Below are five things to take from the Lakers’ 142-94 Thursday to the Clippers at Staples Center:
1. The Lakers’ defense is terrible. So what else is new? Whether the Lakers go big or they go small, the same problems persist. They offer no rim protection. They don’t get back on defense. They really don’t show any effort. That enabled the Clippers to feature a flurry of double-digit scorers, including Darren Collison (24 points), Blake Griffin (20 points), Matt Barnes (17 points), DeAndre Jordan (14 points), Chris Paul (13 points), Reggie Bullock (11 points), Glen Davis (10 points) and Danny Granger (10 points). The Clippers drove to the basket with ease. They knocked down shots from the perimeter unguarded. The Clippers outrebounded the Lakers, 64-33. This all amounted to the Lakers’ worst margin of defeat since losing by 46 points to Portland on Jan. 9, 1995. But hey things could get worse. Lakers once allowed a franchise-worst 173 points to the Boston Celtics on Feb. 27, 1959.
Such an effort reflects poorly on the players’ failure to compete and the coaching staff’s failure to entice players to buy into everything. Sure, the Lakers have offered some lightning in a bottle, such as upsetting Portland. But the Lakers look checked out. Instead of defending, the Lakers hacked the Clippers en route to a 13 of 18 from the foul line. Instead of opening the second half with effort, the Lakers botch an inbounds pass on the opening possession. The Lakers may have proudly displayed their championship banners in a designated home game at Staples Center. But the Clippers fully mocked them with every open dunk and jumper along the way. Even more embarrassing: the Clippers lone disappointment happened on a missed jump shot at the end of the third quarter that could’ve extended the lead to 50 points.
2. The Lakers offered nothing on offense If nothing else, the Lakers can sometimes at least make games entertaining by scoring in bunches in transition and from the three-point line. But aside from Pau Gasol’s 21 points on 8 of 15 shooting, the Lakers hardly looked efficient. They shot 33 of 82 from the field and 7 of 28 from three-point range. The Lakers looked like they were simply going through the motions and hardly even trying to provide the crisp ball movement and high energy that often made this offense hum.
3. Kendall Marshall’s struggles persist.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni continued to start Marshall, believing his recent shooting struggles would only worsen if he derailed his confidence. The strategy didn’t work. Marshall went scoreless for the fifth time in six games and played only 11 minutes. The only problem: the Lakers didn’t have better alternatives. Jordan Farmar appeared listless, posting four points on 1 of 5 shooting and three assists. Marshall still offset his poor shooting effort with seven assists. But after showing such promise, Marshall has failed at proving he’s a worthy long-term investment with the Lakers.
4. Kent Bazemore and Blake Griffin don’t like each other.
Dating back to the chippy rivalry with Warriors, Blazemore clearly doesn’t like Griffin. They defended each other pretty physically and traded barbs throughout the game.
5. Xavier Henry continues to round into form. The lone bright spot entails Henry’s 13 points on 5 of 10 shooting showing more comfort in his right knee. He looked more fluid in attacking the basket. The next step for him entails finishing.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org