Sunday Night’s loss at the hands of the Golden State Warriors was an alert sign for Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers opened the season as one of the top candidates to get to the postseason according to the NBA betting odds, but the 1-9 start of the season is worrying, and the team is on pace to be one of the worst in franchise history. The most coveted franchise in professional basketball was completely humiliated and the Warriors had a tremendous performance while doing it.
The Lakers’ defense has been weak, giving up too many spaces and concealing too many liberties. Just in last night game, it gave up numerous wide-open looks to Stephen Curry (30 points, 15 assists) and Klay Thompson. That gave the Warriors a 136-115 victory Sunday night despite 44 points scored by 36-year-old Bryant. In fact Bryant simply couldn’t keep pace with Golden State. He scored 44 points in 31 1/2 minutes, the Warriors 115 in 36.
The Lakers got no closer than 14 points with 2:04 left in the second quarter thanks to a triple shot by Bryant, but Stepehn Curry responded with a driving layup and a 3-pointer 20 seconds apart.
“They came out and knocked down shots and put us in a hole pretty quick. We’re not getting back in transition and giving up a lot of points. We’ve got to give ourselves an opportunity to play half-court defense. … They’re running the ball and shooting in transition in 5 seconds before you really get an opportunity.” Bryant said.
Bryant, who sat out the fourth quarter with his team down by 36 points, was 15 for 34 from the field in 31 minutes. Against the Phoenix Suns just two nights ago, Bryant missed his first 10 shots before finishing 1 for 14 with nine points. Jordan Hill had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, off to a franchise-worst 1-9 start despite Bryant’s 27.3-point scoring average.
It couldn’t be worse, and Lakers Coach Byron Scott was fuming and saying he’s “getting close” to scrapping his defensive scheme. “Patience is running thin” he commented