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Baseline to Baseline recaps: The Lakers defense sucks, too

Nov 1, 2012, 4:13 AM EDT

Dwight Howard, Jodie Meeks AP

Our nightly recap of every gamegaround the NBA. It’s what you missed while buying dive bar T-shirts….

Trail Blazers 116, Lakers 106: In the season opener, Dallas scored at a 108.7 points per 100 possessions pace on the Lakers (for comparison, only five teams in the NBA averaged giving up more points per 100 last season). Then Wednesday night the Lakers defense was worse — Portland shot 50 percent overall, 44 percent from three and threw up 116 points on Los Angeles.

For all the moaning about the Lakers Princeton offense — and there are things to moan about if you want —  it is their defense that has cost them two nights in a row. They can’t get stops. Their pick-and-roll defense is inconsistent and seems disinterested. And that end of the floor is supposed to be Mike Brown’s calling card. If he can’t get them to start defending his seat is going to get very, very hot.

The Blazers had a good night. Rookie Damian Lillard took advantage of what passes for Lakers defense and racked up 25 points and 11 assists in his first game — the only two other players ever to do 20 and 10 in their debut are Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas. How’s that for good company? Every Portland starter had at least 13 points. We could go on and on. This was a quality win for them.

The Lakers, they have a lot of talent but they have a lot of work to do. A lot.

Also, Steve Nash left the floor with a bruised leg, only to return but not look quite right. He says he wants to play Friday night against the Clippers, we shall see.

Sixers 84, Nuggets 75: Andre Iguodala’s homecoming game really turned out to be all about Spencer Hawes. And his mullet. And the Philly defense. We break it all down right here.

Rockets 105, Pistons 96: There was more to this game than just James Harden going off like an alpha dog for 37 points and 12 assists (although that was fun to watch). The Pistons were up by 11early in the fourth quarter and when the Rockets cranked up the pressure and outscored Detroit 33-13 down the stretch. That late run started when Jeremy Lin came on the court and all night the Rockets just looked better when he was playing. Quality win for them. Good start to the Harden area in Houston, tough loss for Detroit. Not the kind of loss playoff teams have.

Clippers 101, Grizzlies 92: If you’re going to play the Clippers, you better have packed your transition defense and brought it to the arena. Memphis left theirs back at the hotel, and it showed. See the video below. But that was just part of the problem. Chris Paul owned Mike Conley. Another issue was just depth, illustrated by the fact Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol shot 56 percent (scoring 45 combined) for Memphis, the rest of the team shot 27 percent. Meanwhile new Clipper Jamal Crawford dropped 29. Rudy Gay had 25 and while he left the floor with an injury he returned and is expected to play in the future.

Pacers 90, Raptors 88: Toronto seemed to have the upset win in the bag, up 10 in the fourth quarter after having led most of the second half. But David West had 14 of his 25 in the fourth quarter, sparking a comeback against a Raptors then George Hill dropped the sweet game-winning dagger. It was the kind of win the Pacers need without Danny Granger in the lineup, one where they found some offense without him. The Raptors got some good stretches from Jonas Valanciunas (12 points and 10 rebounds) and Kyle Lowry added 21, but the Raptors as a team shot just 36.3 percent, and that won’t get it done.

Spurs 99, Hornets 95: A lot of people compare Anthony Davis and Tim Duncan, but the old dog had a few tricks in scoring 24 points including 9 in the fourth quarter to make sure the Spurs won their opener. Davis and the Hornets looked good in the first half against a lazy Spurs defense and led by 7 at the break, but you knew that someone would spark the Spurs. That guy turned out to be Kawhi Leonard, who had 11 of his 19 in the third quarter to spark an 18-3 run that put the Spurs in the game, and you knew they would close it out. Davis led the Hornets with 21.

