After yesterday’s loss to the Bucks, the Lakers only have 9 games left in their season. Their record in the previous 73 games shows 37 wins and 36 defeats. They are, in essence, a .500 team who, based on their baseline play, are just another team fighting for their short term lives rather than plotting towards more long term goals in the second season. There is no strategic positioning taking place, no looking ahead. In fact, the Lakers are looking behind them as their recent falters have the Jazz and Mavs coming up quickly with their blinkers on eyeing the passing lane on the freeway of the western conference standings.
At this point, there’s not much new to say about this team. The ups and downs that come from the on court product no longer surprise, like riding the same roller coaster all day at the amusement park. This team is what it is. Banged up. Flawed. Hard working in stretches, but not consistent in their drive to achieve. Like milk that’s been left out in the sun, there’s a pervasive sourness to the evolution of this season; a season where most of the breaks the Lakers have caught have been bad ones.
Some of the wounds they’ve endured have been done unto them, others have been self inflicted. But when the autopsy is performed on this season, all that will be seen are the scars. Make no mistake, there’s fighting still to do. This team has some proud players who only know one direction to travel in. But this season’s journey looks like it will end much sooner than many thought (and hoped) it would. Around the web we go…
At Land O’ Lakers, Brian Kamenetzky sees a Lakers’ team that’s not just fatigued but one that’s fraying as well.
At Yahoo!, Adrian Wojnarowski sees Kobe limping out of the Bucks’ arena and sees a Lakers team also hobbling down the stretch.
At the L.A. Times, Mike Bresnahan has the word on Kobe’s ailment as well word on Steve Nash’s “hip spasm”.
Speaking of Nash, at ESPN LA Dave McMenamin talks of the point guard’s sense urgency this season.
In recapping the loss to the Bucks, Brett Pollakoff of Pro Basketball Talk details what went wrong and how the playoff spot that seemed so assured a week ago is now in jeopardy.
At Silver Screen & Roll, Chris Clark also talks about the Bucks game and how it was just another example of what we’ve seen all season.
Also at SS&R, Drew Garrison explores Pau Gasol’s role on offense and how the Spaniard must break some bad habits of floating on the perimeter and find ways to get back into the post.
In a piece of news that’s a bit happier, Metta World Peace had successful surgery on his knee yesterday. Get well soon, man.
I think all Lakers fans were happy to see the Heat’s win streak end at 27 and, in the process, preserve the 1972 Lakers’ record of 33 straight wins. At the L.A. Daily News, Mark Medina caught up with that team’s head coach, Bill Sharman, who expressed his happiness that the record remains “in the family”.
Speaking of the streak, Lakers.com has a great info-graphic comparing the Lakers’ streak to the Heat’s. There are some great nuggets in there, including the fact that the Lakers played FOUR back-to-back-to-backs in their streak.
The season trudges on with a game in Sacramento on Saturday. The Kings are coming off two consecutive road wins and would like nothing else than to help dig the Lakers’ hole even deeper. How much fight this team has left in them will help determine how much further they can go on this journey, but so will the opponent on the other end of the floor and the other external variables that haven’t much helped the team this year either. I’ll be watching — as will most of you, I assume — but I’d be lying if I said prospects looked as good as they did just a week ago. As an old favorite of mine used to say, things can turn on a trifle. The Lakers know that all too well this season.