With it being no lockout this season, the Lakers took full advantage of the time and their prestige. They went out and added Steve Nash, a definite upgrade at point guard. If they were not finished there, they added Dwight Howard at center. Not as big an upgrade, but an upgrade nevertheless.
Then it begins, they hype that is!
The Lakers starting 1-4 is not a help to that hype. In fact, it can quickly turn into panic. That in itself creates problem number 1 for the purple and gold. Some players are not equipped to deal with that hype on a nightly basis. Looking up at that LA crowd is just a tad different from looking at any other NBA crowd. That will take time and I’m sure the Dwights of the world will definitely get past that part of the issue. Even though air balling a free throw is not an indication that it will be quite so soon.
Age might become the biggest of issues for this year’s Lakers. Lets not forget that Steve Nash had “Mike Miller Syndrome” at times last season. You could often find him lying on the bench, as opposed to the oh so traditional sitting. Nash is well on the other side of 35 and can’t possibly be as durable as you’d like your starting point guard to be.
Lets not forget about injuries to Howard and Bryant. While Bryant is indeed a warrior and will seemingly play through anything, injuries are injuries. With a few more losses, those injuries may begin to hurt just a tad more. Howawrd is still recovering from back surgery but looks fine offensively. Coming into the season most would’ve thought that his injuries would be the most troublesome, however those tides have turned quite quickly.
Some will say that the main problem is coaching and those same may want the immediate removal of one Mike Brown. This is the guy that missed on delivering a title in Cleveland, but we won’t even touch on that. Mike Brown has been given a loaded team and he might want to turn it around due to that aforementioned panic.
Here is why you can’t blame Mike Brown, and is possibly the biggest reason for the Lakers’ stumble. By trading for Dwight Howard the Lakers are essentially saying that the Bryant era is nearing its end. Bryant, himself, has acknowledged that he may hang it up once his contract is over.
While Bryant can still put the ball in the goal as good as anybody, it just doesn’t fit what Mike Brown wants to do on offense. Running Brown’s “Princeton” offense (which i find hilarious) is quite the opposite of running your offense through Bryant.
The Lakers clearly want to move forward, but they don’t want to let go. By no way am I saying they should trade Bryant but maybe its time for somebody to realize something. Having two guys that can be near unstoppable at times (Bryant and Howard) but taking the ball out of their hands for back cuts and sliding screens just can’t be the most effective way to use them.
To sum up the Lakers’ Problems, their problems are themselves at this point. They went out and spent the money, made the deals, therefore created the hype. At some point someone will have to look in the mirror and ponder about the present.
If this tart is any indication, the Lakers could be in more trouble than what we actually think.