But does it even matter? Are the non-stop injuries even hurting the Lakers?
Earlier this week, the Lakers announced that Metta World Peace tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee during a game against the Golden State Warriors. He has undergone successful surgery in Los Angeles and is expected to be out a minimum of six weeks. World Peace will not see regular season play again. Unless the Lakers do better during the playoffs than anyone expects, other than Kobe Bryant, he will not see the court again until next season.
While World Peace’s injury does hurt the Lakers chances of securing wins during their playoff run, it shouldn’t. World Peace is statistically the least vital piece of the Lakers starting line up. However, like Earl Clark and Jordan Hill, he just goes out and plays the game. He doesn’t try to play hero ball or go one-on-one when the team is up.
Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol have been iffy all season. Sometimes they’re helpful in securing a win but more often than not, the Lakers win in the backcourt. The frontcourt has been a sore spot all season, especially on defense.
Bryant’s injury is one to worry about right now. He was on a crutch due to a bone spur and according to Mike Trudell, Bryant was examined by a specialist on Friday. He is probable to play Saturday.
Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports that Mike D’Antoni is growing frustrated with Bryant, healthy or not. Ding reported that: “D’Antoni conducted his entire postgame news gathering with his arms crossed, dropping more hints about Bryant being a ball-stopper.”
“Just play the game. We try to go a little bit too much one-on-one.” D’Antoni said, referring the Lakers loss to Milwaukee Bucks.
Although Bryant is the centerpiece of the franchise, the Lakers should be able to win without him. Howard won without a big four as did Steve Nash. The Lakers need good basketball more than they need the entire line up on the court.