Another game, another loss. The Los Angeles Lakers version 2012-2013, one of the more megalomaniac projects in recent years the NBA has seen, are simply not taking off the ground. They’re now 1-4, with Kobe Bryant growing frustrated, Dwight Howard not adding the kind of defense he was expected to and Mike Brown taking most of the heat.
And if there’s one thing Mike Brown needs to be worried about, is Kobe Bryant’s patience with this offense and process and more than all, his head coach. This nasty glare that Bryant gave Brown kinda said it all about the frustration levels in Laker-land at the moment.
And while the point guard who was supposed to make this whole thing still ticking, the Lakers are wallowing in the mud of offensive stagnation and a lack of organization defensively. And while all the talk about the offense treading water as everyone is asking for patience to give them time and learn the “Princeton Offense” which at first, second and third look seems like a very unsuitable idea for these players, the defense should be more worrying.
No coordination, bad rotation, no help on the weak side. Sounds like cliches, but that’s the truth. When you bring over Dwight Howard, who’s offense isn’t that much better than what Andrew Bynum gave to the team, you expect a three time defensive player of the year to create quite an upgrade for this team. Meanwhile, the Lakers have allowed at least 95 points on all of their losses. The offense? The motion and off the ball screens just aren’t happening, and it turns into the familiar version of Kobe Bryant just trying to win on his own.
It’s not that other players aren’t trying. Steve Blake took 10 field goal attempts and Metta World Peace attempted 12 shots. Together they combined for 5-22 from the field. Pau Gasol took only nine shots, Dwight Howard took 11 and was disappointing from the line once again with 5-12. When you have such a disparity of talent and scoring ability between the top 3 players in the lineup (Bryant, Howard and Gasol), a equal-chance offense isn’t the way to go.
Equal to a point. Kobe Bryant attempt 17 shots, but what was more impressive was his performance from the line, going 15-17 from the line. The Lakers as a team got much more to the line, taking 28 more shots than the Jazz in the 86-95 loss. Last time the Lakers lost a game despite having 28 or more free throw attempts than their opponent was November 19, 1970 vs the Supersonics. They had won their last 24 games when having 28 or more free throw attempts than their opponent.
If there was no media pressure, it would have been easier. No one would be screaming for the head of the coach with a 1-4 start in other places. But just like the Miami Heat or the New York Knicks, everything’s blown out of proportion. Every word Kobe Bryant or Jerry Buss have to say is examined, searching for hidden meanings.
I don’t know if there’s an actual game total that would make me impatient. I know if we’re 1-15, I don’t think that would be very good. I’m sure that would be a panic button. But at this time, I’m fine with what’s going on. It’s a learning process for the players. As long as everybody is on the same page, I think we’re fine.