laker fans don’t like it.

“We know what we’re capable of doing,” Bryant continued. “That’s the problem.”

It’s a big problem.

When asked what it would take for the Lakers to start playing well, Bryant answered, certainly calling out his teammates, “I think individually you have to make that decision yourself, and what’s important. The game has to be the most important thing. You have to play every game like it’s your last, you have to be attentive to what’s going on and this is serious stuff. You don’t just have two rings and say we’re satisfied with what we’ve got. I’m not gonna let that slide. It’s your job. Show up and work.”

Bryant’s early exit in the Milwaukee loss was not just in response to a call. His technical today wasn’t just because they were losing. When Lebron James strolled into the lane right past Gasol for another layup, Bryant picked up the ball and threw it down in frustration as Gasol stood there and watched not two feet away from his captain. Bryant’s reaction was way past frustration; it was exasperation.

In his post-game press conference, Phil Jackson stated that he and the coaching staff were not surprised by the team’s performance today. He said they’re aware that they’re just not playing well. “Just be patient with us,” Jackson asked. “We’ll get it back in order and we’ll be fine.”

No, championships are not won in December, but habits and character are built throughout the year. At the present moment, the Lakers have picked up some terrible habits (losing big leads, unable to close in close games, playing unfocused basketball, etc), and the character they’ve built is one of disinterested arrogance. From here their opponents get stronger, more skilled and more determined. If the Lakers are looking for yet another source of motivation to play better, they won’t have to wait long. San Antonio and New Orleans are up next.

Box Score
Pre-game Thoughts:
Keep our Christmas merry, Lakers.
Half-time Thoughts: 47-38 – The Lakers look like they did against Boston in Game 7. Can’t get a shot in, can’t defend either. Miami’s getting everything they want. LO and KB leading LA with 8 points a piece, but Bosh is leading all scores with 18. Pau and KB a combined 6-21.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: Lakers – no defense, no ball movement – it’s been the same old story time and again this season. When’s the attitude (and the execution to go with it) going to change?
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: As much as we’d hate to admit it, the Miami Heat came in to make a point and, well, they made it.

  • j.crack

    LOL Lakers, easiest team to make money off. Its not even worth getting frustrated at anymore, especially these Christmas games. The less expectations the better IMO. I think they’ll get it together eventually plus Bynum needs more time to get back to playing well. Im kind of sick of watching him heal so slowly but what are you gonna do. It doesnt help that their playing 3 on 5 with Artest & Fisher in the starting lineup hahaha. The Spurs & Hornets game will be very interesting, winning those 2 would be pretty huge but I dont even know if the Lakeshow are interesting in trying hard right now.

    • LakersThe2010Champs

      Let’s be honest. Everyone knows that Kobe is competitive. But he’s got a lot of mileage in him. He was totally outplayed by Bron and Wade. He’s many steps slower than a fast Wade, and many inches shorter than a strong Lebron. The way he blamed on his teamates about their effort is ridiculous. Everyone on this team wants to win. In my opinion, everyone played hard in the game. The reason they lost was because the Heat has two dominant players if not three, and the way Kobe played. I think it’s time for Kobe and the team look at themselves in the mirror and figure it out, and play team ball. Otherwise, I don’t see a chance they can beat the Heat team if they meet in the Finals.

  • Cody

    Hands down the worst Christmas ever. No question about it. I even lost a friend over this game over a huge argument, because it is common sense that when your buddies team just lost a big game you don’t rub it in their face after. This game ended hours ago and I’m not over it at all.

    • Andy

      Seriously, this one hurts and probably wont be forgotten for some time. I mean look it was such a big statement game and only 1 and a half Laker showed up (Odom and sorta Kobe). Its terrible, getting blown out at home? Come on, wheres the shame in that?
      What gets me more is that they approached this as “another game”. To hell its another game. This was their first BIG game and they didn’t show up. On top of that they were blown out at home the previous game. You would expect them to come back with fire and win not just in the first 3 minutes only.

    • j.crack

      Kobe, is that you? You didnt have to get so mad at LeBron during the game today hahaha. No but for real, losing a friend over a game is pretty weak IMO. Cant expect the Lakers to win these games when their opponents are working twice as hard & actually look focused. I think going to the Finals 3 years straight is starting to take its toll..Theres a reason why its so rare for teams to repeat let alone three-peat. They’ll probably do better in a month or two but get used to seeing all the haters come out if these type of losses dont stop. Lakers looked like a D_league in parts of last season too but they just look worn out & have no sense of urgency.

      • http://deleted Short Dog Loc

        You are smelling to much crack hoe.
        Go back to your Toronto website or Celbitch whatever it is. Don’t hate-Apprecite as a matter of fact F you and were you the hoe in red.

