Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
There is plenty of blame to go around for the Lakers highly disastrous start to a season in which championship talk was alive in August. Jim Buss hasn’t exactly had the steadiest hand on the wheel as the Buss ups keep mounting. Mike D’Antoni’s coaching style has not yet revealed itself as being any better than whatever Mike Brown was trying to accomplish. Dwight Howard is far from the dominant force that we’ve come to expect whenever we see all those numbers hanging from the rafters at Staples.
In all we could play the blame game from now until Andrew Bynum actually plays for the 76ers and still wouldn’t get to all the talking points.
But the one factor that has truly prevented the bottom from falling out of the shaky stage the Lake Show performs on these days is all the injury issues.
Until D’Antoni’s savior (Steve Nash) suits up for the coach whose career he made then there is no real way to critique the offense.
Until D’Antoni finally realizes that Pau Gasol is a post player and not some Euro seven- footer who camps in the corner then the hidden potential in this team cannot be realized.
Until Howard is back at full strength we can’t know if he’s the defensive force this team so badly needs.
Until Jordan Hill’s back isn’t taking him in and out of the rotation and Steve Blake is finally back on the court we won’t know what kind of a bench the Lakers boast of.
Basically it’s hard to know exactly what state this Lakers team is in due to all the health concerns.
Luckily both Nash and Gasol were back in practice yesterday with the Spaniard possibly being available tonight against Charlotte. Nash is targeting Christmas for his return date.
Those would be two very welcome gifts under the Laker tree. There is reason to believe things are starting to look up. Getting two All-Star caliber players back in time for the very necessary hot streak is mandatory. Unless the Lakers can start stringing together wins then the early season hole will be far too deep to climb out of. As it stands getting to the sixth seed in the West will be a real accomplishment.
That’s a pretty daunting task when you’re rotating Antauwn Jamison, Devin Ebanks, Chris Duhon and Darius Morris in and out of the starting lineup. If nothing else having a healthy roster provides stability.
So while there is plenty of blame to go around this holiday season let’s hold off on passing final judgment until D’Antoni has all his weapons available. Now if that happens and we see the same results we’ll know there is coal waiting in that stocking.