Warriors 87, Suns 85: (From our own Brett Pollakoff) The Warriors showed a grit not present in previous years during their win over the Suns. They blew all of a 17-point first-half lead, thanks largely to dismal shooting performances from David Lee (2-of16) and Stephen Curry (2-of-14). They were down by eight with under nine minutes to play in the game. But they dug in, and began to get stops. And they got the bench to pick them up when it mattered most.

Mark Jackson couldn’t have been happier with the end result, and pointed out the little things guys did afterward to stay in it and secure the win.

Andrew Bogut was in the starting lineup, and looked sharp in limited action. Jackson played him under 19 minutes, but Bogut performed with eight points and six rebounds on 4-of-6 shooting. Bogut said he felt great afterward, and would be lobbying trainers to get his minutes limit increased.

The Suns showed some grit of their own, coming back from that big early deficit where the bench unit couldn’t find any rhythm offensively. The defense really picked up in the second half, when Phoenix recorded eight of its 12 blocked shots. Michael Beasley wasn’t effective (just 2-of-9 shooting for 8 points), so P.J. Tucker finished the game with the rest of the starters thanks to the energy he brought to the lineup off the bench.

Jared Dudley had a wide open look at a three from the top of the arc that would have tied it with 34 seconds left, but he couldn’t get it to fall, and the Warriors get a nice road win to kick off the season.

Bulls 93, Kings 87: Joakim Noah — 23 points and 10 rebounds — outplayed DeMarcus Cousins and that keyed the Bulls win because it’s about getting points from somewhere for Chicago. The Bulls defense is still the Bulls defense and the Kings shot just 40.5 percent and added 19 turnovers (9 in the first quarter). That defense is going to win them a lot of hard fought, ugly games like this. On the bright side Kings fans, Tyreke Evans had 21 points and looked strong.

Jazz 113, Mavericks 94: Dallas played hard on the back-to-back but the Williams — Mo and Marvin — proved to be too much. Each Williams had 21 points and a 18-3 run in the third those two sparked won Utah the game. The Jazz owned the boards and combined that with 20 Dallas turnovers and the game didn’t feel in doubt.

  1. live4bacon - Nov 1, 2012 at 4:19 AM

    which is why mike brown should be fired! if it is their offense that is laker’s problem now, they can blame it on not being used to it yet. but since they have such a “good” defensive minded coach in mike brown their defense shouldnt be suffering at all!(with dwight howard manning the paint too!)

  2. xcastorx - Nov 1, 2012 at 4:40 AM

    Lakers is 1-14 since the second round of 2012 playoffs.

    • teamobijuan - Nov 1, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Yes they is.

  3. progress2011 - Nov 1, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    What’s gonna be the excuse now !!!

    1. The Blazers have a new coach
    2. New Offense
    3. New Defense
    4. A Rookie Point Guard
    5. No Bonified “Superstar”

    So, technically the Blazers have more obstacles than the Fakers.

    If Fakers hadn’t declared themselves the #1 seed, before any games were played, I wouldn’t be having so much fun, watching them get WAXED!

    Ahahahahaha….Great start to the season !

    • southbeachtalent - Nov 1, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      Listen I’d love to pile it on but the truth is none of those guys on the Blazers are used to being the one. The Lakers have Kobe, D12, and Nash. That’s going to take some time. They need to learn how to play together. I will say however that they are playing with no sense of urgency, that falls on Brown.

      Maybe one day Spo will be recognized as the great coach he is, it’s not easy coming up with a system that fits.

      • progress2011 - Nov 1, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        No Talent,

        Not sure why you posted that. Are you making an additional excuse or complimenting the Heat, which this blog is not even about !

        You Said:
        1. None of the Blazers are used to being the one – What does that have to do with anything! Since the Fakers are filled with “veterans” shouldn’t they know the game well enough to be able to make adjustments.

        2. The Fakers have kobe,dwight and nash – 3 veteran All Stars vs a bunch of No-Name guys on the Mavs and the Blazers. So, are you saying its better to be a No Name Rookie because you can learn to play together faster !

