Getty Images | Photo By Ronald Martinez

The Spurs played like the best, and the Lakers played like the team who used to be the best. They lost four games in a row, then went on a 6-1 road trip. Pau Gasol was huffing and puffing, then Andrew Bynum came back to relieve him. They got their butts whooped by Milwaukee and Miami, then started tonight’s game against San Antonio with some energy and life…and then they folded over and looked into the eyes of their third loss in a row. Nothing seems to be working for this Lakers team.

After rattling off a 13-2 record to begin their season, the Lakers have since decided to execute alternate plans – stop moving the ball, stop going inside, stop running the offense, stop playing defense, start mouthing off to officials, cower in pressure situations; in other words, do the exact opposite of what they did last season but, oh wait, still expect to win and win it all. Tex Winter must be throwing things at his TV watching this team play.

Kobe Bryant, after getting ejected from the Milwaukee game, and then after sounding off his frustrations after the loss to Miami, shot his team out of tonight’s contest. After hitting his first four shots of the night, Bryant missed his next 13 and finished 8-27 for his 21 points. He had just ONE assist and five turnovers. If he planned to make an example of himself to teammates, he sure set a bad one. Tonight’s version of Bryant wasn’t the same anxious player from last season’s Game 7. Back then, Bryant claimed he tried to do too much because he wanted to win so badly. But even despite a terrible shooting night (6-24), he still managed to contribute in other ways – 15 rebounds. Unofficially, rebounds are a good measure of effort, and that night against Boston, Bryant’s effort overturned his shooting efficiency. That wasn’t anxious effort tonight on Bryant’s part; it was senseless selfishness.

Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, the Lakers’ bread and butter, left their team famished in this game. A true advantage in every sense of the word, when Gasol and Odom are getting to hoop, passing to cutters and rebounding as easily as they breathe, the Lakers are unbeatable. They can average double-digit rebounds in a heartbeat. Tonight, however, 6’7” center DeJuan Blair scored 17 points and grabbed 15 boards compared to Gasol and Odom’s combined 18 points and 17 rebounds. Either they are not getting any touches, or are just not being aggressive enough. Either way, it’s not helping.

The Lakers didn’t take advantage of their advantages (which seems to be the consistent source of their 10 downfalls this season). They didn’t exploit the Spurs’ small inside presence (Blair at 6’7” vs. Gasol at 7’ or Bynum at 7’1” – COME ON!). They didn’t capitalize on Tim Duncan’s 2-point (on 1-7), four rebound game, nor did they capitalize on Manu Ginobli’s 3-12 evening. They got to the free throw line 22 times and missed six.

And after all of these missed opportunities, there lie even bigger concerns – they’re not playing like they’re defending a championship. They’re barely playing anything that resembles TEAM ball at all. Their captains, Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, constantly complained about calls and, as unfair as it is, turned the officials against them. Talk about losing your clout. The reserves, once depended upon to bail out their starters, have fallen off the radar.

It’s not a question of whether or not the Lakers are TRYING. It’s a question of what exactly it is they’re TRYING to do. If they’re trying to win another championship, they need to either revisit their old system (that worked. Heck, it got them two titles) or execute a new and effective one. It is a whole new league with 29 other new-look teams. Either way, it needs to happen quickly, because if the Lakers continue to play like they’re waiting around for April, they may not even make it far enough to play then.

Box Score
Pre-game Thoughts:
Forget Christmas Day. Today is a new day and the Lakers face the NBA best record-holding San Antonio Spurs. Heed Coach Dave Miller’s mantra – E.F.T. – Energy Focus Toughness
Half-time Thoughts: 44-42 – It’s been a spirited game so far with each team playing up then playing down, each taking turns getting the best of the other. The Lakers look more energetic and much more zoned into this game. Tony Parker leads all scores with 14 points. Pau Gasol leads the Lakers in points (9), rebounds (6), assists (4) . Kobe Bryant, after making his first four shots, has missed his next 10. Lakers doing their job on Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli who are a combined 1-12.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: Difficult not to accuse the entire Laker team tonight, but Kobe Bryant shooting 8-27 and handing out just one assist = winner.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: San Antonio’s DeJuan Blair who, at 6’7” played bigger and stronger than the Lakers’ 7’ and 6’10” frontcourt.

