Normally, when the Lakers are, you know, good at playing basketball, I like to call this period of the year the “silly season”. It’s that period of about 4 weeks before the trade deadline when rumors of trades start to pop up, guys are supposedly “being shopped”, and fans get quite thirsty about how the Lakers can go from being one of the the top teams to the top team with a trade where Mitch Kupchak fleeces an opposing GM by acquiring their best player for one of those limited edition gold coins they sell on late night TV. Like I said, silly.
This year, however, the Lakers have not been, you know, good at playing basketball. They’ve been bad. Twelfth in the conference bad, more multiple game losing streaks than winning streaks bad. And with their current predicament, ideas of change start to seem less…silly. The Lakers have already canned one head coach this year as proof of their commitment to trying to get it right. Of course, it’s debatable they actually did get it right and that leads us into our links for the day…
- Will the Lakers consider trading Dwight Howard? Not yet, according to Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein, but that could change.
- Of course, the entire idea of trading Dwight is based off his unhappiness with how he’s being utilized on offense. Kevin Ding relays a story from the locker room after the Bulls loss about Howard’s unhappiness and then explains why people have just as much a reason to be unhappy with the big man’s play, and petulance, this season while stating it is time for Dwight to be held accountable.
- This idea of an unhappy Dwight due to his place within the Lakers’ offense sets up the idea that it’s either D’Antoni or Dwight that will end up leaving sooner rather or later. While Mitch Kupchak didn’t address that topic specifically to Dave McMenamin, L.A.’s GM did say he sees a problem with the players’ effort level on the floor and not necessarily with the head coach.
- Whatever the issues are, everyone is frustrated. Including Kobe Bryant, writes Mark Medina.
- On that same note, Adrian Wojnarowski has some choice quotes from Mr. Bean, including a succinct “Obviously, this isn’t working.”
- What needs to change, then? Mike Bresnahan says the Lakers need to forget Showtime and instead start to play slower.
- With all this hand-wrining, let’s change course. Here’s a handy guide of how the Lakers can get into the playoffs by analyzing the teams ahead of them in the conference.
- Lastly, Jordan Hill is set to have surgery on his hip today, officially ending his season. Get well soon, man.
Every year there’s a certain amount of drama that comes with the Lakers. Most years, that drama could be (at least somewhat) written off due to the stature of the team and where they stood in the standings. This year, however, things are different in that regard. Whether or not the drama endures remains to be seen. Winning will start to push some of the noise to the background and allow this team to refocus on larger goals. Winning, though, hasn’t come easy.
It’s important to continue to look at the big picture. Based off the reading above, the Lakers brass continues to do so. Every good plan has contingencies built in. Those side routes are normally only taken when the plan that was in place has gone totally awry. As of now, the organization seems to feel there is still a chance of recovery this season. We’ll see if that mindset changes in the near future and those contingencies are acted upon.