DALLAS — There were so many problems last season for the
The Lakers couldn't win on the road with
The sample size is small but strong, the Lakers falling meekly to the
Pau Gasol and
Oh, and they fell to 0-2 away from
The strange thing about Tuesday was the Lakers' 20-point deficit late in the second quarter without
He finally scored, of course, but finished with only 11, meaning most of the damage was done by guard
"We can't make a habit out of getting our butts kicked on the road, because otherwise teams, when we come to their house, they're going to be like, 'Well, we've got the Lakers, we're going to kick their [rear],' " Gasol said.
The only real question was whether Dallas would get to 130 points after hitting 120 midway through the fourth quarter. Miraculously, they didn't. Not that it mattered.
The Lakers' starting five combined for 32 points, Gasol scoring 10 on four-for-nine shooting and Nash scoring five on two-for-eight shooting.
The rebounding numbers were silly, the Lakers falling way short, 50-35. It would take an entire story to attack their defensive frailty.
Before Tuesday, they were 25th in the
Both are sure to get worse. The Lakers let the Mavericks shoot 52%.
"Way too many points," Gasol said, mentioning the Mavericks' 67-point first half. "If we give something up, it has to be a contested jump shot, not a layup, not a dunk."
It got so bad that Lakers Coach
The results were a lot like the first half, even though Hill had some dunks on the way to eight points and three rebounds.
The Lakers had done pretty well here in recent years, winning five in a row by an average of 11.2 points, including two victories last season when they were 16-25 on the road, their worst mark since 2004-05.
But this recurring roadkill is already an issue in a young season.
"If you're detecting a pattern, it's not very good," D'Antoni said.
The Lakers' next test won't be easy — Thursday in Houston, where they have lost four in a row.
And that's not even considering the Howard factor. He'll presumably be ready to play the
Hill, one of the few Lakers who still talked to Howard, called him "definitely a cool cat" on Tuesday. But Hill added that he chastised Howard for not returning to the Lakers.
"He felt that Houston was a better fit for him, a better place for him. No love lost," Hill said. "I did tell him he should have stayed."
Howard hasn't missed much on the Lakers other than a rousing opening-night victory over the