TLN’s Postgame Report: Lakers @ Rockets – CHUMPS IN FOR CHAMPS (99-109, Loss)

Getty Images | Photo by Ronald Martinez

I know what you’re thinking, fellow Laker fans…
[expletive]
[expletive]
[expletive]

Where to begin the recap? Should we start with the monster game of Lamar Odom (25 points on 11-16, 11 rebounds)? How about the 12-point lead the Lakers lost in the last two minutes of the second quarter? Maybe we should talk about the efficient and hustle-filled evening of Matt Barnes (14 points on 5-18, eight rebounds)? Or discuss the struggles of Pau Gasol (eight points on 2-8, nine rebounds) against a 6’6” Chuck Hayes? Maybe it’s best to just ask what we’ve all been dying to ask…

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THIS LAKER TEAM?!!!!!!!!

Who are these players impersonating the defending NBA Champions (and doing a horrible job while they’re at it) because they are certainly not the same team who had the best record in the Western Conference and beat the Boston Celtics in seven games last year. The Lakers who were 13-2 have subbed out this season for a squad who wouldn’t know what to do with a lead if it hit them square in the face.

The Lakers actually looked like they were in it to win it early in the game, shooting 64% at one point in the first quarter and letting the Houston Rockets know that without Yao Ming and Aaron Brooks, they were toast. Lamar Odom took on the offensive lead, scoring nine points in the first quarter on his way to a 15-point half with Kobe Bryant scoring the same.

The visitors took a 12 point lead in the second quarter after Derek Fisher hit a three, but as the Lakers should know by now, no lead is safe if you don’t actively protect it, and they didn’t. Houston went on a quick run for the last two minutes of the first half and managed to cut the lead to three entering the third quarter, and that was only after Kobe Bryant hit a buzzer beater to increase the one-point advantage.

The third quarter was a whole lot of Lamar Odom. Odom hit jumpers, layups and even three pointers to keep the Lakers abreast in this game because Kevin Martin, after starting 0-7, suddenly found some life in his shooting and scored 13 of his 22 points in that third quarter. Houston managed to beat the Lakers by two points in that third 12-minute period, but they were only warming up.

If not for Matt Barnes’ back-to-back three-point plays and 10 points in the fourth, the Lakers wouldn’t have had that nine-point lead almost midway through the final quarter. His activity away from the ball is what gave him opportunities to cut and score and his refusal to give up on possessions is what gave the Lakers chances to win this game and they absolutely blew it.

Pau Gasol did next to nothing tonight and maybe it was due to a tight hamstring which he had to have loosened up in the locker room in the fourth quarter. Jordan Hill was giving him problems and he couldn’t even take advantage of the 6’6” Chuck Hayes. Gasol had just eight points on 2-8 shooting in almost 39 minutes of playing time.

Kobe Bryant, who looked about as frustrated towards the end of the game as any captain of a losing streak would be, had 27 points on 10-24. He converted on a number of difficult shots, but in the end, his lack of defense on Shane Battier spoiled the Lakers’ chances of avoiding their fourth loss in a row. Battier scored 11 straight points en route to his 17 points on 5-7 night. He saved all of his defensive energy for Bryant late in the game and it worked to Houston’s advantage.

The Lakers haven’t lost four games in a row since 2007 and they’re starting to play like that Lakers of old, except this time around, they have superior players so why the hardships? With the San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Hornets gunning to be the best to come out of the West, the Lakers would be naïve to think they can continue to play they way they’ve been playing and survive a playoff series no matter where they stand at the end of the regular season. It’s time to stop hiding behind the “it’s too early in the season” argument. It’s never too early to play the right way. Right now, his Lakers team is playing the exact opposite of the how-to-defend-your-title game. They have not impressed fear on any opponent, but hopefully these losses strike fear on those it should – themselves.

Box Score
Pre-game Thoughts:
Don’t make it hard on yourselves, Lakers. You know how to play the right way so JUST DO IT.
Half-time Thoughts: 56-53, Rockets late 12-0 lead erased Lakers’ double digit lead. LO and KB with 15 points a piece, but the Houston bench killing LA’s reserves 30-13.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: They lost a 12 point lead in two minutes to end the first half, and then failed to increase, or at least protect, a 7-point lead in the fourth quarter – every Laker who was on the floor when those occurred are GUILTY of being thoughtless.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Lamar Odom played a great game, as did Matt Barnes, but the most thought-filled players in tonight were the Houston Rockets, who never say die no matter how short-handed they are. They were down a starting center and point guard and managed to stick it to the defending champs…again. The Lakers never learn.

