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Paul Millsap on Lakers: “They did it to themselves”

Dec 10, 2012, 11:26 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard AP

The Lakers wounds are self-inflicted.

Sure, injuries can strike any team, but that doesn’t impact the effort on defense. Or how you share the ball on offense. Or any host of things that plague the Lakers that have nothing to do with Steve Nash and Pau Gasol.

Paul Millsap put it this way after he scored 24 and his Jazz beat the Lakers Sunday night.

“They did it to themselves,” Millsap said of the 9-12 Lakers. “Our defense was pretty good, but they had no ball movement and that made it easier on us just to try to load up, keep them out of the paint and let them fire up some 3s.”

Except the Lakers hit those threes — they were 15-of-28, or 53.6 percent. The Lakers got 40.9 percent of their points from three pointers.

What killed the Lakers was their inconsistent defense. Which has really been their biggest issue all season. As the brilliant Tom Ziller noted over at SBN, the Lakers actually have outscored their opponents by 65 total points this season, an average of 3.1 per game. Use that to get an expected win-loss and you’d get 13-8. Not 9-12.

Which means stat-friendly Lakers fans can say “things are bound to turn around.” But the reason they are 9-12 is the inconsistent defense, the lapses for entire games (Utah Sunday) or just a quarter (losses to Orlando and Houston). That is their self-inflicted wound. That is the end of the floor they need to fix, and that is not new coach Mike D’Antoni’s forte.

  1. skids003 - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    The great one just drifts around looking for cheap steals, leaving DH to guard his man too. Better get on the great diva superstars butt to start guarding someone.

  2. loungefly74 - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    dont know who it is…but this team may be suffering from uninspired players…hence the lazy effort.

    • pantsfreezone - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      Would you be inspired by Kobe Bryant? The guy is nothing but a ball hog and liability on defense. If I’m the Lakers, I try to trade his useless ass away for two mid level guys, maybe they can move him to the Celtics for some of their crappy pieces.

  3. magicbucs - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Maybe God doesn’t like the way Dwight handled his departure of Orlando = KARMA….
    Or they are just a bad team that play bad together. Playing good 1 game then poor play the next 3 just means they are inconsistent and not that good.

    • zerole00 - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      If God cares about a bunch of guys throwing around a ball he really needs to get a life.

  4. tiennguyen645 - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    I create my own team still beat the LAKER

  5. michaeljordanseviltwin - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    They should definitely have won more than 9 of their first 21, but there are legitimate reasons why they haven’t. Pau Gasol is still a great player (as evidenced by his destruction of Team USA in the gold medal game), but he doesn’t fit well with Howard for the same reasons he didn’t fit with the emerging Andrew Bynum last year. Pau needs more post touches, period. He should be playing center, but Howard is too good in the paint and too limited outside of it.

    I’d recommend a trade to Atlanta for Josh Smith and Kyle Korver. The Hawks will be looking for options as Smith’s free agency approaches. The Lakers would then have a power forward who thrives outside the paint and an elite 3-point shooter for Nash or Dwight Howard to hit for open shots.

    • eventhorizon04 - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:06 AM

      Trade makes sense for LA, but not for the Hawks, who already have an All-Star in Al Horford at center.

      Also, Hawks GM shot down any interest in a Pau Gasol trade earlier.

  6. ocgunslinger - Dec 10, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    The Lakers do have issues this year and the only constant in life is change. It is obvious further changes will need to be made if they do not jell within a reasonable time once Nash returns. As much as I love Pau, and he is still a great player, he may no longer be a good fit for this team.

  7. bozosforall - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Ringless Millsap is just jealous.

  8. iamjimmyjack - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Kobe Bryant is bringing this team down with his old age. Seriously we should think about trading him and moving on to a new chapter. He is the worst teammate in basket ball. And I am a die hard laker fan, yes LAKER fan. That doesn’t mean I have to be a Kobe homer. I’m just calling it like I see it. Other laker fans will call me names but listen, I’m not ashamed to say I love the LAKERS more than I love Kobe. If u can’t admit that Kobe’s shot selection is the problem than u need to look at the stats. The lakers are 1-7 when Kobe scores 30 or more this year. His defense, or lack there of, specifically when he thinks he’s fouled is outrageous. He complains to the ref instead of guarding against the easy fast break points. We need a change and by that I mean Kobe. We did it when shaq got old, we chose Kobe. Kobe’s old and we should choose Dwight.

    • eventhorizon04 - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:09 AM

      So after listing all the reasons why Kobe (in your opinion) is terrible, you suggest a trade, though no team is going to trade for Kobe and his enormous contract when he’s so close to retirement that he’s talked about life after basketball multiple times.

      So you’re suggesting the Lakers trade Kobe away for very little in return (you’re not going to get a guy like Russell Westbrook back, period), at a time when the Lakers’ guard depth is borderline pathetic (with Nash and Blake out with injury).

      And that translates to wins…how?

    • badintent - Dec 11, 2012 at 2:31 AM

      OK, please trade Kobe to my “nursing home” Knicks. Home of the old players. He’ll have to take a number and wait in line to play however……just joking. !We can trade J.R. and a #1 .We can handle his salary. He can get a crib next to A-rodless’s $$ 23 million penthouse on Central Park South, they are in a mutual respect club. Check please.

  9. wsuperman4445 - Dec 11, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    it seems from reading these posts that one of the most obvious situations still exist that no one is apparently talking much about. Dwight still has not committed to the Lakers, though he has thrown out hints of staying, he has not signed on the dotted line.. remember the Lakers were not his first choice, though he seems to like living in Calif in GENERAL he could sign with the Clippers or another west coast team.Remember,this guys is a head case and he like’s shiny things, the lights the glamour and the thrill of Hollywood. True the Lakers offer the best chance at that life style. lets say Gasol is traded, Steve Blake is out for the rest of the year, Nash probably will be back some point in the season but he will be rusty and lets not forget older.. and of course the bench as it stands is almost nonexistent. So Dwight just might bolt if it does not suit his needs..

    • qdog112 - Dec 11, 2012 at 8:08 AM

      Howard would be a complete fool to bolt LA. It’s only the most desirable city and franchise to work for in the NBA. His outside opportunities are second only to NYC. The team will be built around him moving forward. I think he stays. front office missteps have hurt. I’m sure they wish they had gone after Sessions and left Nash alone. Now it’s a fire sale to get whatever they can for Gasol. The window for winning is nearly close for Kobe, so expect a big slash soon. (it won’t include any hint that Howard is leaving)

  10. qdog112 - Dec 11, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    Stop it!!! Kobe is not the problem. It begins at the top. Buss is a bust. They had a coach in Brown who was the winningest coach in the league over his period in Cleveland. Before you give all praise to James, name the other players who helped him. Exactly … Brown was never given credit for a great job, thus it was easy to fire him this year without a fair shot.

    Fast forward to his firing and the current no defense playing D’Antoni. This team is not built to play his style. The players are too old to run 100% of the time and they can’t defend. You can blame Nash for being hurt, Gasol for being soft, Howard for not working hard enough on his free throws, but little blame goes to Kobe, who is all they have.

    They should have kept Brown, but after his firing, it was Phil or McMillian or someone who knows defense. Buss allowed his ego to takeover, now do they fire D’Antoni and get a do-over? What? Time is short

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