  • lakersnationisthebest

    i hate HATE HATE HATEEEE the way they’ve been playing, they reallly need to step it up
    i understand that everytime any team is playing them they bring there all because lakers are the defending champs but there suppose to be ready for all of this

  • Drake Ramoray

    I know the Lakers are limiting Bynums minutes but they need to start him NOW. Gasol played very weak today and he always does against the powerhouse teams. I think Bynum should start and play til about the three minute mark of the first quarter and then come back at the three minute mark of the second quarter before the half is over. That’s about an average of 20-24 minutes a game you can get from him. He will be productive starting. I never believed this to be true before but now that I’ve watched him come off the bench these last few games, all he does is come in for like the last two minutes of the first quarter and run up and down the court and then the quarter ends. Then at the start of the second quarter he’ll get like a touch or two and then get taken out at the seven minute mark of the second quarter and never to be seen in the game again until near the end of the third. Phil’s a smart guy but you ain’t gonna get no production what so ever from Bynum if you continue to play him at this rate. He looks lost out there sometimes and they don’t feed him the ball enough. I understand he’s kinda immobile but if you start him, he’ll get his adrenaline flowing pregame and the game will move faster for him starting off at the same pace with all the other players rather than coming off the bench to play against guys who have been playing up to speed for about 8 minutes or so. We need Bynum to succeed and even though he’s not completely healthy right now, I know he’s capable of contributing to the Lakers more right now than what it seems like he’s doing out on the court. Start him, and feed him the ball early. Let him get a flow but monitor his minutes. If the Lakers were gonna use Bynum in a manner in which they would have used Mbenga like they are now which is spot minutes to rest Lamar and Gasol, then they shouldn’t have rushed him back so quickly and let him heal 100%. Bynum is the difference maker and I say let him make a difference and make an impact on the game.

  • I bought the Grinches

    Really not feeling the Steve Blake pickup anymore. We need a solid PG.

    • ICE CREAM MAN

      Blake is a perfect bench pg. Fisher is another story. Imagine is fisher was coming off the bench?

      • gameplan

        blake is good but he needs more playing time to boost his confidence. I noticed that he passes too much when he had that looks on the 3 he kinda hesitates more.

  • vlade4kobe8

    I really don’t understand why we didn’t expect this to happen. They have lost all the other games to Miami on christmas and this team no matter they say to the media or say at practice they don’t put the effort in like the other teams unless their back is against the wall. Lets look back on the christmas day games that they did win PHX in 07. PHX beat them in the playoffs for 2 straight years and they were hungry and they won. BOS 08. Lost to them in the finals without Bynum or a healthy Ariza so we beat them then to prove a point. This loss is on them alone the refs did suck but it didn’t cost them. There is one thing I will say about the refs though 2 years in a row no FN love for Kobe from them at all, when Lebron gets all the calls even when he flops or whines. So I do understand why Kobe gets so pisssed even though he didn’t play that good of a game at all either. Pau does not show up for christmas so don’t ever expect anything from him on this day,3 years in a row now , come on Pau you had piece of shyt big Z and piece of shyt Dampier and you couldn’t do anything very very sad. Too many bad passes and bad decisions all game long. I love Ron but i want to see game 7 Ron Ron . I know it sucks because we look forward to these christmas day gamest but it kinda ruins the day and I refuse to watch another christmas day game from them until they win one again. puts me in bad mood when the day starts off so good spending time with loves ones and then they get blown out. This is also the same team that makes us so happy in June and we forget about the ass whoopings that they take during the season, They will be fine, and still remember Bynum is getting healthier and Kobe isnt 100% I dont care what he says I know hes not, They still are the champs until someone knocks them off so lets not forget that even if they play like shyt some days and we want to trade everyone

  • vlade4kobe8

    Easy on Blake he had a bad game and remember everytime he does good for some reason Phil puts Fisher back in

  • Barracuda

    WoW, Miami was getting everything they wanted…Lakers weren’t getting anything they wanted (couldn’t defend, hit there shots or get the calls)…they really haven’t looked in sync so far this year…I wonder if Pau’s Hamstring is still giving him trouble… I hope being bitched slapped like this on national tv they will wake up soon and start to get back on track…
    Bryant was 6-for-17 and was 11-for-33 in last year’s loss to the Cavs and 28-for-77 in his previous three Christmas Day games against the Heat — all of which were losses.

  • Grammar Patrol

    Well written, very well written.

