The Los Angeles Lakers: The All-Star Team That Can’t Win
Not to mimic the words of NBA play-by-play commentators but the Los Angeles Lakers had one of the biggest offseason in NBA history. They came into the season with the biggest expectations in the league.
After ending the preseason with six losses and zero wins, the Lakers lost three consecutive regular season games.
The Lakers now have the worst win/loss record out of the three major North American sports teams that share the Staples Center – The Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings – (the Kings are yet to play a game due to the NHL lockout, so technically, they’re record is better).
This is definitely a first for Lakers fans. They aren’t used to being disappointed like Kings and Clippers fans are. The Lakers traditionally aren’t a losing team.
The Lakers have a legacy to uphold. They established a team that was slated to challenge the Miami Heat’s regime as the NBA’s top team. So far, all the Lakers have done is deflate the hype. They’re playing surprisingly bad as a team even if you didn’t have any expectations for them before the beginning.
They fought a long and hard battle for Dwight Howard. Steve Nash could have played for any team. He selected the Lakers because they’re his best chance at winning a championship.
All-in-all, the entire situation is kind of comical. On Friday night, even Jack Nicholson, looked suspiciously like he had given up the Lakers. He sided with Blake Griffin when the power forward fought with the referees for the correct call, which was to send Metta World Peace to the foul line instead of Kobe Bryant. He also welcomed Lamar Odom back to the Staples Center court. Both are something a true Lakers fan would never stand for.
On Wednesday, Nash looked frustrated and mentally worn out before he left the court during play with a shin injury. He didn’t play against the Clippers on Friday.
Fingers are being pointed at Mike Brown. It’s hard to find a flaw in the Lakers roster so it must be the coaching. But even in LA, a coach won’t get fired three games deep. Friday night during the Lakers game, Nash stated that he still has faith in the newly implemented Princeton offense. Another Laker also protected his coach.
Kobe Bryant told reporters, “It’s going to be a little edgy because I’m not a very happy camper around here right now.”
Then, he got really sassy and told reporters:
“Now you have Mike Brown telling everybody to be patient,” Bryant said. “Back then, it was Phil Jackson telling everybody to shut up.
“The critics are more likely to take runs at him [Brown] than they would at Phil Jackson.”
Now Bryant can be the one to ask for silence. “Yeah because I’ve won, so I can,” Bryant said. “Mike, it would be a little tougher for him to say that. So I’ll say it for him: Everybody shut up. Let us work.”
This is actually the nicer part of the interview. Bryant also used the words “idiotic”, “stupid” and “dumb” to describe the media and fans who contribute to his paycheck.
Pau Gasol has been playing well and is the backbone of the team’s defence. It’s noticeable that he’s trying to alter his game to fit the team’s needs. As has Jordan Hill.
Bryant has been posting some James Harden numbers.
During the season opening game against the Dallas Mavericks, it was hard to see the All-Star center in Howard but so far, both he and Bryant are 60 percent from the field. Howard is hitting his free throws. Overall, there is no arguing his back injury is still a factor.
The Lakers lost to the Clippers. It makes it seem like there is a little bit of a power shifted happening in LA. However, this is just not the case.
There is absolutely no reason to worry about the Lakers.
Brown needs to learn how to lead superstars instead of swearing at referees. Even if Princeton offense is a good plan in theory, if it isn’t working with this team, it needs to go.
Howard and Nash both came from teams where they “had to do it all.” They need time to adjust both to Princeton offense and the new team. They lost by ten to the Clippers with Howard barely able to contribute and Nash is out. This isn’t really something to be upset over.
The Clippers aren’t the Clippers anymore. Chris Paul and company gave life to the franchise. They’re a legitimate contender for playoff finals.
Turnovers are a big issue but one that is easily fixed.
Bryant is playing better than he has in years. Putting up 40 points after 17 seasons is out of this world. In the NBA, 15 seasons is an amazing career. 40 points after 17 seasons is probably some kind of record.
There is no point in having Howard on the floor because the guy playing right now isn’t Howard. Hill is more than able to take on any challenger. They don’t need him yet but they do need him healthy.
There isn’t anything wrong with the Lakers that can’t easily be fixed in time.
Once the Lakers get it together, they’re going to give their fans something that they have never had before: A comeback story.