Well, that was awful to watch.
Along with most of you, I was sitting at home a few nights ago watching a high school team in Laker jerseys playing against the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite that embarrassing performance, the Lakers are still doing fine at 21-8. The problem isn't the loss itself, as any team can have a bad (or in this case, terrible) game. The problem is the attitude the team seems to be exhibiting on the court.
The Lakers have only 8 losses, good enough for the fourth best record in the league. And, if not for the unreal starts of of Boston, Dallas, and San Antonio, the team could very well have the best record in the league. But the problem isn't the number of losses. The problem is how those losses are coming. Half of those losses came in a single 4-game stretch, mostly against not-so-good teams.
However, the worst of those losses was this past Tuesday. Not only did the Lakers lose to an inferior team, they did so without every really challenging. The biggest problem? Aside from Kobe, the team showed no sense of urgency, no real intensity at any time during the game. I have always been a fan and supporter of Phil Jackson's attitude, and the way it has been adopted by the team. However, as was seen in Tuesday's performance, there are times when the team needs to break from the norm, get angry, and be more aggressive. They have the same even-keel attitude whether they are ahead or behind, which shows great team character. But in doing so, the team can fall into a rut in which they are sleepwalking through games like they did against they Bucks.
At this point, with a quarter of the season gone, teams show signs of the team they will be for the rest of the year. It is still early enough to make necessary changes, and of course it is possible that the team simply just had a bad game. But the fact that the team has suffered most of its losses against sub-.500 should raise some red flags about the team's attitude on the court.