Lakers Downward Spiral Continues, Lose to Nuggets At Staples

Lakers Downward Spiral Continues, Lose to Nuggets At Staples


NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles ClippersAfter a disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, the Lakers were back in action Sunday against the Denver Nuggets. Things had a little more weight added after recent quotes at practice indicated a possible rift between Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and some of the other members of the team. But they still took the floor Sunday night at Staples looking to defeat the Nuggets for the second time this season.

In the first two meetings of the season, the Lakers and Nuggets split the games. L.A., who barely was able to sneak past Denver in the first round of last year’s postseason, was trying to do the same in the regular season on Sunday.

First Quarter

The Lakers came out strong on the offensive end in the first, especially Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol. Both of those players were highly criticized after their abysmal performances against the Clippers, and were much more assertive early on against Denver. But while the Lakers looked very effective on the offensive end, it was their defense that was once again causing them problems.

L.A. also had some trouble with turnovers in the first quarter as well. In the first five minutes of the game the Lakers turned it over five times, and this allowed Denver to get out in transition and get easy baskets. After a disappointing first quarter, Denver was leading the Lakers 34-26.

Second Quarter

After having issues defensively in the first quarter things got worse for the Lakers in the second. Denver was routinely able to get to the basket and connect on easy shots, especially in transition. We did see a much better performance from Pau Gasol, however, as he was one of the main offensive weapons for Los Angeles in the first half.

Denver pushed their lead to nine midway through the quarter before the Lakers managed to make a run. They came all the way back and tied the game 60-60 at the half. At the break the Lakers had three players with five or more assists (Bryant, Nash, Chris Duhon), and Gasol was leading all Laker scorers with 11 points.

Of course, we did get to see a Dwight Howard three-point attempt at the end of the half. That was interesting.

Third Quarter

Things didn’t start out too strong for the Lakers in the third as their first possession resulted in a turnover. After that they managed to get things going and build a slight lead thanks to Steve Nash, who took over the reigns offensively and created good shot opportunities for Howard, Gasol and World Peace. The problem was that the Lakers offense was good enough to have them leading by 10-15 points, but their defense was so bad they were barely ever to build more than a two or three point lead.

We did see several things that we don’t see on a regular basis in the third, though. Both Steve Nash and Pau Gasol were given technical fouls in the period, which came as a surprise since they’re two of the more subdued temperaments on the Lakers roster.

The technicals didn’t help much, as the Nuggets were leading 89-83 heading into the fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter

Heading into the final period the Lakers needed to turn up the pressure defensively if they were going to get the win. In the game on Friday against the Clippers they came out and played well in the fourth and had a shot to win at the end. They wouldn’t need quite the comeback in the fourth on Sunday, but they still would have to put together a string of strong defensive possessions if they were going to end this losing streak.

Denver looked to get more easy shots until a big possession from Ron Artest, in which he hounded the Nuggets all the way into the backcourt and forced a 24-second violation. This got the crowd on their feet and seemed to give the team a little bit of momentum. But again, all the loose balls went to Denver as the Lakers stood around and watched. And, ultimately, that’s what became the most frustrating part. It was a matter of effort. It was clear that the Nuggets wanted the ball, and wanted to win. You didn’t have that feeling with the Lakers, and the score reflected that.

The problems that the Lakers are facing right now are the same ones they’ve been facing all season. There’s no sense of urgency on defense, and teams are taking advantage of it. On offense there’s no rotation, no off-ball movement and no reason to feel optimistic about this team. Even in games like this and on Friday, when it’s close in the final minutes, it’s all about the lack of cohesion of this squad as a unit that is so glaringly evident.

It was the same thing we’ve seen from this Lakers squad so many times before. They came back in the fourth but it was just too little too late. The loss was another unexpected disappointment, and the Lakers seem to spiraling further and further into oblivion. There will be more questions raised after another inexcusable loss, 112-105.

  • Daryl Peek

    Kicks trash can over & throws hand up!

  • ramos

    Sick to my stomach thats all I can say

  • kj

    the head coach fault

  • lakers_824

    Kobe had 18 of 22 lakers 4th quater points and the other two where hill and clark…….nuff said kobe shooting is not the problem its dwight and dantoni, dwigh has 1 post move and thats not even a go to move cu hes not consistant with it and this cry baby is jogging back and not even playing d and datoni ive had enough of his bullshit stop playing pau at the 3 point line……….there is only 1 option left lakers need to bring in ray lewis to motivate this team

    • ramos

      Id trade pau for ray lewis in a heartbeat

      • llakers_824

        Loll he would get our defense where its supposed to be, i think hed prolly play decent on d and rebounding

    • Daryl Peek

      Howard played excellent D tonight and was a beast on the boards! Guards (Lawson, Miller & Brewer) are the ones killing the Lakers! Kobe is a guard…


        So is Chris Duhon and Jodie Meeks… the dudes that actually got burned, over and over again… Are you watching these games or what?

