It’s safe to say that the All-Star Break couldn’t be coming at a better time for the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers lost the last three games of their recent seven-game road trip, and their struggles culminated in a shocking loss to the woeful Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
The 10-46 Cavaliers were coming off a 15-point home loss to the Washington Wizards, and had not won a game in regulation since November 27th, 2010, but looked like the superior team against the defending champions.
The Lakers looked tired, disinterested, and frustrated throughout the game. Kobe Bryant picked up an early technical in the first quarter, and looked completely out of sorts all night; he shot 8-24 from the field, did not draw a single foul, turned the ball over seven times, and sealed his team’s fate by forcing quick threes late in the game. Pau Gasol abused the Cavaliers’ thin frontline to the tune of 30 points and 20 rebounds, but Andrew Bynum was completely ineffective, going 2-12 from the floor.
On defense, the Lakers could not stay in front of the ultra-quick Ramon Sessions, who torched the Lakers for 32 points on 9-16 shooting from the field and 13-14 shooting from the free-throw line.
This was an embarrassing loss for the Lakers, especially since they beat the Cavaliers by 55 points earlier in the season, but it shouldn’t be time to panic yet. The Lakers are a veteran team, and Kobe and Bynum’s knees are not built to handle long road trips. After the All-Star break, I’d expect a rested, revitalized Laker team to get back to its winning ways. Still, this loss should sting for them.