        3. No sense of urgency falls on the coach – This is a factor when coaching rookies or inexperienced players. How is this reasonable, when you have a team full of All Star Veterans with Championship experience.

        Did you just wake up, still drunk from last night or off your meds……because that diatribe of excuses don’t make sense to NO BODY !!!

      • southbeachtalent - Nov 1, 2012 at 1:36 PM


        You and all the gas bags said the same thing about the Heat. Blow it up it will never work, not enough basketballs to go around, can’t have two alpha dogs on the same team blah, blah, blah,….

        Listen I’ll go ahead and guarantee that the Lakers will go farther than Portland or the Mavs this season. That’s the point. Your sample size is 2 games dummy, get a clue. Have some vision stop knee jerking after every single game. It speaks volumes about your ignorance and lack of perspective. If you think the Lakers are going to continue to be this bad then you are bias and just plain ignorant.

      • progress2011 - Nov 1, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        No Talent…

        Don’t make up crap. I’m ALWAYS factually based.

        1. You claim me and others made similar comments about the Heat ! LIE #1
        I didn’t have a problem with the trade or the Heat. Historically, there have always been superstar players joining forces. I challenge you to back up your lie and find a blog, where I said that.

        2. Mrs. Cleo – so you a psychic now. You can predict the future and make guarantees. Good luck with that.

        3. Sample size IS NOT two games – unless your dementia is complicated with Alzheimers, do you not recall the past few seasons, going back to when the Mavs ran the fakers outta the gym and swept them, on their way to winning the chip. So, the sample size of the Faker OVER-RATED status is several years.

        4. I’m not a knee-jerk type of dude. I purchased my BUCKETS of salt, before the season started, just to apply to all you Faker fans. I got more on order to rub in your gaping wounds, to apply throughout the season.

        Getting some ready now, for Friday nite, when CP3 will likely TORCH ya !!!


  4. kvanhorn87 - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    You wrote a novella about 1 game and mere sentences about the others. Sorry I know we have to get used to this. Articles on 2 teams and mentions on the rest. Sorry.

    • zidanevalor - Nov 1, 2012 at 8:31 AM

      That’s pretty untrue. The Rockets-Pistons game got its own post. The Sixers-Nuggets game got its own post. The Lakers-Blazers and Warriors-Suns both got 5 paragraphs and then some other games got a little less play.

  5. isujames - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    The lakers are 0-2, I hope they lose the next 80

    • clevelandschronic2 - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:22 AM

      Fakers suck. Overrated. Kobe’s old and his body is gonna fail him. Dwight is fragile both injury wise and mentally. Cant wait to watch the lakers sign howard to the max and have to pay them outrageous taxes lol leaving them screwed when it comes to having some depth for when kobe and howard break. Cant wait to watch them fail again.

  6. 1heatedtoombrayduh - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    Coming from an unbiased Heat fan, you obviously have to give the Lakers time to gel, as much as I love the thought of them losing more than 40 games, I seriously doubt they lose more than 20-25? either way they are still going to make a strong push towards the finals.

    • davidly - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:55 AM

      The difference is that the Heat had three very athletic players who could run the court consistently and play both sides of the ball for over 35 min. per game.

    • mannyfresh209 - Nov 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      so you think the lakers can win 62 games this year? yikes…

      -another unbiased heat fan.

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:27 AM

    Not so easy, is it?

  8. eventhorizon04 - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:34 AM

    The take home story about the Lakers’ defense so far isn’t just, “They’ve allowed an average of 108 points per game so far.”

    It’s they’ve allowed that many points to a Dallas Mavericks team without Dirk Nowitzki (leading scorers Darren Collison and Brandan Wright) and the Portland Trailblazers (leading scorers Nicolas Batum and rookie Damian Lillard).

    So if they can’t stop those guys, how are they going to matchup against Durant and Westbrook? CP3 and Griffin? Parker and Duncan? Wade and LeBron?

