Saturday , Nov , 24 , 2012 Matt Formica

Lakers lose again, Kobe drops 30 but Gasol and Howard continue to struggle on offense

The Lakers lost to the Grizzlies Friday night, falling to 0-4 on the road.

Hoopsvibe’s quick call:  Kobe can’t do everything; Gasol and Howard will need to be consistent on offense if the Lakers want to win games.

Memphis came out strong against Los Angeles, leading the game 34-18 after the first quarter.  Despite a mini-run the Lakers made in the fourth, Memphis controlled the game and got the 106-98 win, improving their record to 9-2.

The Lakers loss dropped them under .500 to 6-7 overall.

Kobe did his thing, leading the Lakers with 30 points.  But he didn’t get much help.  Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison were the only other Lakers to score in double figures, each finishing with 16 a piece.

Memphis was just too tough.  They played intense defense, forcing LA to turn the ball over 18 times.  They have now forced at least 10 turnovers in their last 115 games – the longest active streak in the NBA.  Furthermore, all five of their starters scored in double digits, with Rudy Gay leading the pack with 21.

“(The Grizzlies) are a good team,” said Lakers new coach Mike D’Antoni.  They are going to make shots.  There are just little things that we didn’t do.”

There are a few big things they didn’t do either.  And getting scoring from their two main big men, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, was one of them.  Howard and Gasol combined for only 13 points against the Grizzlies, on 5-15 shooting.  Gasol scored 6 and Howard had 7; and they only pulled down four rebounds a piece. 

Things weren’t much different for the Lakers on Wednesday night either.  Howard and Gasol combined for just 15 points on 5-14 shooting in that loss to Sacramento.  The production problem with Gasol and Howard needs to improve and Coach D’Antoni knows that.

“We need to figure that one out,” D’Antoni said about the Lakers’ big men.

Even Kobe Bryant expressed concern over Gasol’s play as of late, especially his level of conditioning and whether or not it’s been hurting his ability to get involved in D’Antoni’s offense.

“Pau is used to laboring up the floor and coasting a little bit.  In this offense, we have to put the motor on the first few steps we move up the court,” Bryant told the Daily News.

What do you think, Hoopsvibers?  Who is more of an issue?  Gasol or Howard?  Leave your comments below!


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