Lakers’ One-Game Win Streak Ends Tonight in Houston

The Lakers doubled their season’s win total last night, beating the Hawks by a solid five points. For Atlanta, that represented an improvement of 28 points over their last game, a 127-94 loss to Cleveland. No one will ever confuse Atlanta’s offensive with that of Golden State or Dallas, but despite the loss, facing the non-existent Lakers’ defense they still exceeded their season averages for points per game and field goal percentage. The Laker’s team defense, already boasting the likes of shooting stars who are incapable of defending, like Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer, took another major blow last night with the return to the lineup of the worst defender in the NBA, maybe the worst defender in the history of the NBA, in nick young.

While young will woo some fans with his occasional hot streaks on offense, he is guaranteed to be a liability, giving up far more points than he could ever score. And don't expect him to ever pas the ball, either, His one-to-one assist to turnover ratio of last season would have been the third worst among NBA players had he played a couple of more games to qualify for any stat title.
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With him back in the lineup, and getting undeserved minutes, at least until Byron Scott actually does the defensive crackdown he has promised by benching the non-defenders, the Lakers are guaranteed to keep on losing, well beyond the next two games, both loses, and the 2-11 record by Friday that I described a few days ago.

They play in Houston tonight, and while the Rockets’ offensive has been spotty all season, their team defense has been exceptional, and I would expect to see a game similar, but a bit more extreme, to the season opener when Houston beat LA by 18, 108-90. In that game, there was a confrontation between Kobe Bryant the the laughing man, Deee-Wight Howard, that was tempered by the injury to Julius Randle that occurred soon after. I expect to see more of that between Deee-Wight and Kobe tonight, and that it will be much more volatile.

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Former Rocket Jeremy Lin had a bad first game against his former teammates, but he has played much better of late. Pressure will be on him on his return to Houston where he never lived up to the "Linsanity" expectations he had brought along from New York.

Houston started the season 6-0, but are only 3-2 since, and are coming off a bad loss to Memphis, that followed a magnificent defensive
effort, and awful offensive performance, when they defeated Oklahoma City, 69-65. In that game, they shot only 29.4% and scored an unimaginable nine total points in the third quarter, but they held the Thunder to 29.4% and three-of-19 on three point attempts. It had been nine years since a team scoring so few points managed to win a game.

After tonight’s loss, the Lakers go to Dallas for another blowout on Friday. They could manage their third win of the season Sunday, when they play the 3-7 Denver Nuggets. With three more home losses then closing out the month, I see then beginning December with a 3-14 record.

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