    They haven’t faced any “elite” scorers yet, yet they can’t stop anyone on defense.

  9. phx1311 - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    As much as i love the lakers losing, they will figure it out. I dont see them below a 3 seed and that really pains me.

  10. infectorman - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    Say What?
    D. Howard is here? Were gonna make the finals no problem!
    All the ” experts” said so before we even stepped onto the floor?

    Wait. What the hell is going on here?

    F A K E R S !! !! !!

  11. davidly - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:40 AM

    LA doesn’t have the personnel for a good defense. If Bryant and MWP were a few years younger, maybe they could develop a team concept, but as it is…

  12. loungefly74 - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    only a fool would judge the entire season off the 1st 2 games…

    • andyhr17 - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      Plenty of people have declared the Celtics dead in the water after 1 game.

  13. paulhargis53 - Nov 1, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    This couldnt happen to a better fanbase.
    You know they are going to win more than they lose, but this goes to show you the type of fans they are. Not one laker fan out of 15 posts, but when they start winning, they will l be on here chirping.

    Still no lakerluver sighting yet…..there are a few of us who won’t let him forget that.

  14. omniusprime - Nov 1, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    I was thinking the Laker’s lack of defense was bad in game 1 but the second game their defense stunk worse. The team doesn’t have the energy needed to win, looks like they’re just happy to go out and collect the Buss family money. I think the Laker players owe the Buss family a refund on those first two games. With Nash out now we’re stuck with Steve Flake as a starting point guard, where the heck is Fisher at already? I certainly hope Kobe goes ballistic on the team and Clown Brown. The first two games have shown just how poor Clown Brown is at coaching.

  15. paulhargis53 - Nov 1, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    lounge: NOBODY is judging thier season on 2 games. People just got sick of your fanbase saying what a juggernaut this team was going to be and bow you had them in the finals before a game was played. We were all deemed “haters” for pointing out the issues( awful bench, suspect defense, age, injury concerns).
    Some if not all those points have come to fruition. I will give you a. it of credit for showing up- no.e of your fellow fans have yet. But you need to take this medicine, for all the chirping you guys did, you have it coming.

  16. jerdogthompson - Nov 1, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Loungefly, surprised you’d even post here after this dismal start. As much as I dislike the team I will agree judging the season from two games is not practical. However, one can draw many conclusions on how the year will look. The facts about this team early on speak for themselves. You have an NBA teamed picked to go to the finals in the preseason and yet have been beaten by a Dirkless Mav team and a sub par Portland team.

    Wait until they face some real competition like OKC, Heat, Clippers, etc. Grant it I’m sure the Lakers can beat the Bobcats or maybe the Wizards but just about every other team looks to be as good or better currently. I can’t wait to see them play Friday, I guarantee they will fight as if it were a playoff game. To go down 0-3 and start to hear all the talk about the “other” team in LA will certainly add drama to the game.

  17. magicbucs - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    I said it when Dwight went to the fakers. Their perimeter Defense is worse than the magics perimeter defense last season and the season before when Dwight was calling out his magic teammates. They have no bench, no defense, no heart. KARMA Dwight. Yes it’s early and they need time to gel but so do the mavs and blazers and most others teams. Im sure they will eventually and get the 4-5 spot in the west. Out in the first round.

    I can’t wait til they start pointing fingers lol. Is dwight coward going to stay in LA? Will they make the PLAYOFFS?!?! Or be the Knicks of the west.

  18. paulhargis53 - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Come on Prime! Already blaming Brown?!
    I thought you could just throw out those “5 hall of famers” and they’d win on talent alone? Isn’t that what we were told? “Talent always wins?”

    You are finding out that was a fallacy. This team is going to struggle mightily with a d league bench.
    It’s not the coaching.

  19. paulhargis53 - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    That bench scored 15 points, FIFTEEN!

    Gasol, Howard and Kobe all played 40 minutes……Nash won’t be the only one getting hurt at that pace.

