This archived article was written by: Travon Langston
As the first half of the season is winding down for the Lakers, it is not going as planned. Before the season started, the Lakers had a terrific offseason. Picking up the No. 1 center in the NBA, Dwight Howard, one of the best point guards to ever play the game of basketball, Steve Nash, and also picking up one of the best shooters in the NBA today, Antawn Jamison.
Knowing that, the Lakers still have the best shooting guard in the league, Kobe Bryant. Coming into the season, the Lakers were picked to be a powerhouse team. They have all the pieces to be a great team in the Western Conference.
The Lakers lost four games to start off the season, and fired Coach Mike Brown. They had the chance to hire Phil Jackson, one of the best coaches to ever coach the game. Jackson wanted too much money and wanted partial ownership of the Lakers. Current owner, Jerry Buss, didn’t like that offer so they declined. They hired Coach Mike D’Antoni, former New York Knicks coach.
D’Antoni isn’t a bad coach, he just doesn’t teach defense, and that became a problem for the Lakers. They lost seven straight games with D’Antoni as head coach. During the first loss Nash got injured with a fractured right leg which hurt the Lakers tremendously as they lost the next six. They don’t have a good backup point guard that can play defense, shoot or pass as well as Nash.
As the season progressed, starter Gasol, and Howard both sustained serious injuries on Jan. 6. Gasol has a serious concussion and likely won’t play until after the first half of the season is over. Howard has a torn labrum, but he made his return on the Jan. 14. Injuries are not the main factor in Lakers losses unfortunately. They lack team chemistry, and without the star players the Lakers won’t make the playoffs. The last time they didn’t go to the playoffs was 2004-2005 season.
If the Lakers don’t make the playoffs, I highly doubt that Howard will re-sign with them. That means they could potentially give up one of the best centers, and having already passed up one of the best coaches the Lakers could be in trouble next year. Being 17-22, will the Lakers have a turnaround season or will they just be all talk?