TLN’s Pregame Report: Lakers @ Spurs

Getty Images | Photo By Ronald Martinez

The (21-9) Los Angeles Lakers are in San Antonio to face the league-best (26-4) Spurs.

After consecutive blowout losses… at home, no less — by a combined 35 points; everyone can see that the Lakers are playing poorly.

As stated previously, the Lakers have been playing poorly and didn’t even show up for the Christmas Day game. Losing games will happen in the NBA, but there is something to be said about the way you lose.

When you are embarrassed; twice, fail to show up and compete at the championship level that the Lakers Nation knows the squad can and should perform; it’s not a good look.

It also must be said that championships aren’t won or lost in December, but you must compete whenever you step on the floor. We’ve seen early season struggles from the Lakers before and the latest loss could be seen coming long before it actually happened.

Complacency had a part to play in the most recent loss in addition to being a bit cocky. Winning back-to-back championships can do that to a team.

Tonight’s game provides the Lakers another opportunity to right the ship. Kobe Bryant took the team to task and demanded that everyone step up.

The Spurs are a team with a high energy offense. Matt Bonner leads the league in made three point shots. Their reserves have been tremendous for a team taught to be a slow methodical club. This is a difficult challenge for the Lakers. However, if the Lakers want to play in your face defense, really want to stop someone and collectively want to do whatever it takes for the team to win it will be on full display tonight.

The Lakers effort, energy and execution have to return to acceptable levels. It is time to see passion on every possession from the Lakers. The Spurs have had success playing small ball and the Lakers have to make them pay. The Lakers need to play aggressive and on every possession play with the mindset of “no easy baskets”.

The Lakers need to control the tempo and play at their pace, do a solid job of defending the screen and roll play, stop the dribble penetration of the guards, get back in transition, challenge every shot and limit the Spurs to one shot per possession.

It is time to see the trademark excellent ball movement and excellent player movement in the triangle offense to find a high percentage shot in the painted area. The team has fallen in love with the three-point shot and that needs to stop immediately.

Kobe Bryant is going to set the tone and lead by example. The Black Mamba has averaged 16.8 points in his last four games and is due for a breakout game. That game will be tonight.

From now to whenever the season ends, the Lakers need to get physical exert their dominance in the low post by attacking the basket early and often.

Starters
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, L. Odom and P. Gasol
Spurs:
T. Parker, M. Ginobili, R. Jefferson, T. Duncan, DeJuan Blair

Tip-off: 5:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • San Antonio: My35 (Bill Land & Sean Elliott)

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • San Antonio: WOAI-AM 1200 (Bill Schoening)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Theo Ratliff ( Left Knee) Out
  • Andrew Bynum (Right Knee soreness) Probable
  • Kobe Bryant (Sprained Pinkie Finger, Right Hand) will play

Spurs:

  • James Anderson ( Stress Fracture in Right Fifth Metatarsal) Out
  • BeYoung

    LETS GO LAKES BRING HOME THIS WIN!!! ACT UGLY ACT MEAN BE THE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM!!!

  • LizzakeShizzow

    Still wanna knock a Floridian or LBJ fan the f**k out but Lakers must bring the fire and desire tonight! Its all in their minds and theirs to take. We must become the intimidators and the aggressors on defense, fight for the boards and confident on offense like we used to be! None of this flat foot rebounding, standing around and over-dribbling crap.

  • Ronin99

    Let’s see which L.A. team shows up…hoping its the champs! Go Lakers!!!

  • xtro

    i think we will see a different Lakers team tonight.

  • Leo

    When the Lakers lose, they lose in bunches. Hate it, but it’s true…That’s why this game is SO crucial.

  • 151rummer

    I dont think I can watch this game….ill just stay busy and try not to think about….

    • LakerMarc

      It just shows the lack of confidence we have in them. It doesn’t make us less of fans but they have certainly deserved it with the way they play. It isn’t easy nor does it make sense to be a dillusional positive fan when they play that way. They are getting their ass whipped by the Spurs just the way The Heat killed them. Embarrassing!

