Forget about the creative lead paragraph or interesting anecdote to describe the state of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Let's just cut the fat: This Lakers team is B-A-D bad.
Enough with the excuses already. This isn't about first-year head coach Mike Brown not having ample time to effectively teach and implement his new system. We're not talking about thermodynamics, or the Dewey Decimal Classification.
We're talking about one of the simplest sports, yet the Lakers make it look more complicated than a Spanish-speaking student trying to learn Calculus in Cantonese.
Watching the Lakers attempt to execute their offense is like watching John Boehner sit directly behind President Obama during his State of the Union speech and knowing the Speaker of the House vehemently disagrees with everything coming out of the president's mouth.
It's extremely awkward...multiplied by a million.
Offense is supposed to be easy: Find a mismatch, milk it until the defense adapts and then adjust accordingly. There's only so much the defense can do: (1) double-team the player posing as the mismatch, (2) employ a zone or (3) foul the worst free-throw shooter on the floor.
Regardless, the defense always yields something to the offense: (1) an unguarded player, (2) open perimeter shots and the opportunity for offensive rebounds or (3) trips to the charity stripe early and often for any player once the opposing team surpasses the foul limit.
But the Lakers aren't just shooting themselves in the foot; they're taking a nuclear bomb and swallowing it whole.
First off, the Lakers take longer to get into their offensive sets than a two-year-old takes to tie a shoe. Once their primary offensive option—usually Kobe Bryant or Pau Gasol—has the ball in his hands, the shot clock is already under 10 seconds.
Good defensive teams typically force the first option to get rid of the ball almost immediately after he touches it, and by the time he does so, the shot clock is under five seconds, creating a situation in which one of the other (less-adept) players has to chuck up a low-percentage shot.
Second, the Lakers' offense lacks fluidity. Bryant and Gasol, once they are setup in their point-of-attack position, hold the ball way—!!!—too long, which creates gridlock as the game progresses. Basketball is a game of rhythm, and by game's end, the Lakers painfully lack cohesive ball movement and floor balance.
Lastly, Brown is more inconsistent with his lineups than Mitt Romney has been over the course of his political career. Players rely on rhythm to effectively engage themselves in the game, but when your playing time in constantly fluctuating—as is the case with every Laker not named Bryant, Gasol, Bynum and Fisher—how do you expect to maximize the potential of each player?
You can't, just like you can't expect anything other than an increasingly bad rest of the season.
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