Lakers have no defense again in loss at Orlando

first_imgHow ugly was it? The Lakers’ 65-55 lead early in the third quarter morphed into a one-point deficit nearly two minutes later. Magic guard Victor Oladipo threw a between-the-legs pass to Harris for an easy fast-break layup. The Lakers’ offensive firepower from Gasol (21), Kendall Marshall (19), Jodie Meeks (17), Young (16) and Ryan Kelly (15) went to waste. Will the Lakers ever stop teams?“Yeah, if they want,” D’Antoni said. “There’s nothing wrong with the defense (schematically). It’s what everybody does. Can we do it better? Yeah. Could we run back on defense? Yeah. Could we not turn the ball over? Yeah. Can we pay attention to your man? Yes. Can we not get back-doored? Yes. Everything in that room is fixable.”Can the Lakers stop Carmelo Anthony when they visit the New York Knicks on Sunday? Unlikely. He dropped 62 points in a win Friday over Charlotte, breaking Kobe Bryant’s Madison Square Garden scoring record of 61 points set in Feb. 2, 2009.“We have to step up to the challenge, be disciplined and have a solid game from the beginning ot the end,” Gasol said. “Melo came off a huge night at the Garden, so let somebody else beat you.”Bad news for the Lakers: there’s plenty of NBA players who have already done that to them. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error ORLANDO — Who says Mike D’Antoni doesn’t talk enough about defense?He griped plenty about the season-long issue, even before the Lakers’ 114-105 loss Friday to the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. There, D’Antoni paced the sideline and furiously burned timeouts while the Lakers conceded gobs of points from Tobias Harris (28), Arron Afflalo (23), from 3-point range (9 of 17) and in the paint (42). “We were rotating too deep, too hard and too crazy and left guys open,” D’Antoni said. “We weren’t very smart.”D’Antoni partly excused the Lakers (16-28) for their third consecutive loss and 15th in the past 18 games, saying they “ran out of gas” playing on the second night of a back-to-back. D’Antoni didn’t seem forgiving beforehand. He still sounded upset over the Miami Heat melting the Lakers on Thursday with a strong dosage of LeBron James and Chris Bosh (58 points), 52 points in the paint, rebounding (48-35) and a 8 of 20 mark from 3-point range. center_img “We were just watching film and we give up 15 to 20 points by guys not paying attention and not doing the things we talk about,” D’Antoni said. “We’re trying to get that right.”The Lakers are nowhere close toward reaching that goal. The lowly Magic (12-32), who rank 23rd in total offense (96.2 points per game, looked like a fantasy basketball roster.“I’m not happy with it at all,” said Lakers forward Pau Gasol, after posting a team-leading 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting and 11 rebounds. “Every team in the league knows the Lakers aren’t good defensively to say the least and they’ll have a good night.”“When you lose against the worst teams in the league, you have to ask yourself and wonder what does that make you?”The Lakers belong in that category. They rank 29th in the NBA out of 30 teams in total defense, allowing 105.8 points per game. Both the Magic and Lakers have since said good riddance to Dwight Howard. But the Lakers lack a dependable rim protector. Or really anyone who can sprint back on defense.last_img read more