Lakers are still in a no-win situation

Unlucky number seven?

That’s how many games the Lakers have lost this preseason — in other words, all of them, the latest a 97-91 defeat by the Clippers at Staples Center on Wednesday.

Of course, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard didn’t play for the Lakers. But Chris Paul didn’t play for the Clippers.

The Lakers are 0-7 this preseason, their worst such record ever, and the team wraps up exhibition play Thursday against Sacramento in San Diego.

Bryant (strained right foot) is scheduled to miss that game and Howard (just resting ) may sit out as well, Lakers Coach Mike Brown said.

Brown added that Bryant would be evaluated this weekend. The Lakers’ regular season opens Tuesday against Dallas at Staples Center.

Six Lakers scored in double figures, led by Pau Gasol with 17. Robert Sacre, starting in place of Howard, had a strong showing with 13 points and seven rebounds. Jordan Hill looked solid in his return from a back injury, with 12 points and eight rebounds.

“I like what I saw, more than anything else,” Brown said.

Except the turnovers, Brown added. The Lakers had 21 of them, which led to 33 points for the Clippers.


TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal voiced their skepticism of the Lakers’ Princeton offense Tuesday, with Barkley saying in a conference call, “I’ve always said I want my accountants from Princeton, not my offense.”

A day later, Magic Johnson and Jeff Van Gundy, of ESPN/ABC, were more evenhanded.

“I think they’re going to combine the Princeton offense with the Santa Clara offense, with the Lower Merion offense,” Van Gundy said.

Lakers guard Steve Nash went to college at Santa Clara and Bryant came to the NBA straight from Lower Merion High in Pennsylvania.

Brown didn’t disagree, citing what the Lakers were like when they played under Phil Jackson, who was known for employing the triangle offense.

“If you go back and look at the tapes, it was the Lower Merion offense at the end of games,” Brown said, adding, “You play to your players’ strengths.”

New format

Howard has been named an NBA All-Star for five consecutive seasons, but picking up that honor this season will be more difficult with changes that the NBA installed.

The league altered the All-Star ballot, merging centers and forwards into one category called “frontcourt,” meaning that Howard will compete with top forwards and centers in the Western Conference for a spot on the All-Star team.

In a statement, the NBA noted that having that specific position on the ballot was “outdated and not representative of today’s game or players.”

Brown didn’t have an issue with the move.

“The league is just trying to get the biggest names and, in their opinion, the most talented players in there,” he said. “They’re just trying to find a fair way to do it.”

Twitter: @BaxterHolmes

Times correspondent Eric Pincus contributed to this report.