The Los Angeles Lakers suffered another defeat in the 2012 preseason on Tuesday, getting routed by the Utah Jazz 114-80.
It's not the type of play Lakers fans or the Lakers themselves are used to. If the Lakers go winless in the preseason, there should be some concern in Los Angeles about the regular season and the road to another NBA Championship.
The face of the Lakers, Kobe Bryant, tried his best to help the team overcome the Jazz. In the third quarter alone, Bryant sunk 9 of 11 shots, scoring 23 points. However, even with this valiant effort, the Lakers couldn't overcome the surging Jazz.
Gordon Hayward tallied 13 points for the Jazz, while teammate Al Jefferson scored 12. While the Jazz may not have been stellar, their defense is what allowed them to rack up a total of 114 points on the scoreboard.
At halftime, the Jazz defense stood strong against the Laker offense, holding them to just 10-34 shooting. This allowed the Jazz to get ahead by 35 in the third quarter and by 41 in the fourth.
Paul Gasol was rested in this game, due to what Coach Mike Brown said was fatigue. This played a major factor, as the Lakers seem to be lacking in team chemistry.
The blockbuster deal the Lakers made with the Orlando Magic in the preseason for Dwight Howard is the main focus this season. Howard, coming off of major back surgery, has yet to play as a Laker.
Despite saying his feels no pain in his back, Howard won't be stepping onto the court until he feels he is 100 percent healthy.
The preseason to some fans may mean nothing, however, it's where teams develop teamwork, game plans and fans find out which players will be most valuable during the regular season.
Should the Lakers fall again in their next game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday, October 19, there should be a level of concern, despite Coach Brown's stance that there shouldn't be.
Los Angeles needs to develop a better environment amongst the roster so that production comes from both sides of the court and somebody other than Bryant.
Dwight Howard needs to get on the court so he can adapt to playing with his new teammates, which will go a long way in developing a relationship with Bryant, Gasol and company.
The regular season is no time for the Lakers to develop these important pieces for successful play, and with the preseason winding down, it's crunch-time for Los Angeles.