If the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss against the San Antonio Spurs was a moral victory, Friday night’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder was a moral defeat. The Lakers kept pace with the Thunder for one quarter, but the game was over by halftime.
Never mind Kobe Bryant, even Earl Clark could not save the Lakers on Friday night.
To make matters worse, the Lakers announced that forward Jordan Hill would require surgery on his hip and miss the remainder of the season. Unless something drastic occurs, Clark will likely be on the floor for the Lakers for the remainder of the season even when Howard and Gasol return.
After the game, Coach Mike D’Antoni did not make any excuses for the Lakers’ loss. "They’re better," the coach said after the game. "Kevin Durant was just unstoppable."
Durant scored a season-high 42 points on Friday night.
Lakers point guard Steve Nash also reiterated his coach’s sentiment. Nash said, "We showed some fight, but we’re a little overmatched."
Apart from stating the obvious, D’Antoni also offered a new outlook to the season.
"Our season starts on Sunday," D’Antoni said. "We gotta make a run; we got one shot at it."
The coach referred to himself as an "optimist" when asked whether he thought his team still had a chance.
Nash followed suit, "We gotta get going here fast—regardless of the injuries."
Note: See video of both Nash and D'Antoni in post-game press conferences above
The Lakers are on the verge of losing a season to excuses—coaching changes, injuries, systems, energy, age, etc.
Regardless of what the back of the jersey says, if the five guys on the floor wearing "Lakers" across their chest cannot start playing winning basketball in a hurry, the 2012-13 season will go down as one of the most disappointing in the history of the Lakers, basketball, and sports.