Is it an ESPN 'Panic Meter' Night After Lakers Loss?
So it will come as no surprise that most media outlets will come down hard on the Lakers for their abysmal effort facing an equally newly formed team missing their superstar power forward on opening night in Los Angeles. It sounds bad, but not terrible in the grand scheme of things. I feel like I'm speaking from a Lakers fan point of view, however, remember when the Heatles first formed? They weren't on point the entire season, yet still made a run to the NBA Finals in year one.
Dwight Howard struggled where he usually does; at the free throw line. Now Los Angeles media will give Blake Griffin a pass - Dwight debuted hitting just 3/14 from the charity stripe, crippling the Laker offense. Kobe Bryant played a typical, adjustment-type-of-night game, shooting an extremely high percentage, yet somehow remained uninvolved within the flow of the offense. Assists? zero. Rebounds? one. Free throws? zero.
Perhaps he's just done, huh? He can't drive no more. Maybe he should just retire. <--- 'what is that dude saying?'
The one thing that concerned me heading into the season was the coexisting of Kobe and Steve Nash in the backcourt. Kobe, like most have made sure to point out when defending his greatness, has never played with an established, calm, star point guard. He got him this year. Nash is ball-dominant and thrives when given the space to operate on his own. However, the Lakers face a simliar problem the Knicks did last season when Jeremy lin and Carmelo Anthony's games did not mesh well together.
Carmelo is a ball-stopper. Kobe is the same. They are on completely separate levels at this point in their respective careers (Kobe is definitely tops in this category), however it is essentially the same issue: Point guards who can penetrate, create for others and themselves need the ball in their hands, and Kobe takes the ball out of Nash's hands.
But none if this is proven, completely relevant or worth mentioning just yet. Simply put, it's the suspicions I had when this team was formed. Also, Andrew Bynum is far better suited for this offense as he can establish position on the low block and operate one-on-one on any possession, while Howard is more limited in the post. His defensive side was not at all on display on a night where the Mavericks just moved the ball around better and appeared more crisp in their decisions; using teamwork and sharing in the absence of Dirk Nowitzki.
But panicing is the furthest thing from the Lakers mind. Or anyone who's opinion should be valued. And no, Skip Bayless or Stephen A.'s opinions should be ignored, like a pest seeking attention, as they just spew diarrhea of the mouth.