Sports Medium Message Blog Series (Lakers Awful vs Pacers)

Sports Medium Message Blog Series (Lakers Awful vs Pacers)

Postby timwhite2408 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:57 pm

Follow this link for the full post with hyperlinks, http://sportsmediummessage.blogspot.com/2012/11/lakers-awful-performance-against-pacers.html

Dear Chick,

As the "Voice of the Lakers," boy were you lucky to miss this one. On a night that should have celebrated your birthday with a victory to go along with the bobblehead dolls in your likeness handed out to each fan in attendance at Staples Center, the Lakers put together a miserable performance that may have been the worst ever for the franchise.

Although the Lakers topped the all-time franchise lows of 70 points and 29.4% from the field, there's nothing to be proud of when scoring just 77 points and shooting a pathetic 31.6% from the field. With such a woeful offensive performance, the Lakers topped off the night with a defensive blunder that allowed George Hill to drop in a layup high off the glass with just .1 left on the clock for a Pacers 79-77 victory.

Coach D'Antoni seems proud of the fact that his team actually had a chance to win despite shooting 24-76 (31.6%) from the field, 6-28 (21.4%) from deep, and 23-43 (54.5%) from the line, while also committing 21 turnovers (that led to 16 Pacers points), but I sure don't, and Los Angeles doesn't either. The fact that the Lakers were able to play tough defense and hang around against the defensive minded Pacers doesn't excuse this deplorable performance. The Lakers need to put in work, and coddling them with sentiments such as, "I'm a little bit proud of the guys, the way they fought and had a chance to win, which defies statistical logic," does the team no good.

Coach D'Antoni seems far too amused with the situation. At least Mike Brown took losses to the heart. You could always tell that Brown invested every bit of himself into the game. D'Antoni seems to have a grin on his face during his post game statements, and he is far too willing to rely on the crutch of, "When Steve comes back." Hey coach, does anyone know when Nash is going to be available? Nope! The man has a fractured fibula, it's time to develop something that is going to work in the meantime. Obviously, Darius Morris and Chris Duhon are the 10th man on any NBA roster, but this is the Lakers reality with Nash and Blake injured. With this reality, it's about time D'Antoni takes some responsibility, or begins dropping the hammer.

D'Antoni has already shown his willingness to call out a star player. Against the Grizzlies on November 23rd, D'Antoni sat Pau Gasol the entire fourth quarter. Following the game, when asked about the benching, D'Antoni bluntly stated, "I was thinking, 'Boy I'd like to win this game.' That was the reason." With a small ball lineup, the Lakers outscored the Grizzlies 28-24 in the final quarter, but they still lost 98-106.

Following that statement, Gasol fired back that he wants more touches in the paint, and he also released a perfectly timed excuse that he's battling tendinitis in both of his knees. With Gasol's passive play as of late (and actually for the past couple seasons) — 2-9 against Pacers, 4-7 against Mavericks, 3-8 against Grizzlies, 3-10 against Kings — don't be surprised if Gasol is traded this season. Gasol was so bad against the Pacers, five of his nine attempted shots were blocked!

Even further, Gasol is to blame for the final defensive lapse. Gasol was supposed to switch onto Hill following the pick at the top. Instead, Gasol was late on the hedge, allowing Hill to pick up speed, attack the open space, and take a straight line to the basket. With Gasol's hips facing the sideline instead of half court, Hill turned the corner and easily blew by Gasol before finishing the layup high off the glass just over the outstretched hands of the rotating Dwight Howard. Game over.

Following this game, D'Antoni has plenty of ammo to take shots at his team (behind closed doors) in the coming days. If you take away Kobe Bryant's 5-11 (45.5%) from downtown, the team shot 1-17 (.06%) from distance. Take away Bryant and Howard's combined 19-38 (50%) from the field, and the rest of the team shot just 5-38 (13.2%). Take away Bryant's 11-13 (84.6%) from the line, and the team shot just 12-30 (40%). With the team failing to knock down shots (many of them wide open), an extra hour of shootaround is a must. In fact, I wouldn't let a single player leave the gym without hitting 10 free throws in a row following a series of sprints, or better yet, shooting a minimum of 100 free throws and hitting at least 75% with sprints after every ten shots. If this team is going to run D'Antoni's system, accurate shooting is a must (one of the main reasons why I felt that D'Antoni was a poor choice as head coach).

Finish reading the rest of the post here, http://sportsmediummessage.blogspot.com/2012/11/lakers-awful-performance-against-pacers.html
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Re: Sports Medium Message Blog Series (Lakers Awful vs Pacers)

Postby trodgers on Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:08 am

Coach D'Antoni seems far too amused with the situation. At least Mike Brown took losses to the heart. You could always tell that Brown invested every bit of himself into the game. D'Antoni seems to have a grin on his face during his post game statements, and he is far too willing to rely on the crutch of, "When Steve comes back." Hey coach, does anyone know when Nash is going to be available? Nope! The man has a fractured fibula, it's time to develop something that is going to work in the meantime. Obviously, Darius Morris and Chris Duhon are the 10th man on any NBA roster, but this is the Lakers reality with Nash and Blake injured. With this reality, it's about time D'Antoni takes some responsibility, or begins dropping the hammer.

Too amused with the situation? This seems the wrong read. He has called out the team (worst half of basketball he's seen in ten years) and key players (Pau out of game because coach wanted to win) since he's been here. He should be touting the D, and that's what I think he was doing. No team has any business winning a game like we almost did. If it weren't for a pretty poor O from Indy and some excellent D from us, that could have been a 30-point loss. Instead, we lost because we missed four FTs in the last minute.
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Re: Sports Medium Message Blog Series (Lakers Awful vs Pacers)

Postby timwhite2408 on Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:27 pm

Amused with the situation refers more to his demeanor following the game. Obviously he wasn't happy with the performance, and yes he called out the team for its awful shooting, and sat Pau in the Memphis game, but his post game demeanor just didn't seem serious enough for the expectations of this team. He sounded like a coach that conceded defeat because his favorite player isn't healthy. He wasn't stern, he was forgiving. He seemed ok with the loss rather than disappointed. The Lakers definitely didn't deserve to win the game, but I believe that he would have delivered a stronger message if he had shown some fire instead of patting them on the back for almost winning. D'Antoni has never known the pressure of championship or bust, and in that post game, it showed. As for touting the defense, ehh, that's not D'Antoni's M.O. If he's touting the defense, something is wrong. Check out Jalen Rose's take on D'Antoni and defense http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=8660718, jump to 36 minutes.

Maybe he didn't want to pile on his guys following a horrible game, but it just didn't sit right with me. Maybe I need to get more acquainted with D'Antoni's antics. Whatever the case, I hope to see a lot more performances like the Denver game.
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