The Los Angeles Lakers continue their up and down season, both in games won and lost and within the games themselves, often swinging wildly from quarter to quarter. At their best, they are an elite team – currently in 3rd place in the west and certainly in contention for a championship run. When not at their best, which is too often these days, they resemble a train wreck. Last night against Houston, they dominated in the first quarter, and veered on and off the track for the remainder of the game. Andrew Bynum was tossed and laughed about it on his way out. The team could use an extra serving of leadership right about now.
Brian Kamenestzy at the Land O’Lakers, contrasts positives such as Ramon Sessions’ offensive push, with a lack of ball movement late in the game, and a continued reluctance to put Gasol down on the block.
C.A. Clark at Silver Screen and Roll offers a number of game descriptions, including his least favorite – that the Lakers lost because they found out what worked for them and made sure to stay as far away from that as humanly possible, for the rest of the game. Clark also writes about Kobe today.
Mike Bresnahan at the L.A. Times writes that Bynum’s rejection becomes the Lakers’ dejection.
Devin Ebanks is one of the more seldom seen sophomores in the league this season. Bresnahan and Mark Medina report that his lack of playing time may affect his decision process for next season.
Over at the O.C. Register, Kevin Ding explains that he broke his leg before handing the story off to Jason McDaniel.
Beat writer Darnell Mayberry at the Oklahoman looks at the notion of Derek Fisher as a member of the OKC Thunder.
The Lakers are not what is traditionally thought of as a rebuilding team. The presence of our big three tends to draw attention away from an objective big picture. In truth however, the organization in its attempt to move forward for the future, has undergone seismic changes. A chorus line of coaches and players have exited stage left, taking some 34 championship rings with them. The incoming class has decidedly less hardware – Mike Brown worked under Coach Pop during the Spurs 2003 title run, John Kuester was an assistant with the Pistons in 2004, and Chuck Persons is the lone holdover from the Phil Jackson days. Fortunes will hopefully change as the team grows and learns but as we all know, the rebuilding process can be painful. The Lakers visit the championship Dallas Mavericks tonight, another team facing trials and tribulations.
– Dave Murphy