For the LA Lakers, it has been a frustrating and controversial season up to this point. They were the big story during the off-season past, after making the huge acquisitions of All-Star center Dwight Howard and also veteran point guard Steve Nash. They also added some great role players like Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison and even Jordan Hill while in the meantime they retained their core players, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Piece. Every media, newspaper and TV show stated that the Lakers looked unbeatable in paper. They were supposed to be one of the few teams in the entire NBA that could contend for a title against the Champions Miami Heat. They, together with the Oklahoma City Thunder looked to have all the pieces set to chase a ring. However, the reality was vastly different for the team.
The beginning of the season was disappointing and the Lakers lost 4 out of their 5 first games. That led to the immediate firing of Coach Mike Brown, who was to blame for the team’s ineffective way of play. On top of this, the injury of Steve Nash after appearing in just 2 games was devastating for the Lakers. In addition, Dwight Howard came back to action after a serious back injury. Things continued to go south for LA, as they lost also backup point guard who torn an abdominal muscle and had to undergo surgery. The sophomore Darius Morris suddenly stepped into the power rotation, but the difference between him and Nash or Blake was obvious in the game play. The team continued to struggle on both ends of the floor, committing many turnovers and not finding its offensive rhythm, even after the new Coach Mike D’Antoni took over. Despite the winning record being slightly improved, the Lakers continued to struggle and hover over and under 0.500. It is very unusual to see the LA Lakers lying under the 8th seed at the Conference Standings. Pau Gasol was injured with a tendonitis and remained sidelined for eight games. His performance this season did not match the great expectations every Lakers fan had, but that was just another drawback to the team’s general appearance.
The end of 2012 found the Lakers on the verge of 0.500 with a 15-15 record. Of course things got better for them after both Nash and Gasol got back from the injuries. The Lakers won a tough derby against the New York Knicks, at a game that marked Nash’s return. It was a momentum victory for them.
Of course it’s normal for a team with so many new roster acquisitions to be in a bonding stage for a short period of time. However, the Lakers have to rush this stage and balance their way of play as we approach the Playoffs. Steve Nash is almost 39 years old, Kobe turned 34 this summer and also Gasol is 32. With this aging roster and 1-2 years possibly this team stays together, the Lakers are in a win-now situation. That’s why in 2013 they have to fight their way back and re-enter their way of chasing a championship.
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