  • j.crack

    Good article . Kobe & Fish are supposed to be the captains but are the ones constantly killing momentum with bad shots & not even attempting to guard anybody on defense. I just dont understand why Kobe thinks its still necessary for him to shoot this much. Its very annoying watching him go 1 on 1 while his teammates stand around watching. MOVE THE DAMN BALL. This team needs to chage quick cuz the cakewalk schedule is behind them now. Now come the ream teams.

    • RIVER RAIDER

      Finally, someone speaks the truth. Kobe is like a child watching other kids have fun so he wants the attention on him, and as of now, he has all the negative attention he wants. I have personally seen in 2010 so far, kobe throw away at least 7 games on his own. Fuk it, I’m gonna say it, Kevin Garnett wanted no part of it and guess what, Pau is just about ready to quit on the team and how could you blame him. I am the first to jump on the Laker bandwagon and have been a fan since, 1980. I have never seen such a callous disrespect for teammates at any level college or pro. Plain and simple, these grown men are getting tired of a guy who can’t take his own medicine. Comes down, tries to go to the hole with three people on him, and then he gets mad because his teammates have no idea what he’s gonna do, and to top it off, we have to deal with this for another 3 or 4 years. Just like Shaq, maybe its time to move on, we can still save the season, but this guy has regressed in the worst way. Besides that, he is no longer the best player in the league, nor the quickest, and as you can see, probably wont outjump anyone for the rest of his career. Like I said for over the last 10 years, he can be the best teammate or the worst, Someone in the Lakers Org needs to grab their balls and be honest with the guy, before no one wants to play with him anymore.

      • LakerMarc

        Calm down river raider you sound like you’re some sort of insider and I ‘m willing to bet you’re not.

        • RIVER RAIDER

          I guess you’re a devoted Laker fan, right? No, I’m not some kind of “insider”, but I’m not blind either. You keep your blinders on if you want to, anyone who is watching can see, kobe is playing like he did 4 years ago. If it takes an insider to see that, then I guess I am.

      • LakersThe2010Champs

        I agree with you River. Like Karl Malone said before, Kobe did not need to take all these difficult shots and made the game so difficult. He HAD all the talents around him. It’s a team sport, but he has not learned that yet. He does not like the “Pau for MVP” talk at all. He wants people to know this is still his team… Besides, he does not know what to do without the ball, and constantly take chances on the defensive end…

    • CG9

      all you people hating on Kobe are a bunch of Hypocrites! Pau is playing as soft as the inside of a Jelly doughnut! The real problem is we have a 6’7 dude out rebounding our three 7 footers (LO is just about there). Not to mention we were outscored by 20 in the paint… mainly by a 6’1 point getting uncontested layups. Get off Kobe… it’s not the problem.

      • RIVER RAIDER

        Nobody is hating, collectively they stink this year. Derek Fisher is done, he can’t guard anyone one on one, Kobe won’t defend his man consistently, Artest can make a shot almost and what happen to his stopper label, he’s been getting torched, Pau is waaayyyy to soft and being outplayed by every 4 and 5 he comes up against, and I’ll be damned but, Lamar Odom is above and beyond what I thought of him last year. Ultimately, Kobe is making himself most of the problem because even though the players on this team are proven, He still pulls that leader bullshit when we all know, Kobe bitches and complains at his teammates and then turns around and does the samething, NOW THATS A HYPOCRITE!!!!!!!!

    • J.dizzle

      Who else thinks Kobe is not gonna shoot more then couple shots tonight in the 1st quarter tonight just to make a point? hahahaha this type of stuff is hilarious coming from a 30+ year old veteran. Sometimes I wonder what is going on in Kobe’s head. He’s a egomaniac but we also have 5 titles in 10 years so Im not gonna complain. I just think this team has regressed a ton & will need Bynum at 100% in the playoffs if they wanna even sniff the WCF. Fisher & Artest should not be starting also IMO. If Ron cant even move on defense then he should not even be on the court. Anybody remember the last time Ron dunked the ball? lmao

  • Lakersthe2010champs

    In my opinion, the Lakers will continue to struggle with Kobe, who constantly hogs the ball, takes acrobatic shots with opposing team all over him. And then he blames his teammates for lack of efforts. Everyone played hard in this game, but was wasted effort when kobe does not pass and does not defend.

