The 0-2 Lakers are on the road to the perfect season that diehard fans could only dream about. Sort of.
The Lakers traveled for game two of the season to dreaded Portland, and the rebuilt Trailblazers made mincemeat of the high-priced Angelenos. What made matters worse, wizened point guard Steve Nash was injured early in the game, with the severity of the injury yet to be determined.
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|Some of the problems the team exhibited against Dallas just yesterday appeared to be remedied tonight, with Kobe doing it all, with three-pointers, free throws, and assists that he could not manage a day earlier. Even Deeee-Wight Howard managed 15 of 19 free throws among his 33 points, as well as 14 rebounds. But the team cannot play defense, despite being led so professionally by a coach that is a renowned defensive guru. Imagine, Portland, in accumulating 116 points shot 51% overall, and 45% on 20 three-point attempts.|
Actually, the Lakers shot almost as well, but that is attributed to the starters, even including the psycho Artest meta tag thing who was four of five in his wasted 32-1/2 minutes on the court. Before he fouled out. He did provide one interesting stat, though, He had more turnovers (6) that shot attempts. But again the major problem that will haunt the team all season is the horrible bench. Tonight, even with Steve Blake getting extended minutes filling in for the injured Nash, the seven bench players who were on the court for more than 70 minutes could account for only 15 points and five rebounds.
Portland exhibited amazingly balanced scoring among its five starters, who averaged 20 points apiece, but who only varied from a low of 13 to a high of 26. Contrast that with LA, whose starters put in only a dozen less points, but who varied from a low of two to a high of 33, with two players accounting for 60% of the team’s scoring.
The Lakers may not finish the season with a perfect record, but by bedtime Friday, they’ll be oh-for-three, as after a day off, they meet the Clippers Friday evening, and with the prospects of facing them with the same decrepit bench and with no Steve Nash, well, it won’t be pretty for Lakers’ fans to watch.