Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US Presswire
The Lakers are looking to avoid their first 0-3 start since the 1978-79 season.The Los Angeles Lakers host the Los Angeles Clippers trying to avoid their first 0-3 start since the 1978-79 season, a span of 33 straight seasons without losing their first three games.
This is the first time the Lakers have started 0-2 in consecutive seasons since the 1956-57 and 1957-58 seasons. Including the preseason, the Lakers are 0-10 and going back to last year’s playoffs, have lost 12 straight and 16 of their past 18 games.
Only six teams have won the NBA title after starting 0-2 and only one team -- the 1990-91 Bulls -- started 0-3 and won the championship.
Knowing that it’s only been two games, let’s take a look at a few things that have gone wrong for the purple-and-gold in the early going.
• The Lakers have run pick-and-roll on just six percent of their offensive plays this season, by far the lowest percentage in the league, and a number that would have ranked last by a big margin last season.
Passes to Roll Man on Pick & Roll Plays Last Season
One of their offseason acquisitions was point guard Steve Nash. When he ran the pick-and-roll last season and passed to the roll man, his teammates led the NBA in points per play and field-goal percentage.
• The Lakers’ starters -- Kobe Bryant (14), Nash (8), Dwight Howard (6), Pau Gasol (4) and Metta World Peace (1) -- have combined for 33 career All-Star selections, but that lineup has outscored opponents by just four points when on the floor together in the first two games of the season.
• They shot 38.7 percent (12-31) from the free-throw line Tuesday, the worst performance by any team with at least 30 attempts since 1985. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was their lowest free-throw percentage since 1969 and their third-lowest in a game in the shot-clock era (min. 30 FTA).
They did rebound to shoot 81.3 percent the next night.
• The Lakers have one field goal in transition this season and fewer than eight percent of their plays have been transition plays, both the lowest marks in the league.
Bench Production This Season
• They’re averaging 16 bench points per game this season, second-fewest in the league, after averaging an NBA-worst 21.3 bench points last season. They don’t match up well with tonight’s opponent in that department.
Jamal Crawford scored a game-high 29 points off the bench in the Clippers’ season opener, and despite playing in one fewer game, he's nearly outproduced the entire Lakers bench combined.