Many people's favourites for the NBA Championship, the Lakers slipped to three opening losses in a row.
Big things were expected of the Los Angeles Lakers. Having traded for perennial All Stars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard it was supposed to be a walk in the park.
As of 05/11 they are 1-3. The team's worst start in a number of years. Is it time to panic for Kobe Bryant and the Lakers?
One thing that’s caught my eye is Dwight Howard’s level of play as a Laker. It hasn’t taken him long to adjust to new teammates, a new city and a new team. In 4 games he’s averaging 23.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.
It’s taken him no time to adjust at all. It shouldn’t take a player of his stature too long to adjust and Dwight has answered his naysayers with complete domination basketball and it’s going to continue as long as his health holds up.
The only negative I have seen over the past few weeks from Howard are turnovers. Chemistry issues and adjustment to the Princeton offense will take some time and has been the focal point of the Lakers three first defeats of the season.
Turnovers have been an issue for the team and opponents are making the team pay for it. The Lakers gave up 99, 116 and 105 points against the Mavericks, Trailblazers and Clippers but saw improvements against Detroit only giving up 79 points.
During the first three games, the Lakers were averaging 19.67 turnovers a game and coach Mike Brown highlighted that: ‘We played well in stretches, moved the ball well, moved our bodies well, we get great looks and then we get bogged down by turnovers.
"It’s tough to see the 25 points off the 20 turnovers and then on top of that they get 9 offensive rebounds, which is great. I’ll live with giving somebody 9 offensive rebounds but to score 20 second chance points off those 9 offensive rebounds, it’s tough."
The Lakers were clicking on all cylinders in the game against the Pistons. Great overall play from Howard, Gasol and Kobe and even the bench and Metta World Peace were clicking together.
All these positives in one game without our primary playmaker PG Steve Nash, just imagine how great they’ll be once he’s available again and given the freedom he’s become accustomed to?
Granted it was against the lowly Detroit Pistons but surely it’s only up from here?
Laker fans must not worry, this time two years ago the superteam Miami Heat of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh went 9-8 before winning the next 21 of 22 games.
A similar fate could be expected of the Lakers who have the better overall team than the Heat did back in 2010/2011.
The Los Angeles Lakers are finally in the win column and order has been restored in the basketball world.
image: © octupushat