The Los Angeles Lakers simply can’t keep the same starting lineup on the floor. Sometimes, Mike D’Antoni won’t permit it. More often, the unceasing parade of injuries won’t allow it. Of the 14 guys on the roster, each has started at least once. That’s about the only commonality you’re gonna get this season. Scratch that, losing has also been a commonality. It’s technically not a majority at this specific time and place – the Lakers are 36 & 35 going into tonight’s game. The latest addition to the inactive list is Metta World Peace, more about that in the links below.
The Lakers are in Minnesota tonight and if there’s ever a shot to end a three-game skid and rally the troops you’d probably pick this match-up. The Timberwolves have lost 21 of these meetings in a row, their last victory being in double overtime, March 6, 2007. The Lakers went 42 & 40 that season. That was back in the days of Smush and Kwame and Vlad Rad. Eleven months later Pau Gasol arrived. Things got better for quite a while after that, until the Lakers managed to put together a supergroup for the ages and found themselves back where they had been six years earlier. In Minnesota, nursing a .500 record and per chance, a date with the record books once again.
Dave McMenamin for ESPN brings news of Metta’s torn knee ligament. Course of remedy to be determmined.
Eric Freeman from Ball Don’t Lie also reports on Metta’s injury, noting that further info would be coming after Peace’s appointment with team doctor Steve Lombardo today.
Satchel Price for SBNation updates Metta’s situation with news that he is likely lost for the remainder of the regular season.
Kevin Arnovitz for TrueHoop writes about the NBA’s hurt locker.
Kevin Ding for the OCRegister reasons that Kobe is the one who controls the Lakers’ trust issues.
Mike Bresnahan from the L.A. Times, on Dwight Howard’s dearth of touches in the 4th quarter.
C.A. Clark from Silver Screen and Roll tees off on Kobe Bryant’s defense.
The Kam Bros and their Land O’Lakers offer up a new podkast; Kobe’s defense, the losing streak and DJ Mbenga stories.
Kurt Helin for ProBasketballTalk shines a light on the Mavericks, suddenly looming large in the Lakers’ rear-view mirror.
Elizabeth Benson for Lakers Nation brings the pregame report for tonight’s match-up.
So where are we now? The moment you know (you know, you know). Given the age of the roster and contractual realities, this was guaranteed be a team in transition. The hope of course, was that it would also be lightning in a bottle, a glorious coming together of past and present stars, the endgame being champagne and at some point, memoirs. Instead it has been a rubbernecking pileup by the side of the road.
The Lakers lace them up against the T-Wolves tonight. Jodie Meeks will start at the two-guard and Kobe will slide over to the wing. It won’t be nationally televised. Eleven games to go in the regular season, trying to hang onto eighth place in the west. Fingers are crossed. Just walking the dead.