I was sitting inside a restaurant earlier this evening with some pretty bad phone reception. The app I use to check scores was only displaying one line of scores before timing out. In this case I saw "Lakers 112". As I tucked the phone back into my pocket I felt fairly confident that my beloved purple and gold had taken one on the road in Houston.
Granted, Houston does average around 106 points per game and have been heating up as of late, but for whatever reason I had a hunch the Lakers came together while two of their stars (Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol) sat out the game due to injuries.
Then again, how can one possibly have any sort of confidence with a starting lineup of Steve Nash, Darius Morris, Robert Sacre, Kobe Bryant, and Metta World Peace?
It looks like the Lakers made it a game through the first half. Then the wheels fell off the wagon and they were outscored 66-50 in the second half.
Leading up to this game I've never seen a more lackluster group of guys play defense. It appears half the time they are confused about their assignments and the other half of the time they just don't give a damn.
It truly is sad for a life-long Laker fan such as myself. I see the fire in Kobe's eye, I see Metta on the verge of becoming Ron Artest again, and I hear the disappointment in Nash's voice at the end of every game. It has gotten so bad that even Laker Legend James Worthy said this following their loss against Denver on Sunday, "The effort, the intangibles, I'm actually getting tired of talking about it every program."
The number of so-called "fans" that I see jumping ship and throwing on Clippers' colors is also quite alarming. I'll admit that I envy the way the Clippers play. They are out there having fun, enjoying each other on the court, and playing their butts off on defense. It's not so much about the wins and losses, it's the way they play that draws my admiration.
I keep going back to the Lakers' teams of the mid-late 90's. Sure those teams stunk it up more often than not, but you had guys like Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Elden Campbell, Anthony Peeler, Sedale Threatt, and Vlade Divac doing what they could do win ballgames. Let's never fail to mention the hustle of Anthony "Pig" Miller (remember the Pig Pen?).
I absolutely hate knee-jerk reactions by general managers, the media, and fans, but I think we've seen this experiment go on long enough. It's obvious Mike Brown wasn't the problem and Mike D'Antoni isn't the answer.
As consistent as Dwight Howard is, Pau Gasol isn't. Gasol is not going to be utilized the best way he can be. I love Nash, but he can't pick up his opponent on defense far enough from the basket to be as effective as he should be. The elite guys are going to run circles around him. Kobe appears to be taking everything in stride, but you can sense he's going to blow up at any moment.
This entire operation has the makings of a huge disaster on the horizon.
So, what do they do? Do they dismantle the team piece by piece and start obtaining young, athletic players and draft picks?
I'm not going to sit here and give you a blue print as to what the organization should do, because quite honestly, I don't know. I haven't seen a grand plan blow up like this since who knows when.
It's officially time to hit the panic button.
OS Voice: Which route would you take if you were in charge of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers? Blow the team up now and start the rebuilding process, or ride the current roster out and hope things turn around?
Joe Chacon is a staff writer for Operation Sports and a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.