        • Daryl Peek

          Who’s on the floor more, Kobe or his back ups?


            Dude, get a clue, open your eyes, wake up, get off that Nyquil… to state that Kobe is the reason the Lakers are struggling is so stupid.

          • Michael

            Dude it’s just plain stupid to label any ONE person on the court as THE problem. Period.

      • llakers_824

        Ur boy howard is too sensitivehe lost his athleticism and now he cant do shit on offense all he hhas is a left hook his moves are so predictable and he cant even catch a ball forget bout holding on too it, if he leaves this yearit will jus show how pethetiche really is

  • Daryl Peek

    Gasol was having a great game but the team went away from him in the second half. He had 11 points in the 1st. ended with 11, only getting 3 shots in the entire second half!


      The dude can’t cover his own shadow… as long as Gasol is on this team, playing meaningful minutes, the Lakers will not win anything… the same can be said about Chris Duhon.

      • Guest

        Its funny how everyone but Kobe is always the problem? First it was Kobe VS. Shaq. Then it was Smush & Kwame. Next it was Bynum needed to be traded for Jason Kidd. Pau fell out next. Bynum became a headache. Fisher, Blake, Barnes, McRoberts, Murphy, Mike Brown, Jamison, Duhon, Meeks, Morris, D’antoni…

        • Michael

          I know people are kinda ridiculous on this site in that way you’ll find lol.

          I’m not against trades at all, but it seems pointless to trade contributors in a season that’s already had enough chaos trying to figure out team chem.

          Yeah, I used to be on the “Trade Pau” bandwagon, but now that the team is struggling like crazy, I don’t see him as the first problem needing to be addressed. Those that think getting rid of Pau while D’Antoni is around is going to save the Lakers are just plain wrong.

  • disqus_jaZuUb4lLd


  • disqus_jaZuUb4lLd

    josh smith is the answer to the problems… i promise if we had him thats our key to the nba finals..

  • disqus_jaZuUb4lLd

    mitch do the trade~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TeddyOrwell

    Come on, the Laker’s season doesn’t even really start until after the All-Star break. Relax.


    The Lakers are going to have to move Gasol if they plan on making any noise this year… he doesn’t work for this team… but if D’Antoni continues to play the weakest guard in the league, as much as he did today, the Lakers can forget about even making the playoffs.

  • Daryl Peek

    Its funny how everyone but Kobe is always the problem? First it was Kobe VS. Shaq. Then it was Smush & Kwame. Next it was Bynum needed to be traded for Jason Kidd. Pau fell out next. Bynum again became a headache. Howard is not who we thought he was. Nash can’t play D. Artest being Metta. Trade Fisher, Blake, Barnes, Ebanks, McRoberts, Murphy, Mike Brown, Jamison, Duhon, Meeks, Morris, D’antoni…

    • Daryl Peek

      Mitch will make another trade and the love for said player will yet again quickly fade… SMH

  • Joseph Moise

    as a lakers i”m tired of stay up late for game that i think should have went well and turn out to be a disaster come on

  • Lyle

    Boooooooooo ~~~ The best lineup in the league, and probably in the world, always puts up losses? Come on. I know a tree does not grow instantly, but come on, this team has been given enough time to gel! Fuck Mike D’Antoni! If you can’t hire the best coach in history in Phil Jackson, then hire the next best coach, which is Jerry Sloan!

    Hire Jerry Sloan!
    I don’t care how, just trade Pau!

    • Michael

      You say hire Jerry Sloan by trading Pau? lol…???? Or are you suggesting they fire Mike D’Antoni, trade Pau, and hire Jerry Sloan lol.

  • Steve Blake

    keep calm, I’m coming back

  • sammie

    omg! this team is going down the freakin hill! Mitch Kupchak! Jerry Buss! PLEASE DO SOMETHING!!! SAVE THIS SEASON!! I really want Kobe to get his 6th ring.

  • Oliver

    Enough is enough. There were enough days off in the last two weeks to make a progress. Coach D is always talking about hard working. Perhaps he should begin to work hard. This means, he should change his motherfucking system. There’s no D in the Lakers game. There’s no sync in the Lakers game. And there’s no fire in the Laker boys.