    • Lakersthe2010champs

      In fact, the Lakers should trade Kobe away for any young talent. The will play better when he is not the focal point.

      • hirai75

        GTFO out of here.

        • lakersallthewayy

          hahahaah I know right, trade our best player? is he out of his mindd

          • LakerMarc

            Douchebag!

      • carlos

        CRAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    • LakersThe2010Champs

      Don’t get me wrong. I love my Lakers. But Kobe sucks. He just ignores the talent surrounding him, and wants to do it all by himself. If he continues to play this way, the Lakers will continue to struggle. So far, I have heard some reserved comments from Gasol and Bynum, suggesting Kobe to stay in the system, and out of selfishness.

      • LakerMarc

        Yeah but see what is happening is that the team doesn’t seem to have the answer and often times when that happens, everyone starts blaming one another.

  • Stephen

    ^Because no one else is focusing enough, only Kobe. Simple as that. How do you think we’ve won the last two titles? Because everyone has contributed and has been aggressive, Kobe knows the feel of a game and what to do to help his team win. Those shots he took at the end were necessary cuz we were already down 15. The probably is that has happened way to often this season. Kobe needs to see everyone be more aggressive. They’re just not focused enough and hungry enough right now. It’s very difficult to regenerate that energy, focus and hunger going for a threepeat. But the Lakers know what they are doing, and especially Phil. We may not like it, but hey, the guy is going for his fourth threepeat so you just gotta trust him. He flat out said after the heat game we are just not playing good ball right now, but stick with us, be patient. we will turn things around.

    • Al

      We were down 15 is because of his errand shots.

      • LakerMarc

        Kobe seems to think that his team not aggressive enough and if you watch the games more closely, he’s right. At the same time, he needs to trust them but they also need to take initiative. They just seemed to have woken up one morning in November and just forgot what they were doing and that whatever it was, was working. They’re caught in some vaccum or like a vertigo, spiralling down and they seem helpless and possibly hopeless. Its really sad and scary.

  • Stephen

    ^ You are a dumbass man gtfo of here. Kobe does so much more as the leader of this team not just in games. He makes his teammates better, makes them tougher and his mindset to overcome adversity is what leads us to titles. Why do you think Pau has improved drastically since coming here? Kobe’s a big reason. Why do you think Shannon has more confidence in his shot? Kobe’s a big reason. the list goes on and on and on. We would maybe get out of the first round without Kobe, but no further. You could put money on that.

  • Nate Mcmillian

    What did I tell you all you fans who would not listen. I told you this game would be a blowout 3 straight blowout losses absolutely incredible. Kobe goes 8/27 my goodness man couldn’t even throw it into the ocean. Unless there is a major trade this team will not I repeat will not 3peat that much is quite clear. You can forget about getting Carmelo Anthony if he was on an easter team that might be a possibility but he is on one of our archenemies. You have another thing coming if you think they are about to let him play in the purple and gold. We have the sorriest point guards in the league Fisher can not guard Smush Parker or Chucky Atkins on defense, Blake just keeps firing up bricks. Pau gasol needs to grow some balls and stop being pushed around under the basket and rebound the damn ball. I could not believe nobody would box out Blair that guy is a sorry player guaranteed if that was Boston we played he would not have had a single basket. Phil Jackson needs to coach he needs to know were in big trouble right now we need him to chew some people out. Anyway were not coming out of the west its either going to be Dallas or San Antonio, most likely San Antonio. I predict the Celtics coming out of the east the only one who has a chance at stopping them is Miami but even so I think Boston will come out of the east.

    • LakerMarc

      Hate to admit it Nate….but you are right! This post is the most accurate and makes the most clear sense.

