Lakers Take Beatings From Bobcats and Cavaliers
Monday night (2/14/2011) saw the Lakers travel to Charlotte to take on the Bobcats straight after a crucial loss to the Orlando Magic, a game where fatigue was apparent throughout the Lakers outfit.
The Lakers have a bad record against the Bobcats to begin with and this game made that record go from bad to worse with a 109-89 scoreline making this their biggest ever defeat to the Bobcats. Although Kobe Bryant missed the morning shootout due to “aches and pains”, he finished with 20 points but it was not necessarily his offence that let him down this time.
You know how a cold is contagious? Well I think it worked in reverse for Kobe.
Defensively, everyone who he touched seemed to turn to gold with Gerald Wallace and Gerald Henderson both scoring points with Kobe guarding.
I have never before noticed the size of the strides that Gerald Wallace takes and how much ground he can cover with just a few leaps. I know Kobe is fast but when a player can take two strides and cover half the court, he will be tough to defend. I think Kobe found that out the hard way, yet it would be unfair to simply put this on him. The Lakers were well and truly left wanting on defence and it showed when Charlotte put up 109 points.
Without any time at all to lick their wounds, the Lakers travelled to Cleveland attempting to end their seven game stretch at 5-2, but were met by a wall of intensity starting with the Cavaliers defence, an area where they have struggled thus far.
Although the Cavaliers have the worst record in the NBA, let us not forget the hammering that the Lakers suffered at the hands of this team back in January, losing by a huge 55-point margin. Surely such a classy team could not have underestimated a team who are all too easy to underestimate? Think again.
Cleveland played tough all through the game and the Lakers may have just about kept up with the scoring, but they could not keep up with the intensity that inevitably led to turnovers. Seven of them in total.
The Lakers did find some inspiration after Shannon Brown was left rolling in pain. He got up limping and bagged two free throws and a lay-up to leave just four points in it.
It was still neck and neck at the end of the third quarter with the score at 74-71, yet they could never fully recover this deficit and ended up falling to the Cavaliers 104-99.
The Lakers have Atlanta and Portland coming in quick succession, two games that will be hard to win at the best of times – especially when a team’s fatigue level is as low as its confidence. Home advantage will prove crucial for this team now after a seven game stint on the road so the Atlanta game will be a great starting point for the Lakers to get back on track.
All the best from the UK!
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer
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