Anna Gonda has been the post-game editor for LakerNation.com since the 2009-2010 season. Between post-game reports, she's a full-time advertising coordinator for an academic publisher and a part-time photographer. Favorite Lakers: Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher. Favorite Laker Moment: Game 7, 2010 Finals against the Boston Celtics.
  • andy

    Only a 4 game losing streak would cause a post game report to pop up this fast…smh lakers…

  • Freaking frustrated laker fan

    We all know what’s wrong The lakers are tired and getting killed because owner buss is trying to save money$$$$ on a back up center… What his money saving plan is going to cause is an injured Gasol and then they will be in worst shape… Dr. Buss get this through ur thick stubborn cheap a** head!! get a back up center!!! You are throwing a season away a chance for a 3 peat .. The possibly last hurrah for Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant for a title all for a saving money … That in the long run u can make up in playoffs.. This team can not afford to fall back on standings so damn early!! Damn I’m pissed!! ….it’s obvious that the Lakers are suffering the effects of 3 consecutive trips to finals!!!! Think of the Milage on their bodies… Think back on our last three peat … We won three and lost last 4th … Same scenario but this time they lost 1st trip and will end up losing last if the owner doesn’t get it together!

    • gameplan

      I started to think that pau is the reason in the lakers 3 years succes, maybe it is mbenga the lucky charm.LOL! really like that guy.

      • gameplan

        I mean pau is not the reason.

    • Jetsmoney01

      Dude you talk about spending money when it’s not even yours. It’s always easier to talk about spending other ppls money. Just calm down. My estimate is that the Lakers will lose about 18-25 games this season. Some nights they’re gonna look like the best team of all time and others they’ll look like the Clippers, but that’s just basketball, and if you’ve been following the Lakers for years you should know that by now. They usually don’t win in Atl, Port, Utah, Cleav, Mia, Bost, and will blow at least 1 or 2 games against the bobcats. They’ll loose to the Hornets, Thunders, Spurs, Sac, Rockets, suns, Mavs and some lowlife Eastcoast teams. That’s just a regular basketball season. They’ll be games where they’ll win by buzzer beater and also lose by buzzer beaters. June is when Fish will wake up and become HOrry and make big shots. So just enjoy the season and if this is the playoffs right now then worry but it’s not so chill and it’s not Dr. Buss’s fault cause he’s wayyyyy over the lux tax and he doesn’t want to spend money cause Bynum will be back soon and “hopefully” stay healthy.

      • Freaking frustrated laker fan

        I’ve been watching the Lakers for quite a while ..
        So I speak from experience … I did not just spend $150+ for NBA season on TV … Plus I don’t know how much more in merchandise and Live ball game attendance for my family and I….so I know I’ve given back … But that’s not the point .. The point is … That this season was special… And it seems it is being thrown to waste by not making a simple move…and i am aware of loses … But not 4 in a Row !! For a Championship team…try underachievers ,.. I expect those so called loses… But these 4 in a row scenarios only equal disaster.. I recall 4 in a row .. But not in a Phil Jackson championship team… Plus I’m not saying this is PAU’s fault I’m asking for help for Pau … To make him more affective btw what was his stat line against their back up?? See my point .. If Pau gets help … That helps Kobe etc etc = Wins ..hate to say this but @ this pace the Lakers are not winning 3 in a row… All I hope they kept some of Rudy Tom…meaning @ the end Hopefully I’ll hear them say” U Can’t Underestamate the Heart of A Champion”

  • PauLAsol

    I feel like a Clippers fan =/

    • LakerMarc

      so funny yet, not kinda sad huh?

  • what the hell

    the real question now is will they make the playoffs ? because right now I don,t see the light a the end of the tunnel

  • lakerfan4life

    hope this lights a fire within the team, cause this is just embarrsing

    • LakerMarc

      wouldn’t the first 2 have done that and wouldn’t the fact that when the 3rd loss came and it was the 1st time in 3 years…… have been enough, no I guess there was going to be something so much more powerful in losing 4 cuz ‘oh yeah this time we’ll REALLY get it’. I say there may stil be more losses to pile up back to back next to these 4. The streak might not be over. SCARY huh?

  • another frustrated laker fan

    the clipper are filing identity theft

  • Nate Mcmillian

    Wow what can I say this team is just ridiculous losing four straight games. I think this team has seen there last championship for a while. We are not coming out of the west, this team can’t play defense to save their life. Derek Fisher is getting schooled like he is not even there. Ron Artest suppose to be our defensive stopper and the way he is playing he couldn’t guard my grandmother on defense. How do we lose to the 6-12 Rockets give me a break. Well Laker fans it was fun while it lasted but I think our time in the sun is over I hope I am wrong.

  • gugy

    calm down biatches.
    Everything will be fine. Lakers has a history of getting complacent. Bynum will be back soon and help take off the load on Lamar and Pau.
    Sometimes losing is a good thing. Remember we are in December. Lot’s of time ahead.