  • http://searchingforslava.blogspot.com/ dave m

    I’ve been looking forward to this game all season. The Spurs are the real deal, much more of an offensive mindset than in the past. They routinely have 4 guys on the floor who are legit threats, sometimes 5. They’re running all sorts of crazy hybrid p&r actions, a lot of stuff set up for Jefferson like side screens, etc.. I’m hoping Andrew’s ready for a big game, we need to go with our strengths – size, offensive rebounding, ball movement (which has been lacking lately). Hopefully, one or more of our shooters will get hot and we can get a effective inside-out game flowing.

  • 242LakerFan

    I’m looking forward to the Lakers’ return from their prolonged holiday break, during which the Washington Generals gave a valiant effort as fill-ins for the champs. Now that Christmas is over, let’s see when the real Lakers will put on the purple and gold and step back onto the court.
    Tonight would be good.

  • LakerMarc

    Annoying in the 3rd qtr I see them letting this slip away simply because this is not a killer Lakers!!!

  • LakerMarc

    Lakers will find themselves in 4th or 5th place by playoffs because of the lack of heart in this years play.

  • Darien

    and another loss…blowout loss

  • trippleoccho

    Its not looking good so far this year. I hope things change ASAP. 3 blowouts in a row and that losing streak we had earlier in the season. I hate to say this but I’m starting to lose faith in this team this year.

  • LizzakeShizzow

    F******************************************K!!!!!!!

  • My Synopsis

    Kobe-Shots just didnt go in/bad denfense
    Pau-dont get enough touches/played like it’s finals of 08
    Artest-Lights was on but he wasnt home
    Lamar-Wont use his ballhandling skills and talent to his
    advantage
    Fisher-Needs to be on the bench
    Blake-needs to start because he has to gain a rhythm and actually play real minutes
    Barnes-Stop fucking fouling
    Shannon-Need to stop fucking monica before games so he can Focus
    Bynum-The only one Playing with a purpose

  • My Synopsis

    Hey phil Play them damn Rookies

    • 242LakerFan

      They just sent Ebanks to Bakersfield and Caracter is not going to help this offence to figure it out.

  • vlade4kobe8

    their offense sucks now

  • si pepe

    STILL OM PROCESS..PLS BE PATIENT…

  • si pepe

    STILL ON PROCESS..PLS BE PATIENT…

  • atlfan

    Somebody call me when the Champs show up to play cuz this team ain’t cuttin it

  • atlfan

    NO! Phil doesn’t need to change anything. These players are killing themselves. Each and every one of them. They need to figure it out or else they’ll find themselves completely out of the the playoffs. The West is tight.

  • 242LakerFan

    Well, the Lakers hit the “FUKKIT” button again in the second half. Three straight blowouts. I’m trying to remember the last team to go through an extended period playing this badly that still turned it around.
    And don’t give me “This happens every year.” This kind of loss happens a few times every year, but this is three in a row and we’ve been playing like this consistently for the last month or more.
    I don’t even know what to say about how to turn it around. If it were one or two things, it’d be easy to say”change this” or “change that”, but this is just a pathetic show of careless, inefficient, sloppy, laissez-faire, hap-hazard, nonchalant, disorganized, lackadaisical, insert-negative-here-ad-nauseum, alleged basketball I’ve seen in thirty years from a Lakers team whose best player wasn’t Cedric Cebalos.

  • GetMelo

    I think the lakers need to start thinking about trading for melo. I don’t care who they trade now because lakers need a scorer more than ever. The lakers are playing their worst basketball since they got gasol in 2008. As much as I want to think positive, however this lakers team looks like they won’t 3 peat unless they get their act together sooner or later or trade for someone that can fuckin put the ball in the basket. After the 13-2 start lakers have just been laying an egg since.

