Mike Brown needs help. He’s barely a month into his first year in Los Angeles and he’s already asking too much of Kobe Bryant.
Kobe Bryant needs help. He’s playing like its June and the calendar currently reads January.
Mitch Kupchak needs help. He failed to land Chris Paul and now not even Dwight Howard can help this version of the Lake Show to another title.
The flaws are many. The fixes are few. The solutions aren’t limited to upgrading at point guard and trading for Dwight Howard. This Laker team needs much more in order to have any realistic shot at hanging a banner.
With the way Andrew Bynum is playing, swapping Drew for Howard would be like changing the rug when there’s a hole in the roof. Howard doesn’t bring enough to the table to make a blockbuster trade worth the Lakers’ while. In addition they’d likely have to include more key contributors that in the end would leave the Lakers in worse shape than they were before acquiring Howard.
Adding Howard to the mix won’t improve the bench. His presence in the middle won’t elevate this listless offense to lofty levels of the previous Showtime era.
Howard alone cannot do enough to help this team. These Lakers are fatally flawed and there isn’t enough that can be done during the season to get back on track for a championship.
Tonight, when Drew bangs with Dwight in the post, many will wonder what could be if the Lakers traded for Howard. In reality, they should be wondering what could become of this franchise after another disappointing exit from the playoffs. With or without Howard that is looking the likely fate of these Lakers. No single move can be made to right the ship.
The real issue is that the clock is ticking louder on Kobe’s career. There is no way he can keep this pace up and the last two games have shown just that. Kupchak hears the clock. He also hears the screams from management to cut costs.
Coach Brown has been dealt a bad hand but to his credit he’s making the most of it. At least he is when his team plays in Staples. Outside of those friendly walls the Lake Show is lost.
How is Dwight Howard going to make the Lakers a better team on the road? How is Howard going to get more out of his men than a proven leader like Kobe?
The answer is simple. Howard alone cannot cure all that ails the Lakers. While GM Mitch might feel the pressure to get Bryant and Brown more help right now, the truth is by trading Lamar Odom for a useless draft pick the decision on this season was already made.
Like it or not the Lakers are rebuilding in a very passive-aggressive way. They won’t admit to it. That is a sure fire way to send Kobe into a funk the likes of which we haven’t seen since Kupchak turned Kwame Brown into Pau Gasol. This time around there is no magic trade to appease Bryant and help turn the tide mid-season. This time around the Lakers have painted themselves into a corner. This time around could be the last time around for this Laker team as we know it. Many changes will have to be made, too bad that won’t happen until after the disappointment has set in during the offseason.