  • Nate Mcmillian

    What did I tell you all you fans who would not listen? I told you this game would be a blowout 3 straight blowout losses absolutely incredible. Kobe goes 8/27 my goodness man couldn’t even throw it into the ocean. Unless there is a major trade this team will not I repeat will not 3peat that much is quite clear. You can forget about getting Carmelo Anthony if he was on an eastern team that might be a possibility but he is on one of our archenemies teams. You have another thing coming if you think they are about to let him play in the purple and gold. We have the sorriest point guards in the league Fisher can not guard Smush Parker or Chucky Atkins on defense, Blake just keeps firing up bricks. Pau gasol needs to grow some balls and stop being pushed around under the basket and rebound the damn ball. I could not believe nobody would box out Blair that guy is a sorry player guaranteed if that was Boston he played he would not have had a single basket. Phil Jackson needs to coach he needs to know were in big trouble right now, we need him to chew some people out. Anyway were not coming out of the west its either going to be Dallas or San Antonio, most likely San Antonio. I predict the Celtics coming out of the east the only ones who have a chance at stopping them is Miami but even so I think Boston will come out of the east.

  • FAKERS FOREVER!!!

    What kinda excuses you all fakers fan have now?
    Oh…it is another regular season game?
    Not me…but even fakers fan is sick and tired of those excuses.
    fakers can not beat a good team now…period.
    how many good teams did fakers beat so far this season?
    they keep losing like this..will eventually lose any home court in playoffs.
    they way other teams playing…fakers will be less likely to be successful in playoffs.
    you are going to deny this fact again….you will see the worst of fakers when they have tougher schedule later on.
    fakers forever!!!!!!

    • LAKERS4LIFE

      GTFO!!!!!!!!!!! this is a lakers fan site u pompous idiot

    • LakerMarc

      you’re an idiot and you sound like a fucking robot!!!

  • lakerman34

    I’d give most thoughtful Laker award to Andrew Bynum. They simply couldn’t cover him. I’m not entirely worried for this team because when he’s 100%, I think it’s a whole new ballgame. Bynum is just too big.

    • LakerMarc

      Yeah I do see that too and he did some great things yesterday…but we cant keep losing games because this team went from an 80% winning record to very close to 60% now and they may not qualify as a playoff team at this rate. Ariza needs to come back…Artest was just excited last year and he’s playing like a chump now!!!!!!

  • LakersEnElCoco

    I’m still trying to figure out why they don’t give the ball to Bynum more. The spurs could not contain him. He was just too much size yet we didn’t take advantage.

  • hoop247

    Dear Money
    this is coming from the deepest heart of your biggest fan. I love seeing u eating those defenders who tryin to guard u, those motherfucin green trying to take the cookies from u again but failed so i enjoyed the hell out of my summer, i loved seeing u dunked on those morons who trying to block u when u have an appointment with the rim, im in love with those fadeaway shots u mastered man, i love the intensity u pust into each and every game out there, i especially fucin love those medias that always doubt u ( u prove em rong everytime money ). Now u playing the game u n we love the most with countless injuries yet u still won’t quit on us, u just brush em off ur shoulder n puttin work. I can’t put it all in words for ur accomplishments n what u’ve done to the team. This season ur struggling n people callin u old, out of his prime, can’t jump no more, not a team player… i want to speak for u money. i say fucc all of them, fuc the medias, fuc the queen, fuc those haters, fuc em all because u still eat those motherfuccers outthere on the hardwood. U r not ”the best ever was” U R THE BEST THERE EVER IS.
    From me Hoop

  • goseecal

    Hey Fakers Forever, I remember when your namesake was created: 1984 by good old Kevin McClothesline. Only problem is since that time the Lakers have been to the finals 11 times and have won 7 titles, and in the same time period your Celtics have made a grand total of 4 finals appearances, and won 3 titles. Point is that you sorry ass Celtics fans can” accept that the 1960’s are over and the celtics and their pitiful fans have become the FAKERS! BTW, way, why don’t you fire up your bong and hop into your hot tub time machine and head back to the 60’s when your team WAS dominant! Guess you guys can’t get over being punked in last years finals–can you?PS why don’t you stick with the Celtics blogs where you can keep your vocabulary short and simple just like yourself!

    • LakerMarc

      Awesome!

  • lakerman34

    Our problem really isn’t on the defensive end. We are having trouble creating offense. Pau is non-existent, Bench Mob is inconsistent, and Kobe is playing old.

    It may be in the Lakers best interest to see if we can pick up Melo for LO at this point. A young guy who can create offense and take over this team. Kobe can still be the vocal leader, but hand the reigns down to a young kid who can score. We will be relevant even when Kobe retires this way, and will score at will and our championship dreams will be alive again.

