Hello sports media!!! How are you? Good? OK? I have a simple question to as you all as a whole.
Were the Los Angeles Lakers overrated before this season started?
Let me be frank: this is mostly your fault. Yes, you people. You fell in love with the story lines You expected a team riddled with aging stars and three coaches to coast to the championship. You made the declarations that the Lakers will be the team to beat this year. You did. It’s all your fault. Rant. Blame. Rant.
But I have more questions to ask you all, if you don’t mind.
Did some overrate the acquisition of Dwight Howard?
Perhaps. Even though he’s leading the league in free throw attempts and headbands, Howard has been less than dominant in his tenure as a Laker. Blame injuries if you want. As a four-time Defensive Player of the Year, the only defense needed to render him ineffective is to foul him in the fourth quarter.
I think the media has yet to give Stan Van Gundy more credit for Howard’s defensive success with the Orlando Magic. Now we are starting to see that Howard can be effective defensively, but defense is a team stat, not an individual one. Plus, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni’s defensive scheme for Howard is probably put his hands up and guarding everybody on the court at once.
Did some overrate Kobe Bryant’s ability to lead a team of aging stars, even though he’s having one of his best seasons efficiently?
Yes, they did. Regardless of stats and the eye-test, the Lakers look discombobulated. Kobe has not had to change anything regarding his game. He still gets his 20 shots a game. He still gets the ball when he wants it. He still kisses Vanessa Bryant after games. Nothing has changed.
But let’s be honest: among everyone else in the Lakers organization, Bryant has done the least adjusting. To simply tell Pau Gasol to “adjust” isn’t fair when Kobe hasn’t had to his entire career as a Laker.
Did some overrate the acquisition of Steve Nash?
The jury is still out. Even though he’s been unhealthy for the last two years, Nash no longer has the Phoenix Suns magical medical staff to repair him anymore. Regardless, when Nash comes back from his leg injury, guarding players like Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul isn’t going to help his recovery process any faster. The real litmus test for this team will occur when he comes back.
Did some overrate the acquisition of Mike D’Antoni?
Not yet. A rocky 3-5 start is actually what most expected. New stars. New coach. New system. These things are going to take time. Even if legendary Phil Jackson was coaching, I don’t think there is much you can do at this point, and expect immediate results. The expectation fromLakers fans and media that all these acquisitions were supposed to translate to immediate results. D’Antoni deserves some of the blame, but he’s in a no-win situation.
Did some overrate the Lakers as a whole?
Definitely. But it is not a matter of overrating the Lakers. It is a matter of underrating the other teams in the West (Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers). The Lakers have fallen into a hole, and there are not too many promising signs that this ship will get better. Mike Brown isn’t walking through that door bro.
Delayed gratification is your best friend in this scenario.