It’s Panic Time for Laker Nation

The purple and gold panic button is about as worn down as the tormented smirk of Mike D’Antoni.

The Los Angeles Lakers failed in a game they couldn’t spare, a 109-95 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. The Clippers’ victory, emblematic as it gets, resulted in the franchise’s first Pacific Division title in its history.

Then there’s the Lakers, once again drowning in a chorus of sinking-ship rhetoric.

With the loss, the Lakers fall a half-game behind the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. The Jazz, who defeated the Golden State Warriors 97-90 on Sunday, also own the tiebreaker, so the Lakers once again no longer control their destiny.

And, of course, Lakers nation is already plunging off that traditional deck of fickleness.

Just about everyone not named Kobe Bryant is being thrown overboard, but none more so than the captain.

D’Antoni is the second scapegoat to bat tomatoes away from his face this season. Since taking over for Mike Brown, D’Antoni never pieced together the enigma that is the talented but underperforming Lakers.

The team still can’t defend, and it seems that too much weight has been placed on the shoulders of Bryant, as brilliant as he’s been. The loss to the Clippers showed just that.

In Sunday's loss, Bryant nearly had a triple-double with 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. He wasn't efficient, looking to do it all on 6-of-19 shooting.

Dwight Howard wasn't enough on Sunday. He has averaged 17.3 points and 14.5 rebounds per game since the All-Star break and his defense has looked dramatically improved.

But while Howard was efficient offensively with 25 points against the Clippers, somehow he only managed four total rebounds; the Lakers cannot afford that kind of output. Steve Nash has rar...

About the Author