    • lakerman34

      True, I don’t see Denver trading Melo to a Western foe. This was our problem last season as well, and so many teams have caught up to us. We need just one more solid offensive threat.

      I could say Iguodala, but I don’t wanna talk pipe dreams.

      • LakerMarc

        Lets not talk because The Lakers org is in the (bad) habit of picking up old fogies!

  • mr.laker19

    We havent looked this bad in years. I really think we have to make a trade. We mite be the 95′ Rockets when they made a mid season trade for Clyde Drexler. We simply look out of sync on offense plus we are just not making shots. Idk if mello is possible or whoever else but somethin has to change. Maybe we need to start Bynum idk.

    But I would be interested to FINALLY see what this lineup can do

    Shannon
    Kobe
    Odom
    Pau
    Bynum

    I think this our best five on any givin nite. Why not start this group??

    • king-manu

      swap barnes for artest and we should be fine. artest is just horrible this year… no good d, no 3s plus he can not dribble the ball…barnes on the other hand is playing great, solid and with heart….

      • LakerMarc

        That makes sense but Artest has already complained about not geting enough minutes! This could lead to more problems.

        • king-manu

          yeah but artest gettin more minutes is bullsh*t. if he plays good, ok, but at the moment barnes ownes him!

  • 123kid

    i dont get some of you fans. already quick to throw a team and players under the bus, because they are struggling. like barnes said, this season isnt a sprint, its a marathon to the finish line. so ya we may be tired and a lil warn out, but we still got about 50 more games to play. and ya we all have frustrations and we are all a lil wired that we arent playing the best like other teams, but if you know the lakers like true fans, they dont just panic like the mavs and feel the need to start dropping and trading players like (snap) that mid season, unless they know for sure they need to. and on top of that, every season is a challenge, and after winning two straight championships, why wouldnt teams beef up their squad to try and take away the trophy. but its still a long season and the new year is on its way. and if u understand strategy, you dont show your game plan to teams all at once. u make them show you their strategy, and you adapt and attack them later on. teams like san antonio and miami will win the battle, but they wont win the war. SO HAVE SOME FAITH OR GET OFF THE WAGON, SO THE LAKERS CAN BECOME MORE AERODYNAMIC AND STARTING DOING AWAY WITH THE DEAD WEIGHT. IF U WANT A TEAM TO JUMP ON THE WAGON TO AND SLOW THEM DOWN, THEN JOIN THE CELDICKS OR TEAM LEBUM.

    • LakerMarc

      You make alot of sense except you also sound like you dont want to accept what you see…at this rate the lakers are looking at a 45-37 record and how pathetic would that be…..something is wrong and alot is missing…..true fans do panic its the ones that dont who possibly are the more casual fans. Okay..at what point do you begin to worry? in mid feb when the lakers may already have 30 losses? will we still be dilluting ourselves with that stupid ‘flipping the switch’ debate from last year and the year prior?

  • king-manu

    1. stopp the f*ckn melo trade talk bullshit. won´t happen and we don´t need him.
    2. rest kobe! he lookes tired. let him sit 2-3 games to get his power back. same with gasol. those guys are just gased. we have to give up maybe 3 games or so but it would help us!
    3, stopp freakin out. the spurs just played great. same did the heat. loosing to the best teams in the league…that happens. ok the way they did it was bad, plus the bucks thing was stupid. but we don´t need big changes. no need for a trade!! just relax. we have the beste coach and the black mambe they will figure it out…
    i know we are all pissed and angry, but if you are a true fan trust our team. the playoffs start in april… we got a lot of time to fix this sh*t

    • Kings of the West

      Well, I’d have to say to Mitch, atleast consider Artest. Hopefully Kobe and Gasol get some rest against the Sixers on Friday.

    • LakerMarc

      King Manu the problem now is a new dynamic and that is that as the Lakers are dropping one game after another …..and they are dropping them really fast now, the league is beginning to no longer fear, feel intimidated by, nor respect the Lakers. And the way the Lakers are playing, its a developmental thing..it takes time and they are regressing. Lately whenever the Lakers fall behind by 4 points 4 fucking points if you can believe that!!!!!! i get concerned because that 4 points turns to 9 then 13 and then back down to 6 then 4 but the Lakers have this really pervasive thing this year where they cant get over the hump and they end up losing …and every loss this season has been that way. its like the 2 to 4 point deficit keeps them at bay sometimes from way back since the 1st qtr! SAD

  • THELAKIES!

