Well, it’s been a long time coming but is it safe to say that the Los Angeles Lakers are finally finished?
I’d say so.
If you had asked me at the beginning of the season how this team would do this season I would have pegged them as a top four team in the West. It probably has been a long time coming considering we’re about two weeks past the halfway point of the season, but I think it is finally time to close the books (at least for the next few seasons) for one of the most successful franchises in NBA history.
Currently the Lakers are tenth in the Western conference and four games under .500. Their home record is a passable 15-10 and their road record is an abysmal 7-16. Dwight Howard was the Lakers big off-season haul and together with Steve Nash the two of them should have been the most dominant pick-and-roll players in the league. However Nash was lost early in the season from a broken leg bone and Howard hasn’t been his dominant self since returning from surgery last season.
Pau Gasol has been battling with his own demons. The man is always one step behind on defence and he can’t score worth at all in the post. His numbers are down across the board but that can mostly be attested to his loss in minutes.
That pretty much sums up the bad with the starting five in Los Angeles.
Kobe Byrant and Metta World Peace are playing the most efficient basketball they’ve played in a very long time. Bryant has remembered how to pass and Peace is playing with a youthful step that we haven’t seen from him in a very very long time. Although he has been suspended for this little scuffle with Brandon Knight.
So, what do I think is wrong with the Lakers?
I won’t lie, I don’t like the man. He put Orlando through a lot of needless drama throughout his last two years there. He ousted a very good coach in Stan Van Gundy and he kept flip-flopping between staying in Orlando and wanting out. If I was in the shoes of the Magic management I would have sent him to a team like Sacramento or Charlotte. That’ll teach him.
Anyways, I don’t think that Dwight is a motivated player. His constant smiles on courts are infuriating to watch while the other four players on the court continue to play hard. Some people think that that’s just the way he is, a happy guy who always has a smile on his face. That’s ok though, there’s nothing wrong with being happy, but there is a time and place for everything. Don’t forget that your shooting guard is Kobe Bryant, probably one of the most serious players out there who’s only goal in the world is to win that ring to tie him up with Michael Jordan.
Basketball is a team sport, don’t let anyone else tell you anyways. Every superstar needed his team to hoist that trophy at the end of the season. So when one of your team mates is slogging up the court with a big, goofy smile on his face it can be the most frustrating feeling in the world. Then one game he’s going to brick a bunch of free-throws, in the next game he’s going to get injured, and then in the game after that he’s going to miss free throws and then have that stupid smile on his face again. So what does the team do next? They phase him out of offence, if you don’t play D you sure as hell aren’t going to play any O.
Dwight is one public debacle from wanting out of the Lakers. After all he has already made it clear that if he isn’t going to go the distance in Los Angeles, he would be willing to leave.
I think most people are still hanging onto the hope that the Lakers will bounce back and make a push for the playoffs and be the team everyone wants them to be. Good Bye LA, see you next season. It’s going to be weird not seeing the purple and gold in the playoffs this year.
The battle for basketball supremacy in Los Angeles continues as the LA Clippers and LA Lakers continue to make big offseason moves to solidify their hold on the city. Personally, I think these two teams have made the biggest impact in the free agency market so far. While the Houston Rockets continue to make an effort to put together a package to bring Dwight Howard over, the Los Angeles teams have made legitimate moves to bring themselves one step closer to a championship next season.