It wasn't just that the Lakers lost to Orlando, it was in the manner that they lost. Dwight hilariously misses 12 free throws. Kobe tries his best to carry the Lakers to a victory and fails yet again(And by the way, his defense is absolutely atrocious now). The Lakers get a 40 spot hung on them in the 4th quarter. A quarter where a team that aspires to win an NBA championship, should absolutely out-execute a lottery team. What makes this loss so alarming is this is the Orlando Magic. Yeah, that team who sent a flustered Dwight Howard in a 4-team trade to the Lakers while getting almost nobody of substance in return. On this night, it seems as if they made the right decision. Ironically, Arron Afflalo(you know one of the main pieces they got in return) absolutely destroyed the Lakers. The Lakers tonight got a nice dose of karma if you ask me.
That game couldn't have possibly played out any more perfectly if you are a Magic fan. The Magic use the Hack-a-Howard strategy that was successful late in the game. Howard misses his FTs and the Magic follows that up by making 3s on the other end. Through it all, Pau Gasol was watching from the sidelines down the stretch in which I believe was an absolutely horrible coaching move. Love D'Antoni, but there is no way you can justify to me that Antawn Jamison is superior to Pau Gasol. He just can't. Even more shocking considering they were intentionally fouling Dwight down the stretch. Pau is one of their best players. I don't care how bad he's playing, there's no excuse for playing the career-loser Antawn Jamison over him.
This is easily the worst loss of the season for the Lakers and easily Orlando's best win. The game perfectly illustrated what I've been saying about the Lakers all along: Kobe is too old to carry this team as evidence of the Lakers being 1-6 in games where he scores at least 30 points this season. Dwight's maturity is in question and he can't knock down free throws to save a child's life. There was no defense in sight once again. You can thank D'Antoni for that. Nash will not fix this team. He will only assuage the problem by helping them win more regular season games, but it won't translate to playoff success.
The Lakers are in huge trouble and the fact that they lost to this team of all teams sent a huge message. Christmas came early for Orlando and the nightmare season for the Lakers continues. A loss that comes merely two days after having one of their best offensive performances of the season. My head is telling me that they will turn their season around and win over 50 games, but what they can do in the playoffs is all that really matters in the grand scheme of things. My opinion hasn't changed, this team is a second round exit at best and I'm seriously leaning towards a first round exit.