Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
It’s the inconvenient truth the Los Angeles Lakers don’t want to face. No matter how many games there are left on the schedule this season is pretty much over.
Nearly halfway through the 2012-13 campaign and this team is still below .500 and still out of the playoffs all together.
It seems with each passing week we’re offered some new excuse/reason why the team is underperforming. At first it was Mike Brown’s coaching. Then it was the absence of Steve Nash. Next it was the adjustment to Mike D’Antoni’s system. And now, after Tuesday’s lackluster loss to the 76ers, it’s old age.
Apparently the Lakers are too old to give a consistent effort every night. At least that must be the reasoning. Lately it feels like every time the Lake Show gives a worthy effort the end result is victory (see Christmas Day win over the Knicks). Whenever they’re lacking effort and/or energy we get the debacle that was Tuesday.
According to Kobe Bryant the inconsistencies in effort stem from the inability to reverse the hands of time. Not that we didn’t already know the Lakers didn’t have the legs to run every night in D’Antoni’s system. That concern was raised well before he officially had the job.
The problem now is all the other problems are only exasperated by the length of the Lakers’ teeth.
In many ways Kobe’s claims of the team being “old as s&*#” are valid. However since when did age have anything to do with effort? Especially since Tuesday’s effort came three full days after the Lakers’ previous game. We’re not talking about playing three games in three nights here when veteran legs become tired. No, this was two games in four nights yet age was somehow a factor.
For my money this is all about focus and determination. When the Lakers finally come to grips with how much work they have to do just to get into a prime playoff position then maybe we’ll see the urgency and focus necessary to win with more consistency. Until then we’ll just wait for the next excuse to come up after the next inexplicable loss.