    • LakerMarc

      Bynum coming back is supposed to be a comfort?

  • Laker4Life

    Never in my wildest dreams thought this Lakers team was gonna lose 4 straight games. I mean I know it’s early, but they are losing to teams they shouldn’t. Oh well, I hope Bynum comes back sooner than later because this Lakers team has run out of gas.

    • ilikebasketball

      we have always lost to teams we shouldn’t

      it’s been like that for at leas the last three years.

      don’t get me wrong i’m worried.

      but losing to teams we shouldn’t is our signature by now.

      • LakerMarc

        we? what # jersey do you wear?

  • manu

    haha relax it’s only 4 games nd it’s only december. gasol bynum nd ratliff are injured. bynum be back soon, then gasol nd odom be able to get a lil more rest nd everything will be back in order.

    if you really think the lakers aren’t going to make the playoffs, or the western conf finals cause of their recent pathetic performances you clearly haven’t watched enough lakers bball. they do this every friggin season – lazy mo fos but come playoff time ain’t nobody stopping phil jackson nd the black mamba. nobody.

    • LakerMarc

      yeah you are right but not in this way…they have actually achieved some ‘milestones’ which they should not be proud of….ive been here for so many years and I can tell you this is bothersome for a reason…..

  • LakerLand Nostradamus

    No reason to freak out people.
    Every season is the same story. No worries, the end will be the same.

  • J.dizzle

    Lakers D is M.I.A & the trianle is not being used much lately..Pau is playing like hot garbage because both centers are out & Kobe is taking 87 shots a game haha. Just a mess right now. I know its still early in the season but the West is stacked & these are all winnable games that will come back to haunt them if they dont get their sh*t straight soon. Bynum has to be the slowest healer ive ever seen.

  • Al

    Matador Fisher makes every PG look like an all star. Maybe he should consider giving up the starting position and give it to someone who really can play defense.

    • Huh?

      And who would that be?

  • http://www.jackyang.info Jack

    I’m very concerned about Pau’s hamstring issue. The same hamstring that pulled him out for many games last year is tightening up. Not good. Not good at all. It’s possible he might be out when Bynum comes back… then we’ll overplay Bynum.

    • Freaking frustrated laker fan

      So True my words indeed

  • Robert

    Lakers on their 4th championship run. Of course they’re tired. Too bad they’re wearing out now. There are 55+ games to go.
    .
    I think they need to start taking supplements to keep going.
    .
    I’m not concerned about the Heat anymore. I’m concerned about exhaustion.

  • gameplan

    Lakers will be fine, can somebody tell me how they started and finished the season last year? I know that is bad that the lakers lose 4 straight that never happen since 07. it’s too early to push the issue, where just mad because we want the lakers beat the 72 games, but sad to say that it is not going to happen.
    Phil is right this ain’t chicago the road is so difficult travelling from LA. But things noticed already pau is back to his soft side maybe his tired, and phil is aging, the lose from pacers, and grizz could have been prevented if he calls a time for the last shot. last night from grizz game the lead is balooning to 13 he didn’t call any time out, for what to save it for the last second, and he didn’t call again for the last shot that send ron to brick.

    • what the hell

      they were 7-3 after they pulled a 11 win streak so 18-3 and I think they went to 24-4 something like that so we are really really far from last year and they finished 57-25 they were on fire till the end of march where they finished the season 4-7 on their last 11 games

  • Jonathan

    this is what happens when you dont play defense compounded by kobe over shooting and poorly

    • LakerMarc

      that shit is a rehash from last year

  • Kobe 279

    Everybody calm down theirs nothing to worry about. Remember the Lakers sometimes play stupid. Our next game is the Kings we will be fine.

    • Freaking frustrated laker fan

      That’s what I was saying for the past 4 games…. Wake up and smell the loses ,… Better yet smell the way they are losing!

  • Kobetown

    Everyone needs to relax…..like tim legler said the panic meter is at a 2. The lakers started off the season very well….over the last two weeks they have been stagnant but thats what happens in basketball, you play bad. Over the past few years they have always been victim to some bad losses via the pacers, bobcats etc. Not saying that they didnt want to make a statement last night, but they didnt play well… The lakers are the 2nd best NBA shooting team in the league, and they went 1 for 9 in the fourth. In the majority of these games theyve had the lead and lost it…another common issue with this team…dont worry they are more then capable and have the resources at hand to win a 3peat…anyone questioning if they will make the playoffs is out of their mind….theyre 20 games into the season…and the lakers get bored sometimes….This will be humbling…they are more then capable of reeling off 15 wins in a row if they really set it as a goal so chillll kidsss

    • LakerMarc

      you make sense but just notice how pathetic what you are saying reads.

