After getting blown out of Dallas by a good but far from great Mavericks’ team, the Lakers came home tonight to play the Denver Nuggets, a bad team, but not nearly as awful as are the Lakers. The result was a game that, despite a few exciting moments in the second half, was overall close to unwatchable due to a shooting display that words cannot accurately describe. The number were a combined 37.5% from the floor, including 21% from three-point range. Denver even contributed a free-throw percentage that barely reached 60%. For the season, the Lakers and Denver have both shot at a 44% clip, and Denver has hit free throws at a 75% rate, so play tonight was far worse than even these two league stalwarts are use to displaying.
|The Lakers began the evening without the services of Carlos Boozer due to a sore shoulder, so Ed Davis got the start in his stead. The guy who, though I have not seen the actual stats, appears to commit, as has been mentioned here before, more fouls per minute than any other player in the league, and just about any player I ever remember who got more than a minimum amount of playing time. Well, Davis lasted all of 22 minutes on the court before fouling out,||
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But, Denver fans, there was no big man advantage for your Nuggets, as your starting center Timofey Mozgov spent the whole game in foul trouble, and managed to stay on the court for only 30 of the game’s 53 minutes, Compounding this was the fact that back-up center JaVale McGee managed only six minute before suffering a leg injury and leaving the game for good. This left Bryan Shaw’s Nuggets with J.J. Hickson on the court and in the middle for a chunk of the game. The undersized 6′ 9″ Hickson had last played on November 16, and had appeared in only five of the Nuggets’ first dozen games. Surprisingly efficient, while Hickson hit on only two of five shots, he did manage eight boards, and only two fouls in his 12 minutes on the court.
But the real story of the game was the total ineptitude of the Lakers in actually putting the ball in the basket. The Lakers were 33-of-89 for the game, and that included an unbelievable three of 24 from outside the arc. The starting lineup, getting attempts from Kobe Bryant, Jeremy Lin, and Wesley Johnson, was zero for nine. For the night, Kobe in total was a horrendous ten for 24. Many of the subs were even worse. The worthless trojan brain surgeon nick young, who bamboozled a segment of the fan base by starting fairly hot in his return three games ago, was bad against the Mavericks, and terrible tonight, making
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|several awful defensive plays, while hitting on two of his 12 shots, including one of five on three. While young is the worst defensive player in the NBA, Ronnie Price may well be the league's worst shooter. Price was zero of three for no points in17 minutes tonight, and has now hit a grand total of two field goals in his last six games, despite averaging 19 minutes per game. For the season, he's hit 22% and averaged 2.7 points per game.|
Despite the Laker’s putrid play, the Nuggets almost handed them a win, with their own bad shooting through the fourth quarter, and their inability to hit free throws. Denver missed their first ten shots of the fourth quarter, included two lay-ups and a tip. For the quarter, they hit four of 19 shots. To their credit, they re-grouped, and hit another four shots in overtime, in only seven attempts. In fact, they scored more, 15, in the five-minute overtime, than the 14 they scored in the full fourth quarter.
The Lakers are off till Wednesday, when they get to be blown out by Memphis.