I’m sure I’m not the only person that cringes when the Lakers play. One of the most storied franchises in NBA history are just straight up terrible this season. Even though they have one of the best point guards in the league, one of the best two guards of all time, and a pretty skilled and intimidating front line, LA SUCKS! The Lakers have become that confidence boosting game on everyone’s schedule. Even the Bobcats were looking forward to heading into Staples Center earlier this season, where they almost pulled out a win. What’s going on in LA? I’ll tell you exactly what’s going on!!!
For starters, the Lakers have no leader. Yep I said it… Despite what a lot of people think, in my opinion, Kobe Bryant is NOT a leader. A leader is a guy who knows how to communicate and motivate everyone in the organization from top to bottom. Whether it’s his play, the way he practices, the extra time he puts in, or just the confidence he instills in everyone around him, a leader for lack of better words, LEADS. Kobe does not do that. Bryant calls out his teammates, points the finger in the media, and sometimes rocks the boat with the intention of lighting a fire under his teammates. That may work with a guy like Metta World Peace, but may not work with a guy like Dwight Howard. A leader can adjust to get their point across to everyone around them. That is missing in Laker Land. LA should still be upset with David Stern about sending CP3 to the Clippers; I know I would be.
Secondly, Mike D’Antoni is horrible. In the NBA, great coaches are the guys that can demand the little things from their players, implement schemes on both ends that play to the strength of their personnel, and manage games in the process. Mike D’Antoni does NONE OF THE ABOVE. For a guy that is known as one of the great offensive minds in the league, the Lakers visibly struggle at times on offensive end night in and night out. The run and gun offense that makes D’Antoni a “great offensive mind” doesn’t work in Laker Land. A 33+ year old backcourt grouped with a flat-footed power forward and a center with a bad back doesn’t really fit the seven second or less offensive D’Antoni is known for. HEY MIKE, MAKE AN ADJUSTMENT! I’ve also watched D’Antoni coach whole games against guys like Tony Parker switching all ball screens. This is what I mean by game management. You can not, and I repeat, CAN NOT switch Gasol or Earl Clark onto a guy like Tony Parker. If it isn’t an automatic bucket by Parker, it is one for Tim Duncan. Gotta be smarter Mike.
Lastly, defense wins ball games. It’s clear to see, especially in close games, the Lakers look lost defensively. I’m not sure if it is lack of defensive schemes, or guys just being out of position but something needs to change. You can point as many fingers as you want, but in my opinion, this falls back to your coach. Guys should be well prepared, know their spots, and be ready for the challenge. So far it’s been a mess on the defensive end, even with Dwight Howard serving as the anchor of this team. The Lakers better figure it out, and fast, because in the wild wild west, there is little room for error before you get buried alive or ran out of town.