  • Kobetown

    p.s. not that Tim legler is a lakers expert by any means but i agree with him on this one

    • LeaderFish

      I would take Legler’s expertise over any laker fan on this site. I don’t need homer opinions.

      • FishNOLeader

        Seems like the only thing fisher can do on defense is foul. A complete liability in every way.

        • LakerMarc

          Sasha owns that one ..and every time time Fish fouls…fe laughs or smilkes and shakes his head…..what a douche

  • Green Lantern

    What a wonderful day!!!! I hope the Lakers lose ten in a row. The Lakers do not play as a team like my Celtics!!

    • LakerMarc

      Hey green lantern,.. fuck off!!!!! Before I open a can of Sinestro on your ass.

    • LizzakeShizzow

      Funny that Lakers have lost 4 straight but are only one win shy from Celtics record. The Celtics aren’t that good. You got summin on ur lip homeboy. Stop bobbin on Celtic cock.

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    I blame the starters with the exception of Lamar. They all sucked and yes even Kobe. But if we all step back and think….How many of us really think the lakers WONT make the playoffs? How many of us really think we WONT come out of the west? I feel that if the lakers management is going to play the money saving game then the lakers SHOULD mail it in and just cruse into the playoffs. No matter what seed they fall in, they should win. Home court is important IF YOU KEEP IT, but if the lakers just win one game in the other arena, it’s all good.
    I’m just tired of seeing a winnable game get away so easily or with stupid mistakes by our veterans.

  • trippleoccho

    Not worried but so frustrated. 4 game losing streak, that’s just unacceptable.

  • mr.laker19

    Panic? No, Concerned? Yes… We looked at peak form to start the season, and over the past couple weeks we look cocky and bored. Which can but shouldnt happen since we been to three straight Finals and two ships. But lets remember guys the finals and the Championship is not guaranteed, just ask the ’04 version of the Lakers. We still need Bynum contrary to lots of fans belief, Pau looks soft, Fisher looks ancient, Kobe is forcing it too much and we still havent found a solid lineup to close games. We have a lot of work to do. But no panic.

  • Boococky

    I didn’t want to 3-peat anyways… So there!!!!!

  • HrosBros

    Just a thought….what’s going on with Sasha….Is he on the coaching staffs s#!t list again? Has he been traded already and they just haven’t told him?

  • bbz62

    4 straight losses – 3 peat (potentially) = 1 sad panda

  • LkrFn4Lf

    You guys need to calm down. They’re not playing well at the moment, but do you really think this team all of a sudden just lost their ability to play? Keep in mind that they’ve played terribly and almost won all these games. Not to mention that in the last few minutes last night Battier had 11 points on four possessions. That’s unheard of. This has been a combination of the Lakers playing like they don’t care and their opponents playing out of their minds. There is nothing to worry about. We Laker fans tend to think everything is going to hell about 20 times a season, but we’ve been to the Finals three times in a row and won twice in a row, so calm down. You guys talking about “I don’t know if we’ll even make the playoffs” are ridiculous.

    • daboss1848

      You’re just being optimistic and unrealistic. Everybody knows that the way a team plays in November and December is indicative of how they will play in June – EVERYBODY!!!!
      .
      So, get a clue and begin panic mode now!

  • Lakers!!!!#1thebest

    Pau Gasol is afraid to block a shot!!! he just raises his hand thinking that his lanky ass can block the shot instead of jumping to block the shot.

    • LakerMarc

      so do we believe this news that he has a torn or strained/sprained (whatever the fuck) hamstring…..and that this thing was the reason for his play the way it’s been for the last what 3 games?

  • Lakers!!!!#1thebest

    Starters dont play as hard as bench player because they know they already have their minutes asured. when Matt barnes, steve blake, caracter, Odom, and shannon where in we had a 7 point lead. Once we put in fisher and kobe and gasol we lost the lead cause they dont play as hard as the other guys trying to get minutes…. Play sasha or Ebanks.. those 2 guys are known to play defense..

    • LakerMarc

      well ebanks … sasha is too much of a liability sometimes with the constant fouling

  • Boococky

    Who would have thunkt that Lamo 19 games in is our MVP? Damn that Kardashian pussy must sweet…

  • LakerMarc

    that doesnt mean that what is going on is okay

  • http://www.twitter.com/kevinsmoore Moorepower310

    We only won 57 games last season and look at how that turned out! Don’t sweat folks, championships are not won in December!

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    I feel that Pau has a reason why he doesn’t jump, at least this year. There is no one that can take his place in case of foul trouble. He is the ONLY center we have. We went from having 3 legit 7 footers last year to only having 1 this year. What happened? We should of got Shaq when he was available!!!!

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