Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Despite outscoring the Clippers 54-36 in the paint on Thursday evening, the Lakers continue to miss Pau Gasol's length down on the blocks.
With Dwight Howard at a clear disability due to an accumulation of injuries, the Lakers had no answer for Blake Griffin, who totaled 22 points on 11-of-15 shooting.
In addition to Griffin simply bullying Howard in the post, the Clippers' guards showed no hesitation driving into the lane, something that the Lakers' front office did not envision happening when they acquired Howard over the summer.
If anything, Howard was supposed to discourage pesky guards from penetrating the lane. That has not been the case whatsoever during his inaugural season in purple and gold.
Perhaps the most telling sign of the Clippers' fearless approach in the paint came in the form of ageless wonder Chauncey Billups, who successfully attacked the rim as Howard sat and watched the 36-year-old blow right by him.
While Antawn Jamison may be a perfectly serviceable stretch 4 on the offensive end, he doesn't possess the will or the physical ability to hold down the interior in Gasol's absence.
With Gasol and Jordan Hill sidelined, adding a big body at the trade deadline would appear to be atop the team's to-do list.