    • My Synopsis

      I wasnt on that getmelo train but after this game Fuckit
      Get him Get rid of artest his head is not in the game at all plus we need to switch it up put LO at the point he can handle the ball and he can score I really dont see why we havent tried that

  • 242LakerFan

    Seriously, I’m sick to my stomach, and that’s a lot of sick. I haven’t felt this negatively towards this team since the summer of ’08.

  • Juanv

    Guys I think the the Black Mamba is done he is trying to play like he is 25 years old still he is trying to force up hot he used to make not anymore he is not the same player anymore fan need to start realizing that .

  • Juanv

    they need to start pounding the ball inside this is when we need shaq to tell kobe quit shooting the fuken ball so much an play inside out..

  • Laker4Life

    booooooooooooooooooooooo !

  • Mr. Clutch

    Who agrees with me that we should get melo.

  • SHOWTIME4EVA

    Damn! three blow outs in a row!!it’s gonna be a long uphill battle.fuck, it’s not looking good for us.I still think we can beat these teams in a series.but if we go for a title in a fourth seed or lower. we would not have much chance..shit,we might not even make the playoffs.

  • Juanv

    all u fuckin fools denver will never trade melo to the lakers get over it we need pau to play like a man and kobe to pass the dam ball

  • si pepe

    still on process..pls be patient…

  • atlfan

    Ya’ll wish you could blame these losses on Kobe. Cut it out. Granted Kobe hasn’t been playing well but this is the first game in a long time that he has taken that many shots. And honestly I don’t blame him. Someone on this team needs to be aggressive on the offensive end. Why are they playing so timidly?

  • Al

    Kobe doesn’t care about winning. He only cares about his stats. 8 of 27. He is shooting us right out of the game with no one else getting a chance. Kobe…my grandmother can shoot 8 out 27. Pass the damn ball.

  • max

    wow,when its going good its great,when they fall,they’re scratching and clawing out from the depths of hell,I’ve never seen such a turn for the worse,they’ve got that look of what every fan is thinking what the hell is happening?!!The clippers loose with more dignity.Yes they are the champions,but there ugly retarded twin has been playing for the last 3 games,and phil looks baffled,yet amused.Time for a serious team meeting,before someone like luke gets traded or something,we wouldn’t want that to happen ,would we?

  • Barracuda

    Lakers once again laid an egg, squandering a nice second-quarter run to once again lose by double digits…Lakers guards were a pathetic 11-of-46….seems Kobe would rather take a bad shot, than give a teammate a good one.

    Yep! the is team still out of sync and can’t buy a basket…hopefully they play dramatically better basketball over their final 50 games (in the face of a brutal schedule)…and also improve as the season goes along, because what ails them is far more than simple boredom.

    • j.crack

      The next month will be very interesting. The schedule has been a cakewalk so far & is about to get a whole lot tougher. Lets see if they actually start moving the ball cuz Im really sick of watching Kobe try to act like hes still 25 years old. The lakers need to watch some Celtics gametape. They constantly move the ball on offense & everybody plays hard on defense.

  • atlfan

    The only thing that could make me feel better about them is a winning streak that includes 3 or 4 blowouts against playoff teams and of course payback to MIA, DEN, SA, and UT. I’m not watching tonight’s game. I am officially on strike.

  • j.crack

    All Im gonna say is LOL at Kobe & LOL at the guards. I think they said on 710espn that they shot a combined 11 for 47 from the field hahaha just doesnt get any worse then that. SA didnt even shoot well either but players like Blair & Paker showed up. SA didnt shoot well from three & Duncan & Manu scored a combined 11 points. 11 pts!!!! & they still got beat down. Damn the Spurs have other players that are stepping up while LA has Kobe & the guards chucking horrible shots when you have 2 seven footers in the court. I just dont get. Pau has to man up too, something is not right with him lately. If they lose by double digits to NO then something has to be changed IMO.

  • xtro

    to quote peter finch in the movie Network, “i am mad as hell, and i’m not gonna take it anymore!!” lakers need to trade again for a scorer.