Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
There is ample reason to believe the 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers will go down as one of the great epic failures in recent hoops history. Six games below .500, completely out of the playoff picture and mired n a run of poor play this team and all its talent is officially a lost cause.
What’s so troubling is that things shouldn’t be this bad. Sure, the coaching turmoil and injuries have played a large role in sabotaging a supposed title contending season. However at any point in time the Lakers have started no less than two All-Star caliber players and their core is composed of veterans with a championship pedigree.
So why have things gone so sideways?
That’s a question better left answered once all the dust has settled this season. Now if you want to get into why things aren’t improving then that has to fall on the veteran leaders and the coaches.
Two issues that have completely derailed this season are turnovers and horrible defense. Those are two problems that no hoops team on the planet can overcome to win with any regularity regardless of the talent.
Initially the thought was Steve Nash would return and the turnover problem would be put to rest. That hasn’t happened. This team still plays with no flow on offense routinely playing sloppy ball in an effort to put up points without any true commitment to a hoops philosophy. More often than not it’s the Kobe Bryant show as the team stands around a watches the games best scorer do this thing.
As for the defense…Mike D’Antoni. Need I say more?
The Lakers aren’t even trying to play D most of the time, content to concede easy buckets in the paint in hopes of getting the ball back up court in a hurry. Dwight Howard’s health has largely been singled out as the reason for L.A.’s poor presence in the paint. But that has nothing to do with the lack of communication or the desire to give a good effort. That’s not a recipe for success. It’s a guarantee that there is no way to turn this thing around.
Until the Lakers take better care of the ball and take more pride in playing defense nothing is going to change. We’re too far down this road to keep hoping and waiting for something to change. Change needs to happen now. Unfortunately it’s already too little too late.
Showing no signs of improvement is a clear indication that this team is what it is. So we should just make our peace with that now and start thinking about the future.