    King-Manu, you said it best. No need to freak out and worry about this team right now. We have a long way to go and our starters need some rest. WE are still the champs and the team to beat! No trades needed, just more time together and rest for our aging starters. The loss to the bucks was a fluke and everyone knows we play like crap on Christmas and Sunday’s so what’s the big deal. The spurs took care of home court, they are a veteran team and playing very good ball right now. Laker fans, do not worry,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,our lakers are just fine. They need a few bumps in the road to wake em up and get em ready for playoffs. See you all in April for another parade!

    • LakerMarc

      10 bumps in 10 weeks with another 14 or 15 wks left or say another 20 bumps because that road has become more bumpy and the bumps keep coming more often…quit the video game analogies….Lakies!! Too many bumps to your head

  • Boococky

    Anna you need to calm the f uck down!!!! Championships are never won in december. We’ll be fine when playoffs start. We’ll just have to win on the road during the playoffs big fu ckin deal…

    • Anna

      Calm the f*ck down? I’m recapping a badly played game. What, in those 48 minutes of game time, isn’t upsetting to you? I know Championships aren’t won in December, but you’re expecting the team to continue to play THIS way and then suddenly start playing well when the playoffs get here? REALLY? That’s exactly the kind of attitude they want to quit.
      .
      I’m calling it as I see it, and based on what some of the players have said, I’m not that far off. This team is WAY talented, completely able to play the best basketball we’ve ever seen because, hey, they’ve done it and we’ve seen it. LIke Kobe said after the Miami game, they know what they’re capable of – that’s the problem.
      .
      I have faith in this team, in their system, in their abilities. They know what won them those back-to-back titles, but they’ve gone away from what brought them that success. Why stop doing what works? That’s what’s upsetting to me and to all the Lakers fans, I’m sure.
      .
      If the Lakers keep playing this ragamuffin, unfocused style of play, and they reach April with an unfavorable seed in the Western Conference, will it be a big f*ckin’ deal to you then?

      • LakerMarc

        Excellent article Anna. Don’t listen to the idiots who are being blind because they really are MORE freaked out inside. Just admit it!!!

      • Boococky

        Yes Calm the f uck down… Every loss you get your panties all up in a bunch. So what, we don’t get home court. When the games count they will play hard. Remember the lakers played more basketball than any other team the last 3 years. This is going to happen to championship teams. They will be fine so you and the rest of the haters can STFU.

        • Anna

          Dude, WHO IS BEING A HATER?! I know they weren’t going to go 82-0 – who did?! But just because fans get worried and upset because the team is playing badly, it means we’re HATERS?!
          .
          Hey, I respect that you’re defending the team, something every Laker fan has to do ALL THE TIME because, let’s face it, people who hate us love to see our team fail and love to see the fans cry about it. I’m not saying the team is suddenly gonna fall down a black hole. What would you like for me to say in these post-game losses? The Lakers looked great, they played great, they had 16 turnovers and they could barely shoot, but it’s not their fault that they LOST? Gotta be some analysis in there somewhere, right?
          .
          The team will recover. They’re TOO DAMN GOOD not to, but in the meantime, let’s call a spade a spade – they’re not playing well and they know it. But they have time to fix it, so please, quit with the hater accusations of fans who are making observations and just plain venting. That’s what this forum is for.

          • laughoutloud

            Good point b*tch

  • thebitterfan

    Kobe is a bum!!! he doesn’t play defense to reserve his energy on offense. Yet he shot what, 8 of 27? Like Phil Jackson said “IF I were playing I probably won’t pass him the ball”.

  • http://www.jackyang.info Jack

    Be patient. Our time will come.
    .
    On a side note, we should start Bynum soon (maybe bench Gasol or Odom). I’m actually quite disgusted by Gasol letting guards go for easy lay-ups consistently.

    • thebitterfan

      It’s not Gasol’s fault, It’s Kobe’s for letting his man go by him all the time and relying on the bigs. Look at what D Wade did on christmas day. Kobe is a bum!

      • LakersThe2010Champs

        Agree with you 100%. It’s painful to watch Kobe’s play these days. If Phil can reduce Kobe’s playing time, the team would do better.