    • http://deleted Short Dog Loc

      Who Cares? Give it up.
      This is a Laker site not your moms class.
      Lakers get a A+

  • Lakers_The_Truth

    I just think it’s funny how people get so scared and concerned. The Lakers have been acting like that in the last 3 years.
    Are we playing bad and lack of desire? of course nobody can deny that. BUT and it’s a huge BUT. We are still the champs and this team has a history of picking up intensity when it matters.
    Until we are eliminate and go fishing, I will still believe we will 3peat. That said I will not act like a bandwagon fan and get all scared. Have some faith people.

  • Darien

    i dont think people are scared they are just disappointed. I’m a HUGE laker fan and i can honestly say they ruined my xmas. I dont mind losing, it happens, but its HOW you lose.

    Being blown out, and not playing with any type of fight is unacceptable especially in back to back games. How do we get blown out in back to back HOME games? makes no sense to me, for once I’d like to see the Lakers go hard, like Kanye in the booth, Jordan in the 4th, Ali in the ring.

  • Kobe 279

    Its time for the Lakers to get rid of Ron Artest he doesnt do shit, and im starting to think that Steve Blake and Derek Fisher needs to swap their role with each other because we get nothing out of Fisher or Ron Artest. Also the Lakers need to get some guys who have heart for some reason they dont care its like their thinking about their salary when their playing.

  • Tyler

    Well last christmas was a joke. This was a slap in the face to the entire Laker organization. No energy. No heart. Another blow out loss at home. The worst Christmas day game ever. I fell asleep it was just so lifeless. The lakers better get their act together. They are only a game in front of the Thunder

  • uweee

    we’ll be fine……..

  • Ronin99

    If this loss doesn’t light a fire under the Laker’s asses, I don’t know what will. It would have been nice if they just at least competed. A loss is a loss, but the way they lost the game sucks! get it together Lakers, I know (hope) you will…

    • mongoman

      yep, I agree, that’s really the issue. They’re not playing like champions–they’re NOT competing against good teams. You don’t go on national TV on Christmas Day against a team with markee players, as the 2-time defending champions and not even compete. They looked completely disinterested.

  • glo57

    All it matters is who gets the ring by the end of the season and that’s what Lakers all about to get the ring again

    • lakersno834

      Man.. yea it does matter. But the way the Lakers are playing this year, it’s NOT looking like they will get a ring again anytime soon.

      To people who STILL think “It’s too Early!” Let me tell you it’s 2011 already = 2+ months of season gone = 1/3 season OVER!

      From what I have seen this year from all of their games, they look disinterested, disorganized, disoriented in their games. They had a Cake schedule until now.. should have taken care of business. Instead of having a solid foundation for the remainder of the season, we still are looking for raw materials.

  • j.crack

    Yea same thing happened last season but this isnt last season. I understand you have to pace yourself at times but SA,Dallas, & Boston are like 4-5 games in front of LA right now. Last season they had the best record in the West from Dec & never looked back. 9 losses with the easiest schedule in the league so far is inexcusable with the money Dr. Buss is spending. I think they said the Lakers have the toughest schedule in the league for the remaining 50 games so get ready for the ride starting Tuesday in SA haha. If they come out, play hard & get a W on Tuesday then we’ll know they’re serious about changing their ways. Hell, even if they play hard & lose by a few I wont be that mad. I just hate seeing lackadaisical effort & no focus. If they come out & play like they have in the past 2 games then Laker forums will probably crash lmao.

  • Al

    Kobe is mad? He is the freaking cause of this and other losses with his relentless shooting and going one against five. Sorry but you have to face the facts that you no longer have the legs and the step you used to have. Fisher is still a matador on defense and should come off the bench. And Ron is now the worst player on the team offensively. He can jump, cant’s shoot and can’t dribble. Phil, get off your fat ass and coach for a change!!!

    • The Beastly Laka Fan

      First, Kobe has not lost a step. Second, why are you hating?? You must be a Heat fan. You are being ridiculous. Just chill out!!! Kobe will get this team back together…. Also Phil is not a fat ass…

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      The Lakers aren’t missing players who are capable of certain things. They won two championships in a row, with the same MAIN contributors. The problem is the collective attitude. You feel like you’re being cocky, THEN STOP BEING COCKY. Like Kobe said, they know exactly what they’re capable of and we saw it 21 times this season. It’s not a question of who would be better offensively, who would be a better defensive fit, etc. ATTITUDE – the Lakers need to adjust theirs.

  • Kobe 279

    Bottom line its time for the Lakers to make some changes to their roster. Im so tired of this attitude from the Lakers. Lamar Odom said it best at the press conference last night “Sometimes we’re cocky, feel like we cant be beaten.” Another thing TRADE RON ARTEST I been saying this for the longest he been playing for the Lakers for a year and he says ” I still dont understand the triangle.” SMH its time to make some moves.

