As the final seconds winded off the clock and the Staples Center crowd hurried into the night after another home loss, it was very much a reality that this is as bad as it gets for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team has now lost six straight home games which matches a franchise record. The Lakers lost to the Utah Jazz by 17 points on Tuesday night, who just happened to move ahead of them in the standings — and the Jazz never win in L.A.!
Steve Nash re-injured his nerve root irritation back “thingy” (there is no point trying to figure out or explain this injury anymore) and did not come back on the court for the second half. Then Steve Blake came out of the game to get his elbow checked on by athletic trainer Gary Vitti. Minutes later, Kendall Marshall proceeded to turn his ankle and was limited for the rest of the contest. Chris Kaman needed 24 shots to score 25 points, including taking 16 shots in the first half. Robert Sacre bounced the ball in frustration when walking towards his bench for a timeout and was given a technical foul. The referee had no business calling such an unnecessary tech, but that’s just the way it has gone this year.
You can feel how deflated the players and the fans are; the fans can’t even boo this squad because it’s almost as if they feel bad for them. You can’t blame a group of players that have been dealt a horrible hand of injuries, one after the other — after another.
Some guy named Alec Burks dismantled the Lakers scoring 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting, sealing the deal with a layup in transition on one of Kaman’s three turnovers. Shawne Williams went from playing in the Developmental League last week to suddenly starting at power forward for the big club against Utah. Mike D’Antoni just can’t let his infatuation with Williams being his “stretch four” go as Jordan Hill continues to rot on the bench.
It’s hard to believe things can get worse than this for the purple and gold. Even if the Oklahoma City Thunder come into Staples on Thursday and blow them out, at least it will be expected. You can’t lose at home to Utah by 17 points while failing to score 80 points. The season has been one bad nightmare, and something has to change because it can’t get any worse.