  20. spthegr8 - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    The Lakers are 0-2. We lost too another team we SHOULDN’T have lost too………AGAIN!!!! As I am sure you are aware of, Their is still ALOT of basketball to be played. It’s going to take sometime. While they are still figuring things out, their is going to be some growing pain’s. As much as you think ALL laker fans are loud mouth front runners, IM NOT!!!! I am a loud mouth, but I’m not a front runner. I’m NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!! I’ll be right here ALL YEAR, win or lose!! aren’t you a Celtic fan??? Y’all got WAXED the other night also. Maybe you should worry more about the Heat & less about the Lakers. Just saying!!!!!!

  21. spthegr8 - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    @Laker fans. BEWARE!! The “TROLLS” are OUT!!!!!

    • progress2011 - Nov 1, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      Correction Great ape,

      TROLLS with SALT !!!

      To apply at every turn, to your open festering wounds…as you are SLAPPED with the truth about your old broken down EX’s.

      Just say….Sprinkle Me Mane !!!! And I will gladly apply more Salt !


  22. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Laker fan- Isn’t it fun when every move, every play, every quote, every loss is blown so way out of proportion by a nation of imbeciles who practically live to see your favorite team endure even the least and meaningless failure?

    While Laker fans are more used to people hating their team than Heat fans were (nobody hated the Heat prior to 7/10/10), the level of joy people are going to get every time the Lakers suffer any level of setback, perceived or real, is not something they’re used to. It takes an extremely strong team to overcome this, from the top of the organization all the way down to the fans. Good luck.

    • southbeachtalent - Nov 1, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      Wow, you hit the nail on the head right there.

      But you seem like a common-sense type of dude. We’re in the minority in here..

  23. quancao - Nov 1, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Mavs come tumbling back to reality as they beat an aging and slow Laker team that simply did not keep pace. Looks like we are going to have some new surges in the NBA this year to keep up with the champions.

  24. hwatt - Nov 1, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    aaaah another fresh season of ‘Baseline to Baseline recaps’. Love this stuff.

  25. paulhargis53 - Nov 1, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    sp: Yes the Celtics lost… the DEFENDING CHAMPS, not a Dirk and Kaman less Mavs team and a rebuilding blazers team.

    Look, I’m talking to the lakers fans such as Malt,lounge,prime, Lakersucker et al.

    I have no beef with you or the other poster I don’t recognize. These “fans” that were shooting their mouthes off in the off-season. Now we arent supposed to say anything, or rub it in? Come on!

    By the way, I don’t hate the lakers, its a majority of the fans I detest.

    • spthegr8 - Nov 1, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      I can respect that, I have no beef with you either. I DEFINATLEY understand people rubbing it in that, right now…… WE LOOK LIKE SOME S?!T!!!!! I get that part of it, because I would do the same if I was in your shoes. What gets me is the IDIOTS who just get on the site & spew Nonsense, just to try to get under people’s skin. They are the “TROLLS” that I keep referring too. That would be YOU progress2011. You get on here too try and get under people’s skin. Not talk basketball. Which makes you an AVERAGE @ best, GARDEN VARITEY TROLL!!!!

      • progress2011 - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:19 PM

        Whatever Great Ape!

        My posts always have FACTS, that can be proven! As opposed to emotional tirades!

        Which is why you didn’t respond to my response. You came looking for a friend in Paul !

        You just got caught in a LIE you told, claiming that I spoke badly about the Heat.

        And if you are gonna call me a name, atleast get it right…..I’m a TROLL With SALT !

        DEFINITELY…here to get under all FAKER FANS Skin ! Ya’ll are the epitome of what it is to be a fan.

        The Yankees of BBall……purchasing refs, the commish and those chips.

        My team is whatever team is SPANKING the FAKERS !

        Heat too hot…get outta the kitchen ! I will be here ALL SEASON ! ahahahahah

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