After an impressive 4-0 start to their seven game road trip, which included wins over New Orleans, Memphis, Boston and New York, the Lakers seemed to have no answer for the Orlando Magic on Sunday.
The Lakers scored a season-low 75 points against the Magic and were outscored in all four quarters. Just when you thought the Lakers had finally found their rhythm this season, an embarrassing loss for the Lakers on ABC reminded us once again that the Lakers still have only two wins against the top seven teams in the NBA.
Of course, the Lakers, looking for their third consecutive championship, aren't panicking after a regular season loss in February. The Lakers will instead try use the lessons from the game to their advantage, so that the team will be better off come playoff time.
Here are ten lessons the Lakers learned from their loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday.
As a team, the Lakes shot just 7-15 from the line against Orlando. Lamar Odom shot just 5-10 from the line, while Derrick Caracter missed both of his attempts.
While neither Odom nor Caracter are particularly good free throw shooters, they both shot below their season averages, and there is really no excuse for such a low percentage at the line.
Steve Blake is one of the Lakers' best perimeter shooters, as well as one of their faster guys on the court.
On a Lakers team that has plenty of guys in the paint, as well as Kobe frequently driving into the lane, Blake gets many open look opportunities every game.
Blake's two three-point attempts against the Magic are simply not enough.
Similar to Blake, Ron Artest gets a lot of open looks for the Lakers. The difference is that Artest is not nearly as good of a shooter as Blake.
Artest made one of his four attempts from behind the three-point line on Sunday, and has a three-point percentage this season of just 35.5 percent.
Now shooting an abysmal 39 percent overall from the field, Artest should be focusing on getting other guys open looks as opposed to jacking up shots at such a high rate.
The Lakers shot just 2-16 as a team from behind the three-point line and were thoroughly outhustled by Orlando's perimeter players.
Matt Barnes, expected to come back before the playoffs, is quick, can shoot well consistently, and provides much needed depth to the Lakers' small forward position behind Ron Artest.
The Lakers offense at times looked stagnant against Orlando, and there were not nearly enough cuts nor quick passes.
So many Laker possessions consisted of 1 on 1 situations, resulting in Lakers missing contested jumpers. As a team, the Lakers shot just 39.3 percent from the field.
Derek Fisher is a very good jump shooter when open, but is of very little use when guarded by quicker or taller players.
After entering the game shooting just 11-29 from the field in February, Fisher continued his slump against Orlando, missing all four of his shots in the first half before making a few jumpers late when the game was all but over.
On a team with so many weapons, point guard Derek Fisher should be getting more than the 2.8 assists per game he averages, and should not shoot unless open.
Shannon Brown is a tremendous athlete and has gotten even better over the last year after working hard on his game last summer.
It must be tough for someone of Brown's talent to be stuck on the bench, simply because Kobe Bryant is on his team, playing the same position.
However, perhaps because Brown is so anxious to show off his skills once he is put in the game, he has taken too many low percentage shots early in the shot clock, as opposed to taking what the defensive gives him.
Against Orlando, Brown shot just 3-11 from the field, and was 0-3 from behind the stripe.
This is nothing new, but nevertheless, it needs to be reinforced. Gasol shot the ball 12 times from the field, making five of his attempts, and many of those shots were off balance, fall away jumpers.
In a game against Orlando in which Bynum has the tougher task of being defended by Dwight Howard, Gasol has to find a way to be more aggressive.
The seven-footer Gasol also failed to go to the charity stripe and had just four rebounds in Sunday's loss.
When Bryant drives to the basket, good things tend to happen for the Lakers. Not only is Bryant one of the better finishers in the game, but when he drives, he frequently gets double and tripled teamed, allowing other teammates to get open.
Against Orlando, Kobe took too many contested jump shots and failed to cause havoc down low in order to get other teammates open looks.
Kobe has done a much better job of driving and distributing over the last few years, but oftentimes when the Lakers are losing late in the game, Kobe shoots outside, contested shots in order to try to get the Lakers back in the game.
Most of the time when Kobe does this, he misses, causing a a long rebound, which more often than not goes to the opposing team.
When asked how the Lakers could have played better in their loss to Orlando, head coach Phil Jackson said the Lakers did not do a well enough job of controlling the flow of the game.
Orlando has many young, quick perimeter players that the veteran Lakers struggled to catch up with. Also a factor, the Lakers seemed to have a lack of a sense of where Howard was on the court.
Despite playing against seven-footers Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, Howard consistently got open and received many lobs in which he proceeded to dunk for two easy points.