We are just three games in to the 2012/13 NBA season and the number one story around the league isn’t how dominant the newly revamped Los Angeles Lakers look, but when exactly they team plans on winning a game?
This loss is the Lakers third in four days. Including the preseason, the team has lost 13 straight. They haven’t won a game since May 18th.
Los Angeles hasn’t started 0-3 to begin a season since 1978. It’s just the fourth time in franchise history that this has occurred.
Kobe Bryant had an outstanding offensive showing, finishing with 40 points on just 23 shots, as well as 6 rebounds. His 2 steals pushed him past Magic Johnson on the all-time Lakers list, giving him 1725 for his career.
Despite his impressive stat line, it still wasn’t enough to lift the Lakers past their Los Angeles rivals. Even an appearance from “The Black Mamba” didn’t get the job done.
Dwight Howard, who battled foul trouble throughout the night, finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks. He never got into a rhythm offensively because of his fouls. Steve Nash was inactive for the Lakers as he was nursing a shin injury he suffered a few nights earlier in Portland. His replacement Steve Blake gave a noble effort trying to slow down Chris Paul (arguably the best point guard in basketball), but he was clearly overwhelmed and overmatched with his assignment.
So what’s the excuse this time? Bryant was an offensive machine and the team as a whole shot 50% from the field. So what went wrong?
Well, it certainly doesn’t help when you turn the ball over 20 times, 10 of those coming from Howard and Bryant alone. The bench wasn’t of any assistance as well, scoring just 16 points compared to the Clippers second-unit which scored 46. In fact, Jamal Crawford outscored the Lakers reserves by himself (21-17).
Lakers fans around the nation are already calling for coach Mike Browns firing. On a team with such star power, 0-3 (2 losses coming against far lesser opponents) is simply unacceptable.
His infamous “Princeton offense” has been under constant ridicule and judgement ever since he implemented it into the system.
In a nutshell, the offense consists of a lot of passing, back-door cuts and picks on and off the ball. It basically negates all positions on the court outside of the center.
With 2x MVP Steve Nash on the roster, it would seem that the sure thing would be to have the ball in his hands, allow him to control the offense and then place your bets on him. The Princeton offense takes the ball out of his hands, which is something fans are none to pleased about.
“Sir Charles” Barkley summed up the offense the best way he could.
I’m not one to say a head coach should change his philosophy just 3 games into a new season, but it looks to me and a majority of Lakers and basketball fans in general that this particular offense isn’t cutting it. Many were skeptical years ago when the “Triangle offense” was first put into use, and that obviously ended up being perfect for that roster.
This time, I can’t seem to hold that same faith.
With Howard and Nash on board, Mike Brown needs to utilize their strengths rather than putting them into awkward positions on the offensive end. It’s not working. We all see that.
0-3 is no joke. 0-13 (even if they were just preseason games) is just awful for a team of this caliber.
Should Mike Brown be fired in the near future if this team doesn’t shape up?
Absolutely. You can’t fire players. The expectations around this team are so sky-high that anything short of a 60-win season and a Finals appearance will be considered a failure.
The Lakers next game is Sunday at home when they host the 0-2 Detroit Pistons. If Los Angeles loses and goes to 0-4, heads are going to roll big time, I promise you that.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports