Lakers Fall to Grizzlies, Woes Continue

On the one hand, it’s hard to feel sorry for the Lakers–a team that has won 16 NBA championships, including two in the last four years–but on the other hand, it’s hard not to have some sympathy for a team that was so highly-touted before the season because this is just gettin’ downright ugly.

The in-fighting and off-court turmoil is nothing new in L.A., but the losing certainly is. After falling to the Memphis Grizzlies 106-93 on Wednesday night, the Lakers dropped to 17-25 on the season and although they continue to talk about finding chemistry and working together, they haven’t come up with a winning formula yet.

Darrell Arthur and Mike Conley led the way for the Grizzlies, scoring 20 and 19 points respectively while handing the Lakers their fourth consecutive loss and 10th in 12 games. The Grizzlies were able to dominate the paint, outscoring L.A. 60-34, as Dwight Howard missed the second half after he re-aggravated a shoulder injury he suffered recently.

Obviously injuries have been a big problem for the Lakers this season, but the real issue has been a lack of defense. The Lakers are among the worst teams in the league on that side of the floor, allowing more than 101 points per game.

“We’ve got an All-Star team out there,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said before the Memphis game, according to ESPN.com. “Have you ever watched an All-Star Game? It’s God-awful because everybody gets the ball, they go 1-on-1 and then they play no defense. That’s our team. That’s us. We’re an All-Star team and we haven’t learned there’s a pecking order. There’s the one guy, the two guy, the three guy and the four guy. It might not be the same guy every night, but somebody has got to accept being the fourth guy. If you’ve been the first guy all your life, that’s hard to accept. That’s what happens in All-Star (Games) and that’s what happened with us. Like I said, with today’s meeting, hopefully we’ve overcome a little bit of that. I hope. We’ll see.”

Ironically, the Lakers have two All-Star starters in the Western Conference (Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard), but are in 12th place in the West standings.

“Now we’re at the wall and we’re going to find a way to help each other over that wall, or we’re going to let the wall push us back even farther,” Antawn Jamison said.

So, the Lakers know what they have to do, but the biggest step will be actually putting that knowledge into action. So far, there’s been a lot of talk of improvement, but no results. The Lakers’ next game will be at home against the Jazz on Friday.

 

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