  • lakers0828

    as I said Before The heat Own the Lakers on Christmas day I dont know why but ever since the shaq days with Miami they have kicked are butts so its no Surprise why the Heat came to LA and kicked are butts
    But I will say this if You think this the Last you herd of the Lakers Heat I think your in for it cause I think going into Miami will be alot different then Miami wooping are asses

  • lilkobe24

    bad title..

  • ilikebasketball

    1st thought…maybe 4 years in a row to the finals is too much for this team

    2nd thought…well, we lost xmas last year…and usually lose to bad teams

  • Kobe 279

    @ lakerso828 do me a favor and shut the hell up im so tired of people making excuses for the Lakers. Bottom line they dont have heart and thats why they are # 4 in the west.

    • LC09

      LMFAO.. we dnt have the heart?? come on dude ur fu kin askin us to make trades n shit n its ONLY dec..hahaha panic attack much?? look once we get fully healthy n da rotation is set we will b beatin ppl like its not a big deal..if n only IF wen we healthy n rotation is set we are losin games then n ONLY then can u worry/ bi tch/get pissed/ ask for trades…otherwise jus enjoy da season.. PLAYOFFS only mattter not a xmas game

    • daboss1848

      every1 knows that u have to be #1 in December in order to have heart!!!!

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    Honestly, the safest bet in town is to bet against the lakers in a Christmas “statement” game. But let’s think about this…the lakers have gone to 3 straight finals and won 2. Yet the Lakers have lost 2 straight Christmas games prior to this one making 3 straight games lost and by blow outs I think. All 3 christmas games where Statement Games. So championships are not won in december and if the championship measuring stick is done by christmas game losses then i say we are heading for another championship this year.

    In other words don’t worry, I know that we are not scared but just dissapointed like someone posted earlier. The way I see it, if we don’t make it to the finals then a big name player will be added wait and see.

  • hoop247

    i deeply hate the heat as much as the celtics now. n i was mad n hurt yesterday

  • Gugy

    Boy you guys whine. Jesus.
    Yes we are playing bad but guess what? this is not the playoffs and we are not fishing. We can turn around and we have the talent and experience to do so.
    Sure nobody like to lose but we are far from losing a title.
    We will be OK.
    Stop jumping on this bandwagon that the sky is falling. It’s DECEMBER!!!!!!!!! April is when the true season starts!

  • mongoman

    This had all the makings to be a great game–too bad the Lakers didn’t show up. They looked like a team forced to play while they were waiting for Christmas dinner.

  • lakersallthewayy

    lakers need a wake up call and they need to start playing right! they also REALLY need to work on there DEFENSE! they left soo much guys open yesterday, im not that worried because i know for sure theyre gonna make it to the playoffs but i dont know if there gonna make it to the finals and if they do there probably not going to have homecourt advantage

  • Cheech

    FUCK THE HEAT… COME AND TRY TO BEAT US IN JUNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THATS ALL I GOT TO SAY

  • Boococky

    Calm down Anna!!! If winning a championship was easy it wouldn’t be fun. “It’s the hard that makes it great” Ron Jeremy… Now go cook me some breakfast

  • http://THELAKERSNATION.COM BIGDUBB88

    I SAY GASOL STUNK IT UP! SOFT IN THE PAINT FROOM THE START OF THE GAME WEAK JUMPERS INSTEAD OF GOING TO THE BASKET WITH FORCE , HIS DEFENSE ALSO SUX BIG ZEE WAS JUST BUSTIN’ OPEN JUMPER N HIS FACE . I MEAN PAU IS 7′ ( I KNOW ZEKE LIL’ BIT TALLER) BUT HAS NO VERTICAL~ PAU SHOULD HAVE BEEN BLOCKING THOSE SHOTS AT LEAST ALTERING SOME! COM’ON PAU STEP IT UP NOBODY SCARED TO DRIVE THE LANE ,THROW A BOW OR SOMETHING INSTEAD OF RUBBING UR JAW BECAUSE SOMEBODY POP U GOOD IN THE CHOPS. SOMEONE HAD TO SAY IT!

  • wbgk1979

    Yes they played very very badly.
    I know it isn’t the playoffs yet.
    But if we still want homecourt, now it’s time to realise that.
    Before we know it, it will be Duncan’s final championship title….

  • lakerfanatico

    Wow what an ass whopping if this does not wakes up losing to good teams and bad ones, nothing will!!!

  • gman70

    The Lakers cannot stop dribble penetration to save their lives. Dwayne Wade constantly drove right to the rim and no one could stay in front of him. Derrick Rose did the same thing to us. So did “insert quick guard name here”… I think their inability to stop guard penetration into the paint is what is killing this team. Can’t wait to see Tony Parker and Chris Paul this week – yikes!

  • T-Dub