So much for momentum carrying forward and having a little something called a win-streak. The Utah Jazz put an end to any positive energy that carried over from drubbing the Detroit Pistons, bleeding the Lakers out in a painful 95-86 loss.
From opening tip the Los Angeles Lakers looked disinterested, unorganized, and ready to move on to the next game. This is the FIFTH game in the season in a stretch that is vital for them to gain traction. After having tasted victory for the first time in over 150 days against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday the hope would be they'd be ready to build upon the win. That's a negative, captain. Kobe Bryant started the game slowly, perhaps trying to facilitate for the team and get the offense rolling, but his 4 assists in the first half were cancelled out by his 4 turnovers in that same stretch. Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol looked outmatched by the front court depth of the Utah Jazz between Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Enes Kanter, and Derrick Favors. Steve Blake was toasted like a marshmallow over an open fire. By toasted I mean turned into a fire ball of a marshmallow and left to drip down as a sugary goop onto the logs. The Utah Jazz simply had their way with the Lakers and made sure to push the ball up in transition while the purple and gold players looked on in frustration as Gordon Hayward threw it down on the other end.
The Lakers looked absolutely horrendous to start the game. In the first quarter they only managed to put 17 points on the board. By the end of the half the Lakers were looking at a 10 point deficit, 41-51. Sure, the Lakers made it a game as the the third quarter played on, cutting it down to 4 points, but in the grand scheme of things picking up the W after an effort like this would have simply been hollow. Even though the Lakers made a final futile run at a comeback, Randy Foye went ahead and kicked the lifeless Lakers down a flight of stairs with his barrage of threes to close the game out, and the fans felt every step on the way down. Oh, bring out the confetti for Kobe's empty 29 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. The Jazz outplayed the Lakers wire to wire and deserve the win, which is very discouraging considering they took 28 less free throw attempts and didn't play all that well themselves.
Look, 4-23 from deep isn't going to get the win. Missing 14 free throws isn't going to get the win. 12 points from the bench isn't going to get the win. 18 turnovers isn't going to get the win. A lack of effort and intensity that has been like a cloud of toxic fumes over this team isn't going to get the win. The 1-4 isn't the issue, it's how the Lakers have performed in this five game stretch that is extremely concerning.
Yes, this was truly putrid effort from the Los Angeles Lakers, which can't bode well for Mike Brown as chatter around his job continues to dominate headlines. No surprise; a struggling team as high profile as the Los Angeles Lakers are always going to make the news in one way or another. The issue, however, is that he isn't doing anything to get his name OUT of those articles. The Lakers look
bad awful TERRIBLE. One day in between a game Friday against the Golden State Warriors to try and "figure" things out. Though I must say, I have a hard time believing you can just "figure out" effort, which the Lakers have shown very little of.
If you want to pretend to be a Utah Jazz fan and enjoy a win, check out SLC Dunk for their reaction to defeating the long time hated Los Angeles Lakers. Full recap here in the morning, folks. Time to sleep this one off.
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