        • thebitterfan

          Agree, if Kobe is not in, the ball moves and the defense is better!

      • http://www.jackyang.info Jack

        I realize that Kobe was letting Wade get by. However, while Kobe hasn’t been playing well… but he’s not 100% to blame. Wade is one of the top players at using the pick-and-roll. It’s the post players fault for not rotating properly on defense that lets these players (i.e. Wade) get to the rim with no contest. This is the same case for Tony Parker getting to the rim with ease.
        .
        Remember guys. It’s not just the past 3 games. We’ve been giving up easy points in the paint all season since game 1.

    • LakerMarc

      I got a new Gasol jersey for Xmas this year and frankly was a bit disappointed…i kinda didnt want it because of the way he’s playing right now. Internal thought.

  • Laker Wrrior

    Kobe is a ball hog. 1 against 3 and 4 guys is not going to win games. In the old days he would jump over are through them, Now he cant handle the rock turns it over
    Geoge Hill made him look bad .
    Arrtest sucks benc h this guy start Barnes
    Fishers done already its Blake orSahnnon.
    This team needs to execute Bynum is useless if no one gets him the ball. He goes down posts up an some one will shot a bad outside shot. WTF go inide you cant stop him. Every team in the league knows he is a monster.
    La Mar dude dribble drive to the hole. IE Magic
    Phil if your not going to coach let Shaw take over.

    • LakerMarc

      Does any one really think they read these posts? This one is awesome and there is so much thruth here. Phil……

  • Zeki Kayiran

    The article got most of the things right except the ZEBRAs. They did not turn the ZEBRAs against them, because a lot of them are already against the Lakers. This is in no way blaming the ZEBRAs alone for the three losses, but it has to be said. There is hardly any ball movement on offense, and I do not see any hands going up on defense, which is why most opposing players have been having target practice against the Lakers. Pau cannot be out-played by De Juan Blair.

    However, we got screwed big time by the ZEBRAs on Saturday against the Heat (and what would I expect from Monty McCutchen and Derek Richardson, certified Laker haters). Again, it was not the only reason the Lakers lost but it sets the tone for how teams play the Lakers.

    I only watched the lowligths from last night but what is Fish supposed to do when he is shoved to the ground when there is nobody around and does not get a call? Jim Capers Jr. has learned very well from his Laker hater father.

    I don’t know if a trade is needed, but the team I love better start playing the Laker ball that got them two championships-with heart, ball movement, and defense. No rebounds-no rings GASOL.

    • LakerMarc

      Zeki? want my brand new Gasol jersey I got for Xmas?

      • Zeki Kayiran

        Thank you for the offer LakerMarc. I will get one myself when he starts playing like he did last year. He has to show up. He cannot let Bogut, Ilgauskas and Blair dominate him.

        I am not singling him out, but he has alot more than what he has shown so far.

        Kobe has to allow ball movement. When he gets double teamed, which most teams have been doing since the Denver game this year, he makes very unwise decisions resulting in turnover after turnover or bad shot after bad shot.

        Artest and Fish have to play a lot better, although the Zebras took Artest out in short order so he could not defend LaBron on Saturday (so unexpected of Monty McCutchen and Derek Richardson).

        And lastly, they have to go inside to Bynum.

  • purple-n-gold

    they started the game good, making shots. and the third quarter they just couldnt make shoots even kobe miss 13 in a row. they gotta be constat making their shots everybody and STOP making turnovers that is what kiling us. but we will be fine, when june comes around.

  • Tyler

    Well this is quite disappointing. I saw the Lakers of old until the start of the third. Then it all fell apart. They were doing very well before that game against Milwaukee. Since then they haven’t hit triple digits. heck they haven’t hit 90. I know Kobe is trying to do what he used to but he has to pass to his teammates. He’s not as young as he was. Until this team regroups , figures out what they are doing as a unit, and fix it, ‘not sure what to expect from this talented yet highly underachieving squad. The Western and Eastern Conference heavyweights are not wasting time.

    • LakerMarc

      Whats happening is the Lakers performance is propelling San Antonio and Dallas to their lofty heights. I am so fucking sick and tired of hearing about how Dallas is the real deal this year and that shit is getting old. What happened to them the last 2 years straight? BUST!!!! San Ant is just an old tired coach rattling through the Alamo. Their fans are obnoxious.

