NBA Tweets from Last Night: Twitter Diagnoses Obvious Problems with LA Lakers

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NBA Tweets from Last Night: Twitter Diagnoses Obvious Problems with LA Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers lost their second-straight game against the Utah Jazz, dropping their record to an unimpressive 9-12.

From the game's inception, it was clear that the Lakers had no intention of asserting their dominance as the NBA powerhouse they are supposed to be.

Los Angeles fell behind early thanks in large part to a matador-esque defensive effort. Or, as Mike Prada of SB Nation put it, thanks to a "classic" Antawn Jamison-like defensive effort:

In fact, the Lakers' efforts were so lackluster early that according to ESPN's J.A. Adande, they only had the edge in an immeasurable statistical department:

It didn't get much better for Kobe Bryant and company heading into halftime, either. They headed into the locker room trailing by nine to a streaking Jazz team, leaving the Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina no choice but to diagnose one of the team's obvious issues—Jordan Hill outscoring Bryant:

The first half wasn't all bad, though—not for the Jazz anyway. They shot an astounding 55 percent from the field. Somewhat surprisingly, per ESPN stats and info, that was the highest percentage Los Angeles' 15th-ranked defense allowed any team to shoot in the first half this season:

Things didn't get much better heading into the second half, either. Though the Lakers managed to trim six points off the lead heading into the fourth, Bryant still wasn't a happy camper. As ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky notes, Kobe's death stare—or at least some version of it—seemed destined to make an appearance:

Almost on cue, the Lakers found themselves trailing by 11 in the fourth quarter. But as the optimist in Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register pointed out, while Los Angeles' defense had never performed worse, Mike D'Antoni's leg has never looked better:

D'Antoni's improved physical state wasn't enough to overshadow the fact that the 34-year-old Bryant was being overworked. The Black Mamba played the entire second half and fatigue was obviously a factor.

How much so? To the point where Kamenetzky admitted that Kobe could argue any foul called against him, because he was simply nowhere to be found defensively anyway:

If we're truly honest, though, as Mike Trudell of Lakers.com was, it wasn't just Bryant's lack of defense that was ugly, but also the failure of both he and Metta World Peace to grab a single rebound between the two of them:

Believe it or not, though, the going actually got even tougher for Los Angeles.

As the Lakers fell to 14 points in the hole with less than six minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Sportsnet's Holly MacKenzie drew a comparison between them and the dormant Toronto Raptors, a team no one thought Los Angeles would be mentioned in the same breath as:

Despite such an underwhelming performance, the Lakers were able to claw their way back into the game. As Bleacher Report's own Ethan Strauss acknowledges, they had the Jazz to thank for that:

Los Angeles' push ultimately fell short, however. Bryant rimmed out a three that would have cut Utah's lead to two, and after that, the Jazz were able to secure a 117-110 victory at the foul line.

More troubling than the loss itself and the Lakers' 9-12 record, however, is Mike Trudell clarifying how poorly they have performed away from home heading into the four-game road trip:

To add further insult to injury, Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles noted that Los Angeles is seemingly at its worst when Bryant scores in excess:

Looking outside the stat lines, though, CBSSport.com's Matt Moore was able to say what we were all actually thinking:

Brutal? Of course, but Moore's assessment was more informative than the vague picture D'Antoni painted immediately after the game:

Never fear, though, right? After Steve Nash returns, everything should get better, shouldn't it?

Well, considering the Lakers' problem is defense at this point, Bill Walton's alter ego makes it clear his return could mean absolutely nothing—at the expense of Peyton Manning:

If one good thing was to come from this loss, though, it was Chris Duhon's performance. He scored 12 points, dished out 11 assists and, as it turns out, the Lakers faithful are finally warming up to him, according to Matt Moore:

Duhon's stellar outing isn't going to be enough to wash away the reality that the sub .500 Lakers are currently facing, however. 

Amid a bevy of shortcomings and bounty of question marks, Ben Golliver of BlazersEdge.com provides the most eloquent assessment of what Los Angeles' struggles mean right now:

Dave McMenamin doesn't help Los Angeles' case either, telling us that 17 of the 30 NBA teams now have a better record than the boys in purple and gold:

Brian Kamenetzky of ESPN Los Angeles also provides an astute analysis of where the Lakers stand after 21 games, bringing us the second NFL comparison of the night:

Leave it to Kobe to ultimately present us with the big picture, though:

Let's hope that Bryant is right. Let's hope the Lakers' are just experiencing a turbulent stretch and not suffering from a permanent team dynamic.

Otherwise, it's going to be a long rest of the season in Los Angeles.

 

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