It was a bad sign when the first note I wrote in my notebook was something about the 76ers taking an 11-4 lead on a 7-0 run. It’s an even worse sign when I had to scratch that out and replace it with Philly taking a 16-5 lead on a 12-1 run.
They were tell-tale signs of how the game would eventually play out with the Lakers losing to the 76ers, 103-99.
The 76ers did not play like a team that had won two of its last 10 before this game. Like most teams have done this season, they exposed the Lakers’ slow-moving lack of effort on defense.
“We just weren’t sharp in our coverage, we weren’t sharp on adjusting … we weren’t sharp mentally,” said coach Mike D’Antoni.
Some will surely look to place blame on possible New Year’s Eve celebrations or the three days of rest the Lakers had, but not D’Antoni.
“I could understand the first quarter getting your bearings. We missed some easy shots,” he said. “What I don’t understand is how [in] the second half we didn’t come out and just took control of the game.”
Metta World Peace agreed as he so plainly put it: “Everybody gets three days off.”
Steve Nash, who posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists, said he was bothered by how the team “sort of fell apart” in the final minutes of each half, mainly the first. “We had a certain amount control in the game. They went on a big run to end the half and we could never get a hold of the game after that,” Nash said.
Another glaringly obvious stat getting tossed about the TWC SportsNet studio was Dwight Howard going 1-for-7. I’m not sure what is more disconcerting, the fact that Howard only scored one field goal, or that he only had seven attempts.
Howard continues to say the team has yet to “come together and play as a team” and how frustrated he’s getting repeating that same line after every loss.
“The more time we have together, the better we’ll get,” he said. “It’s a long season we have to be patient in order for us to be successful.”
Kobe Bryant, who racked up three more points than the rest of the entire starting lineup, said if there was one thing he could change about this team it would be for everyone to take care of their body and get the proper rest and come ready to play.
“We’re old,” Bryant said. “We just have to figure out how to play when we don’t have that energy. We have to change things up a bit defensively, figure out what we want to do offensively, figure out what we are going to do on those nights when we don’t have those legs.”
Hopefully Lakers find their legs by Friday against the Clippers
They don’t call them “Lob City” for nothing.
You can follow JD Carrere on Twitter at @SportsNetJunkie.