Los Angeles didn't hit a field goal until five minutes left in the first quarter. It only got worse from there.
The Lakers fell at home to the team with the worst record in the league, with a terrible 94-79 blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. They came into STAPLES Center with just a 6-24 record, having won just three road games all year long, but looked absolutely fantastic against a listless, hobbled Lakers team.
It started with a 23-12 first quarter, in which the Lakers couldn't scratch for seven minutes. From there, a very mediocre Milwaukee defense looked like the second coming of the San Antonio Spurs--for the game, the Lakers shot only 35.8% from the field. LA simply couldn't get any rhythm going offensively, part of which had to do with the absence of Jordan Farmar, who played just 20 minutes before being taken out of the game with hamstring tightness. The Lakers essentially had an all-new rotation, as Chris Kaman, Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry all sat out with various injuries or illnesses, which was of course in addition to the absences of Steve Blake, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant.
It should then come as no surprise that the Bucks crushed the Lakers on the boards, with Larry Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova and Giannis Antetokounmpo each notching double-digit rebounds. Pau Gasol had a tough night in his first game back after missing the previous two with an upper respiratory infection, hitting 9 of 23 shots en route to an inefficient 25 points.
However, regardless of Milwaukee's defense, the injuries or Gasol's tough night, the main culprit in this Lakers loss was of course LA's defense, or lack thereof. The Show allowed the worst offense in the NBA to shoot 44%, including a remarkable 37 point night from Brandon Knight. The third year point guard hit 15 of 25 shots, half of which were within the painted area.
I'm not sure if this was the worse loss of season because after all, the Lakers were missing six rotation players and only had Jordan Farmar for less than half the game. However, there's no doubt that this is about as bad as the Lakers have looked at any point over the past decade. The team is almost unrecognizable with so many injuries and players pressed into duty that they're not ready for. They do not have enough pace pushing playmakers that are necessary for Mike D'Antoni's system work. This is arguably one of the bottom three worst defenses in the league. Quite frankly, there really isn't a reason to go to STAPLES Center right now if you're a Lakers fan.
Buckle up, kids. If you didn't realize it before, let it set in: this is going to be one of the worst stretches in franchise history. Oh boy.
--Follow this author @TheGreatMambino