Ghastly Laker Offense Inspires Facepalms Worldwide

Some problems in life you can just ignore until they go away. Like a toothache, or my girlfriend's pregnancy test. Some problems, though, you have to face like a man. You have to call them what they are and stop pretending that everything's OK. That's the situation right now with the Lakers offense. Sputtering and wheezing all season long, today it finally crashed into a roadside dish, caught fire and exploded into a thousand busted parts. Someone needs to sweep them up and reassemble them into a working unit.

The Lakers served an epic shitburger at Staples this afternoon, losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers 102 to 87. The outcome was more or less assured by the middle of the second quarter, when a Jamario Moon dunk put the Cavs up 17. The Lakers pulled within six early in the third, but the second-half spurt we've come to expect never really got moving. On offense the Lakers just couldn't string together enough scores to get within range of stealing the win. They fall to 23-5 on the season.

The defense, for its part, was most certainly not in top form today. The Cavs were permitted way too many easy looks in the paint, and the Lakers never found a way to mark Mo Williams on the perimeter. The final tally of 1.10 points allowed per possession is subpar. The Laker D did, however, force an adequate number of turnovers and kept Cleveland quiet on the offensive glass. Had the Laker O shown up at all, this could've been a contest.

I'm not sure it's reasonable at this point to say the Laker offense is in a "slump." We're now a third of the way into the season, and most of the games have been played with home-court advantage. The offense just isn't that good. The deft cuts and crisp interior passing that carved up teams in the past aren't there anymore, and nobody can hit a three. What we're left with is one-on-one play. It's either Kobe Bryant driving from the wing, or Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum backing down in the post. That's it. That's the offense. As skilled as all three players are, much more is needed.

This isn't a call for panic or despair. It's still only December, and there's plenty of time to get the operation humming again. But Mitch Kupchak and Phil Jackson can no longer just wait it out. Whether the issue is Xs and Os or personnel, the offense cries out to be fixed.

 

Poss.

TO%

FTA/
FGA

FT%

EFG%

TS%

Off Reb%

Def Reb%

PPP

Cle.

93

20

0.43

63

59

61

14

69

1.10

L.A.

95

15

0.32

74

39

45

31

86

0.92

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