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Nothing Comes Up Roses for the Lakers

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Photo by =Manny= via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Steve Nash told reporters after the Lakers opening night loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday that things would get uglier before they got better for the Lakers. He was right. The Lakers were charitable to the Portland Trail Blazers coughing up the ball 25 times en route to their 116-106 loss.

It wasn't a complete shitfest the entire game. Despite turning the ball over 19 times with 3 1/2 minutes left to go in the third quarter, the Lakers were only trailing by three points in the Rose Garden which is better known as a house of horrors for the Lakers.

But the house of cards just crumbled from that point on. Bad defense combined with three turnovers and a still shaky offense allowed the Blazers to close out the third quarter on a 13-0 run sealing the Lakers fate with a 0-2 record.

Dwight Howard had a much better game in this second game leading all scorers with 33 points while adding 14 rebounds with Kobe Bryant not far behind with 30 points. Howard even had a good night on the free throw line going 15-of-19. But those turnovers were the killers, Kobe with seven and Ron Artest with six.

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Of course with all of the turnovers, it's hard to spend most of the game in transition defense. Head coach Mike Brown commented in detail after the game about the Lakers defensive woes chalking it up to lack of effort.

Call it lack of effort. Call it utter confusion. The offense isn't going to kill the Lakers. It's the defense.

Steve Nash left the game in the third quarter after getting kicked in the shin towards the end of the first half. After trying to give it a go to start the second half, Nash had to leave the floor and get treatment in the locker room. Nash was diagnosed with a contusion of his leg.

As for the prognosis of the Lakers, the fans have taken to Twitter calling for Mike Brown's head. Yes the Laker fans are demanding a coaching change after two games.

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The game of the night was the Clippers grudgefest against the Memphis Grizzlies. After the Clippers beat the Grizzlies in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs last season, the game felt like a Game 8. It was a tightly contested game in the final quarter which featured Zach Randolph delivering a suplex to Blake Griffin.

The Clippers tightened the defense in the fourth quarter prevailing 101-92 and giving Memphis their 12th consecutive loss in season openers.

The leading scorer for the game was the 2010 Sixth Man of the Year with the Atlanta Hawks: Jamal Crawford. Crawford had 29 points off the bench in his Clipper debut helping the bench score 49 of the team's 101 points.

The Lakers and the Clippers will meet on Friday with the Lakers having the home court. This should get interesting.