Los Angeles Lakers' Road to Three-Peat: Sloppy Night at Staples Center
A sloppy night it was for the Lakers last night as they lost to the Pacers for the first time at home since moving to the Staples Center. The Pacers played a great game, and had more hustle than the Lakers all night, grabbing offensive rebounds and getting almost every loose ball. The Lakers just couldn't find a rhythm at all in the first three quarters, and they finally picked things up late in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late.
Kobe Bryant tried to put on the "cape" and offer some fourth quarter heroics, which he did, but one guy can't do it all. He also took 33 shots, which in itself can be bad for his teammates. The Lakers shooting was really sloppy all night, finishing 38 percent from the field.
The bench also disappointed for the second game in a row, only scoring 14 points, compared to their average of 34 points per game. In the end, the Lakers just didn't play nearly up to potential, and seemed to be sleep walking all night.
Final Score: Pacers 95, Lakers 92 (Pacers now 8-7, Lakers now 13-4)
Lakers Player of the Game: Kobe Bryant - 41 points, five rebounds, four assists
Let's take a look at the positives and negatives of this game in my Daily Five:
Bigger problem last night against Pacers?
1. Lamar Odom's consistency
This is my lone positive from this game. Lamar Odom has show great consistency and has proved that he can be consistent and not disappear at times. He did what he is expected to last night, scoring 15 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and shooting 60 percent from the floor.
Odom will be deadly coming off the bench once Bynum returns, and I see things only getting a whole lot better when Bynum does return.
2. Kobe Bryant taking 33 shots
I'm okay with Kobe getting aggressive and taking over the game to get the Lakers back in it, but there needs to be some help there. Pau Gasol had a mere 13 points, and only on five of 15 shooting. This just wasn't enough help for Kobe and the Lakers. No one was really able to step up, and I think Kobe should have tried to get it down in the paint a little more.
Kobe could have hurt the Lakers with all those missed shots, but the rest of the team didn't shoot all that well either. This offense just wasn't the same last night as it has been this season. It just seemed very one-dimensional and not fluid at all. The execution just wasn't there like it usually is.
3. Shannon Brown's shooting struggles continue
Shannon once again had an awful night shooting, going only two of nine from the field, which is 22 percent. He was even getting very good looks, but he just wasn't hitting them. That is two games in a row now that Shannon has had a very hard time shooting. He went two of eight in the lost to the Jazz on Friday night.
Has all this success gotten to his head, or are these last two games just a fluke? We will find that out soon enough as the Lakers go on a testing back-to-back road trip against the Grizzlies Tuesday night and then the Rockets Wednesday night.
4. Bench production down
We have definitely been spoiled by the Lakers' bench production this season, but we really didn't expect it to slow down this much. The Lakers bench got outscored by the Pacers bench, 20-14. In the last two games, the Lakers bench has been outscored 44-27. They are averaging 34 points per game, but in two games they haven't even been able to reach that number.
This will have to change if the Lakers want to have success, we need the bench that we have seen all season, and I think they will turn it around.
5. Lakers sleep walking
It seemed as though the Lakers only woke up with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter. They were completely out-hustled by the Pacers. The Pacers seemed as though they were getting every loose ball, and were overall more active on the boards. It may not seem this way in the rebounding category as the Pacers only had three more boards than the Lakers, but the Pacers just controlled the rhythm.
We have seen this before from the Lakers, and they will have to regroup and re-analyze themselves going into this weeks back-to-back.
It was indeed a sloppy night for the Lakers, but hopefully it was "just one of those nights" and the Lakers will regroup and win the next few games in a row, which I think they will. Look for the Lakers to be more active and hustle a bit more in the upcoming games.
Next Game: Tuesday, November 30 at Memphis Grizzlies 8pm est.
Lakers Keys to the Game
Contain Rudy Gay
Don't sleep walk
Don't get complacent with a big lead
Will the bench return to form?
Can Shannon get back on track?
Will the Lakers show more hustle?
My Prediction: Lakers 109, Grizzlies 93
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