Los Angeles Lakers Revitalized?
After acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the offseason, expectations were sky high as they should be when you field a starting lineup with two former MVP's, two former Defensive Players of the year (Dwight and Ron Artest) and Pau Gasol. Kobe Bryant, throughout his storied career has never played alongside a star point guard in any sense of the word.
This season, with Nash in the fold, it seemed as though their offense would click on all cylinders while Dwight cleaned up everyone's defensive mess on the opposite end. Well, Nash has played in less than 10 games thus far, Dwight's been a shell of his former self on defense and Kobe has been launching shots from anywhere on the court with as many as three defenders on him at once.
The result? A 15-15 record through the first 30 games, on the outskirts of the Western Conference playoff picture looking way up to their now inner-city rival Clippers at the top of the NBA.
Los Angeles has become a divided city when it comes to basketball loyalty. There are the Laker faithful, which is the majority of the city and then there are the Clippers faithful - those who stuck with their team through and through. And then there are the classic bandwagoners. There are plenty of 'new' Clippers fans in Los Angeles because they root for the hot hand, the team that is performing is the team that gains the support.
Billy Crystal, longtime Clippers season ticket holder is gaining ESPN attention like never before. Kanye West sat courtside at the Clippers game on Christmas with Kim and Khloe Kardashian.
But that's neither here nor there. Can the Lakers turn around their season with their current setup on both ends of the floor? Probably not. Their defense is atrocious. Their offense relies heavily on Kobe deferring possession to Nash and that just wont happen all the time. The Lakers will eventually sneak into the bottom half of the playoffs - but their roster (and current coach) just wont get things done.