Smart money would not have predicted that this season’s Lakers would be lower in the standings at this point in time than last season’s lockout model, or the Smush versions, or the Rudy T. limited edition. I’m not quite sure about that last one though. The 2004-05 campaign ended with a .415 average under Frank Hamblen’s stewardship. He was just keeping the chair warm for Phil at that point.
There are any number of plausible reasons and explanations for our present .444 position – most of which have been voiced here, there and everywhere. One of the most common hopeful lifelines is that we just have to wait until Steve gets back. That’s not smart money. It’s not “the chalk” in betting terminology. It’s a storyline though – the idea that a 38 year-old point guard coming off a fractured leg, will lead this talented, aging team of polar opposites to the promised land, coming from way, way back in the pack. Beware the links:
Tom Ziller at SBNation offers a blunt view of Pau Gasol at this point in his career.
Dave McMenamin for ESPNLos Angeles examines new drama and old problems for the slow-learning Lakers.
Ramona Shelburne at ESPNLos Angeles relays Kobe’s support for the beleaguered Pau Gasol, now sitting with tendinitis.
Jeff Miller at the OC Register reads between the lines for Mike D’Antoni.
Aaron McGuire at Gothic Ginobi writes about Kobe.
Drew Garrison at Silver Screen and Roll breaks down last night’s loss.
Eric Pincus at the LATimes offers a preview for tonight’s game.
Eric Freeman at Ball Don’t Lie examines Dwight Howard’s free-throw woes.
Kobe Bryant is 13 points away from 30,000. Rey Moralde at SportsCity has the story.
Kevin Chan for Lakers Nation writes about the Lakers search for consistency.
The Lakers have taken their unlikely show on the road. They played well last night in Houston until they didn’t. And this is where we now find ourselves, watching the losses mount and the odds climb on the tote board. Tonight they face the soon-to-be New Orleans Pelicans, and get another roll of the dice with their disparate parts and injuries, and a new coach trying to fit square pegs into round holes. A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum. The Lakers turned into longshots.