The Lakers should be ashamed of themselves. Or, at least, Mike Brown should refuse his paycheck.
The Dallas Mavericks proved tonight that they are every bit as bad as we described yesterday, but they were still good enough to beat the Lakers, even with Kobe scoring 22 points on 11 of 14 shooting.
So, how did they lose, you ask? Well, Mr. Brown and his Princeton offense were disgustingly bad, and the team sleepwalked through any semblance of defense. And don’ get us started on free throws.
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|So Kobe played on his bad foot, and hit a sparkling 79% from the floor, but you get a hint that all was not right with him when you see that in 35 minutes on the court, he did not take a three-pointer, nor did he collect a single rebound or assist. Steve Nash was outplayed in all facets of the game by former Bruin point guard Darren Collison, who shot 67% to Nash’s 33%, outscoring him 17 to 7.
But it was the inside play that determined the outcome of the game. The great Deeee-Wight Howard missed his opening dunk, and things got worse from
Playing against Dallas’ fill-in guys in the middle, the super-skinny Brandon Wright and the human pachyderm Eddie Curry, Howard shot his close-range 8 of 12, but collected only 10 rebounds and actually fouled out of the game. Before that happened, though, he did manage to hit a solid three of his 14 free throw attempts. Ah, yes, free throws. The Lakers hit, as a team, a whopping 39% of their free throws, but if you deduct Pau Gasol’s 6 of 8, that number shrinks to 26%. Dallas, by the way, hit 78% of theirs.
While Howard was hitting eight of 12, and was doing virtually nothing else, the Mutt and Jeff (weight-wise, that is) of the Mavericks, Wright and Curry, also hit a combined eight of 12, and collected nine boards, one short of Howard, but neither one fouled out. The duo also hit five of seven free throws, and in fewer combined minutes than Howard played, outscored him, 21 to 19.
The Mavericks massively over-rated dishonorable devious delinquent deviant and aptly named former trojan oj mayo out misplayed Howard, shooting a rousing four for 13, but that failed to do them in, in large part due to the further fact that the Lakers got close to nil from their deficient bench, which was outscored by the Dallas bench, 37 to 17. The psycho Artest meta tag thing also was his usual big help to the Laker cause, shooting one for eight and contributing a mighty three points in 36 minutes.
All in all, the Lakers’ performance tonight was far, far worse than even I anticipated, and It seems a daunting task for the ill-equipped Mike Brown to ever mold this group into a real team, let alone a champion. I shudder to think what the score would have been if Dirk Nowitski and Chris Kaman had been well enough to play.