  • king-manu

    kobe should get to find his spot in the offense. not be too agressive. the other teams know what he does. if he dribbles up-court he backs down post up and most of the teams double him as soon as he picks up the ball. that means he has to shot it over 2 players falling away… = bad shot. and gasol looks like a girl out there. he does not know what to do. shot it, post up, hook shot, pass it? some times he waits too long, gets put of rhythm and makes bad plays… the only one stickin to his role is lamar. but lamar is someone who needs passes. he can drive with his left hand oder stop and shoot but thats it. i don´t know when it happend but they are out of sync. they have to calm down. don´t think too much, don´t try to force something.

  • DCLakeshow

    From what I can tell, it all boils down to a lack of effort, both offensively and defensively. Gasol can no longer use the tired/fatigued excuse. His mins have decreased, and Bynum is helping. Pau still looks lazy out there. Kobe…I hate to say it, hasn’t played one bit of defense this entire season, and I question his health, because he just doesn’t look like himself out there. He doesn’t look comfortable in the offense. Never thought I’d say this, but Lamar has been our most consistent player this season, but still, he has to do more. I wonder if the rotation has anything to do with our play as of recent. Now is the time for the team to look themselves in the mirror, and ask if they’re giving it 110%…cause CLEARLY they are not. We can’t keep saying, wait til June, because bad habits don’t just disappear, but they magnify on national television.

  • TheLakers4Life

    So most of you guys are saying the Lakers are done??? There are gonna be bumps on the rode, but we are not “done”. We just have to get back like the beginning of the season when we were blowing teams out by 20 and 30. I am sure we are still gonna be the 1 or 2 seed in the west when we pick it up. They know what they need to do they just aren’t doing it hopefully this is going to change today against New Orleans.

  • MECKA

    JUMP OFF THE BANDWAGON NOW!! DOUBTERS!

  • YOUR WARLOCK

    It’s funny how some of you aren’t able to smell the roses… Gasol is currently playing like Chris Mihm on defense and Kwame Brown on offense… He can’t play any worse or he would be accused of tanking these games–which he might inconspicuously be doing–the way Shaq would conspicuously threatened to do, if the rock didn’t go through him…

    Any (Fool) can see how much he revels in the acclaim-(Fools Gold)-on how he was anointed the Lakers Savior since coming to the team.

  • si pepe

    let us be patient! it looks like we’ve never been into these position before!

  • si pepe

    dont argue and question when we are losing coz we never question when we became champions…We will be Champions again!

  • JohnB

    For people wondering why Kobe is not looking the same is because he has passed his prime unfortunately and we saw it Game 7 last year. He can no longer carry the Lakers like he has done in the past. His offense is very predictable for the defense because everyone knows he is going to go to the post and they are ready for that. I never thought he was a great defender either and this year it really pisses me off when he leaves his man open or plays like 8 feet off them. His decision making is horrible this year as well he puts everyone else in unfavorable positions. Opponents also have an easy time picking his wallet, we saw that when Blair pop the ball loose while he was trying to make a move. Kobe has regressed, it’s not just a funk, he hasn’t been efficient all year, he is no longer a top dog in the game. Like it made me sad how Dwade was just blowing by Kobe so easy and Kobe had so much trouble scoring on him. Pau has also been very poor, like embarrassing. People you have to see it as it is, and stop comparing this season to past seasons and say oh they did this last year and looked what happened or whatever because its not last year. It’s a whole new season. People need to also stop saying its just December who cares, but since we are so far back from Spurs every win counts, there is no time to relax.

  • http://www.evolutiondiet.org Jake Lagoni

    Hey, long time Jackson fan here, so been a laker fan quite awhile. He always does this … he knows San Antonio is one of the very top teams they will need to get by in the playoffs … and he doesn’t show all his cards. Look at that roster and all the variables he has to work with. Probably the best team coach of all time … he also knows these early meetings mean squat. Also probably had to let Kobe’s huge ego see for himself that he shoots too much and is hurting his team. I have neve seen Phil Jackson with a more talented roster if everyone stays healthy … the only real problem is how good will Miami actually get by playoff time.