Long list of reasons for the Lakers struggles
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK – The reasons for the Los Angeles Lakers’ struggles are abundant. The people to blame are aplenty.
The offensive inadequacies frustrate Lakers’ coach Mike D’Antoni. The offensive and defensive woes baffle Lakers center Dwight Howard.
Lakers forward Metta World Peace, for reasons unknown, went on Twitter and asked fans to tell him what is wrong with the Lakers, but that he was only responding to “smart answers.”
Minutes later, he Tweeted, “ok. i am reading some of yal answers.. not a lot of intelligence.. i will continue to teach yal the game. but as we players we got yal back.”
Twitter didn’t solve the Lakers’ programs, surprise, surprise, and it’s on the Lakers – despite injuries and players recovering from surgeries – to fix it.
After the Lakers’ 116-107 loss to the New York Knicks Thursday – their fourth loss in a row and sixth loss in seven games – D’Antoni remained nonplussed by the team’s offense, even though they scored 107 points. But they shot just 41.7% from the field and 32.4% on three-pointers.
Howard took just 11 shots (and made eight), and D’Antoni lamented they didn’t get him the ball enough in the fourth quarter.
“We’re still not doing our pick-and-rolls, and that for us, like the Knicks, is a big staple of what we do and we’ve got to be able to solve that problem because Dwight has to be that guy forcing that and we’re not there yet,” D’Antoni said. “That’s something we’ve been working on and will work on – that’s the key offensively, being able to get him the ball.”
Howard is aware of his offensive touches.
“On the offensive, we’ve got to move the ball and share it,” Howard said.
Even when the Lakers made a run in the second half, cutting a 26-point second-quarter deficit into a six-point deficit late in the fourth quarter, Howard said, “In the second half, the ball was stagnant. We need to move it around.”
Kobe Bryant said he might try to do more by doing less, meaning he might assume more a point guard’s mentality of distributing the basketball and setting up … [For more on Long list of reasons for the Lakers early-season struggles, click here.]