Yep, the Lakers really are going with this whole "play terrible basketball on purpose" thing. Last night against the Rockets, they attempted 10 three-pointers as a team—two more than Houston's Trevor Ariza fired up by himself—and sent the Rockets to the free-throw line 50 times. They did both of those things on purpose. Byron Scott thinks this is a good way to play basketball.
As you might guess, turning down extra points at one end and handing them out like Halloween treats at the other wasn't the soundest of strategies: the Rockets won by 18, and the game was never close. This will happen every night. Byron Scott is going to be unemployed by Christmas.
Keep an eye on the Lakers, because their season has the potential to get even more hilarious, very soon. They're in Phoenix tonight, where they'll get their asses kicked by the young, fast, three-bombing Suns; they've got a Friday-Saturday back-to-back against the Clippers and Warriors, to whom they will lose by a combined 9,000 points; then they've got the Suns again on Tuesday. If they are not 0-5 after that game, I will throw my car keys into a river.
It's really impossible to overstate how dumb this basketball is. Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive caught some shit around basketball Twitter yesterday for suggesting that his team could play 4-on-5 at the defensive end, leaving one player to cherry-pick for easy baskets at the other; that's a terrible, terrible idea, but this is no less dumb! In (dumb) theory, it's about turning down long jumpers in favor of getting to the hoop for high-percentage looks; since the Lakers don't have anyone who can even dream of doing that, in practice it has meant lots and lots and lots of midrange bricks.
Last night was no different:
Look at this putrid shot chart! Behold its stupid majesty! This shot chart is the saucepan helmet of shot charts. This shot chart should be scored with Yakety Sax. The Lakers took a total of 24 shots from the basket area and three-point territory last night; they took 27 long two-point jumpers. I can't even get mad at this shot chart. I feel about this shot chart the way I feel about Shitbarf Guy: Yeah, he made some bad decisions along the way, but my life is better for it.
The thing is, you know that Kobe Bryant knows this is the basketball equivalent of driving your thumbs into your own eyesockets. Ol' Man Mamba's shown some spleen already this season, getting into it with Dwight Howard last night and earning himself a technical foul. And now that the Lakers are down both Steve Nash and Julius Randle, he's basically on a raft with Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin, playing 1991 basketball on the orders of a lesser Laker great with the whole world watching. If you think he's gonna go along to get along while his team gets duffed in the ear night after night, man, you're wrong as hell.
God, this is the best. Treasure these moments, basketball fans. We won't see them again.
Photo via Getty