So the Lakers lost again last night. To the Blazers, in Portland again. I think that’s their 6th loss in a row up there. And it wasn’t even close. The Blazers had an wide open layup line, even with Gasol in the middle. How do they expect to compete for a title, which most of the national pundits have said is their’s for the taking, if they can’t play consistent defense night in and night out. I mean sure, the Blazers have come a long way from their ‘JailBlazer’ days and are an up and coming team, but they are still in the lower echelon of teams. There is no reason the Lakers should be down to the Blazers by 18 at any point.
Their lack of defense is so bad that players are routinely getting highs against the Lakers. Aldridge got 16 boards(season high), and Roy, despite being dropped by Lamar, got 12 assists, a career high. But the real shock was 3rd or even 4th option Channing Frye. Yes, that Channing Frye given up on by them Knickerbockers. He was killing the Lakers early and ended up with 22 points and 11 boards. And all three of them had double-doubles.
The biggest issue though is that they are never consistent. Some games, Kobe’s a passer, and other times, like last night, he’s a shooter. He took 26 shots, and only made 11. Now 26 isnt’ so bad for Kobe, his average is 20.9 FGA/Game according to stats.com, but it is really magnified when he only makes 11 of them. And its not like everybody else was off, he was just hogging last night. Lamar was 5-8, Vlad was 6-12 and 5-9 from Three point land. Gasol was was 7-12 and D. Fish only took 4 shots!! That’s insane.
Another thing that has been bugging me is Kobe and Lamar. Does Kobe have something against Lamar? There are times that because of Lamar’s size and speed, he CANNOT be guarded by the other team. Case in point, last month, when they played Houston during the crazy 22 game winning streak, it seemed like Kobe’s “Hero syndrome” took over and he wanted to be the guy that ended that streak. Houston’s Shane Battier shut Kobe down, and he went only 11-33!! Lamar was being guarded mainly by Luis Scola and Luther Head, and was tearing them up. But he only got 10 shots and made 7 of them. If Kobe had taken 10 fewer shots and Lamar had taken only 5 more shots (and some other guys take the other 5 five) I’m sure the Lakers would have been in a spot to win.
A couple nights ago against Dallas, Kobe wen into passing mode and only took 14 shots and made 7 of them. But Gasol went 11-20 and Lamar went 12-14. 12-14!! Thats insane in this league. And again, it was because nobody on Dallas could guard him. When they put Dirk on him, he took him off the dribble and when they put someone small on him, like Josh Howard or Devan George, he used his size to post them up. He finished with 31 points, 10 boards and 5 assists. Now thats a stat line.
I know what some of you are saying, Lamar is too inconsistent. I totally agree. Lamar needs to find his groove, but its hard with Mr. MVP hogging the ball. As we’ve seen, when Kobe takes fewer shots, Gasol and Odom will usually answer the call. So, Kobe, as Keyshawn would say, Just give him the Damn Ball!