The trading deadline came and went Thursday with the Lakers' brass deciding to play the hand dealt them.
Which has the fan base frustrated. Loudly frustrated. Angrily frustrated. Not so much that youngster Andrew Bynum wasn’t traded for Jason Kidd -- people seemed split on that and you could make a good argument either way -- but rather that nothing happened to give a team that has lost six in a row a swift kick in the ass.
Due to a spat of injuries, the days of the offense being so good as to bail about the Lakers' shaky (at best) defense have gone the way of the Dodo. The results have been ugly.
The Laker defense looks like a Keystone Kops movie. Smush Parker seems to equate steals with good defense and gambles rather than staying in front of his man, Andrew Bynum is often slow to recognize what is going on, and from there the Laker defensive rotations are as choreographed as a kindergarten play (the plan is there but the execution, not so much). There is almost no communication on the defensive end.
Phil Jackson is clearly frustrated, barking at players during timeouts in a way he rarely does. The players are frustrated (well, let’s hope they are because if they are not things are much worse than they appear).
And fans are frustrated — because we’ve seen better. This season. We know they are capable of better play. Tonight the Boston Celtics come to town (7:30, Fox Sports) and their fans are frustrated too, but theirs is a team that has shown no signs of life all season. A team where the most prominent supporters are openly rooting for the team to lose, giving it a better shot at winning the loaded draft lottery this year.
Laker fans just want to see some passion, some effort on defense, from that wins will flow. And they should start flowing tonight.