By: Richie Boswell
The Los Angeles Lakers got romped by Oklahoma City last night 122-105. The Lakers are now back under .500 at 30-31 with an upcoming match up against the New Orleans Hornets. This should be an easy win for LA, however this entire season has been centered around if Kobe could coexist with Dwight Howard and Mike D’Antoni’s fast-paced “Run N’ Gun” offense.
The Lakers are improving their record, but that does not mean the chemistry is going smoothly. Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant are two of the biggest ball hogs in the league, so there is no question both of them want the ball. Both Kobe and Steve Nash have already made it known that they’re frustrated with Dwight. Dwight clearly is the best center in the league with great athleticism and the ability to score down in the post. However, Dwight sometimes takes bad shots and has one of the worst free throw percentages in the league. This has gotten some of the Lakers’ players to really speak out their frustrations about him.
Kobe is a serious a player, who just wants to win and nobody can deny that. Dwight jokes around a lot, which doesn’t bold well for him in that particular locker room. Although, since the all star break it has gotten better in Tinseltown, but not good enough. Ball hogs and jokers don’t get teams anywhere, especially last night when Dwight only managed to make 1 shot going into halftime. I feel like Dwight is still trying to adapt to the fact that he is not the No. 1 option anymore and that this is Kobe’s team, but again its getting a little better as the season has progressed. However, if the Lakers do manage to make the playoffs, the chemistry won’t be there to help them win anything.
Personally, I don’t feel that Dwight is the major problem. I think Mike D’Antoni is their problem, who runs a “Run N’ Gun”, which is a fast-paced offense with having the ability to score quickly. This offense doesn’t bold well for an aging team such as the Lakers. This offense evolves around the point guard position, which is Steve Nash. Steve is really good, but he is 39 almost 40. An older point guard does not go well in this particular offense. The “Run N’ Gun” is designed for a younger offense like the Houston Rockets.
Although the Lakers rank 6th in offense, it’s their horrid defense that gets everybody going. Bad transition, bad shot blocking, and sometimes just flat out laziness kill this team on defense. They currently are ranked at 24th. I really hope the Lakers consider letting go of D’Antoni for the reason that his system doesn’t work entirely well. The Lakers’ fans have huge expectations every year and this year, they have not met any goals what so ever. I think another coach would be more beneficial for the Lakers, but that’s up to the Buss family if they want to make that move or not. Whatever they’re thinking, they have to think what is going to make the most sense for their aging roster.