To state that every game remaining for the Los Angeles Lakers is important is to put it plainly. So to say the result for the Lakers in the nationally televised showdown versus the Clippers was disappointing is the plain truth.
It was a huge game, but the Lakers played plainly. They were ordinary on defense, and their lack of enthusiasm cost them the opportunity to get the much needed win, and avoid the season sweep to the Clippers
I am going to hit the panic button. But that’s only because that’s the button I press when I don’t use an original sports metaphor.
As far as the Lakers go, I’m not ready to declare this a disaster game. It may be a referendum on the problems with this team. The lack of energy and was appalling. But the Clippers are not a good matchup for the Lakers as currently constructed, and even when injured or bickering, they are expected to beat the Lakers.
Early in the game the Lakers were competitive, but Matt Barnes‘ quest for revenge against Lakers management was in full effect. The Clippers had the 6 point lead at half on Caron Butler‘s 3 pointer at the buzzer. But the Lakers team that came out in the second half was not competitive. They were was little of anything resembling competing.
The Clippers smashed the Lakers on the boards with a 50 to 36 margin in the category, and 16 of them were offensive boards. After size and instinct, what rebounding is the next biggest indicator of is effort. After the Lakers held Memphis and Dallas under 90 points, they did not keep their effort and intensity up, and that’s abour all there is to it. That and the Clippers are better.
Now the Lakers need to rally and beat some teams that they aren’t expected to beat either. What the Lakers do have going for them is that all but one of their remaining 5 games are at home. Refocus and re-energized is the mentality the Lakers need to come out with when they face New Orleans on Tuesday at STAPLES Center.