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The Lakers just lost to an intramural basketball team from the city of Cleveland the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-94, dropping to 9-13 on the season. Dropping four games below .500 for the first time since the 2004-05 season, you know, the last season they missed the playoffs. After the game an LA reporter (reported to be hard ass T.J. Simers) asked D'Antoni if the Lakers even bother to work on defense in practice. D'Antoni, very angry because of the loss, and possibly because of the new White Chocolate Peppermint Pringles flavor, got upset yelling "You're starting to piss me off!" at Simers.

Incredible stuff. The Lakers are now 2 games out of the 8th and final playoff spot, and 2.5 games ahead of the Hornets who are currently dead last in the Western Conference. They also have a payroll of $100.4 million dollars, $12 million more than the second highest team in terms of payroll (the Nets at $88 million).

Have I mentioned that a month ago they decided to fire Mike Brown just five games into the season (good move) and replace him with Mike D'Antoni as opposed to Phil freakin' Jackson (catastrophically bad move)? Not all that surprisingly the team has floundered with D'Antoni's run and gun style of play. LA is just 4-8 since D'Antoni took over, and they've given up over 100 points in 8 of the 12 games.

I keep thinking to myself that this team has too much talent to keep it up, but maybe this is just a broken basketball team. Yes Steve Nash and Pau Gasol are out, but Nash is also about to turn 39 and Gasol is dealing with tendonitis in both knees and is far from the player he was over the past decade. The pieces just don't seem to fit. Kobe is scoring at will, but he is also being scored on at will. Dwight Howard looks like he's in a haze, putting up good numbers but killing the team both at the free throw line and with costly turnovers.

The Lakers are just 4-8 under D'Antoni
Now the question becomes, how long do the Lakers stick with D'Antoni? Could they possibly swallow their pride and fire him in the first season of his deal? Could they ever, ever, call Phil back and request a do-over? Magic Johnson says they can't fire D'Antoni because it would "blow up the team", but Magic Johnson is also wrong a lot.

If I'm them I cut bait now. Their best case with D'Antoni running the show is getting into the playoffs and getting crushed by one of the San Antonio/OKC/Memphis triumvirate. This team playing at their current pace would be lucky to give up 115 a game to any of those teams, especially the Spurs or Thunder.

But thankfully I'm not them. They'll probably give this thing time, and wait for the "inevitable turnaround". Which is great. Because this team as currently assembled and coached cannot win an NBA title. Which is fine by me.

Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13

Michael Dyer 12/11/2012 10:51:00 PM Edit
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