Team Injuries Will Make It Difficult For The Lakers To Rebound During The 2013-14 Season
Los Angeles Lakers fans are in a position they aren’t too familiar with, their team is losing a lot of games and there is no end in sight. They were in a similar situation last season because of injuries, at one point they were 8 games below .500 but the fans continued to buy Lakers tickets knowing that they would fight their way back because of all the talent they had.
There is no such hope this season, the team played very hard early in the season to stay around .500 until their star player Kobe Bryant mad it back from an Achilles injury he suffered late last season. Bryant made it back earlier than expected, but only managed to play in six games before losing him again to injury, this time for 6 weeks with a fracture in his knee. They have lost 7 out of 9 games since Bryant’s injury, and are fourth in the Pacific Division at 14-20.
If the injury to Bryant wasn’t enough, the Lakers point guards seem to be dropping like flies. They are still without the services of point guard Steve Nash, who has only played in 6 games this season, with no timetable for his return. Backup point guard Steve Blake has also been injured for close to a month, with an elbow injury. Jordan Farmer, who just returned from a hamstring tear, tore another hamstring and is out for at least 4 weeks. Kendall Marshall is the 4th player to start at point guard for the Lakers this season.
On offense, the Lakers are 16th in the league scoring 99.7 points. On defense they are allowing 104.2 points per game, which is 28th in the league. The average offense can be attributed to the injuries to Byrant, Nash, and Farmar. Head coach Mike D’Antoni has never been known as a defensive coach, but he needs to get his team to start playing better defense or else they will end up being a lottery team and he will have to dust his resume off because he will be looking for a new job.
The Lakers still have a chance to make the playoffs, but need a few things to go their way. Unfortunately for them they play in the Western Conference, which is tougher than the Eastern Conference where teams can make the playoffs with a sub .500 record. They will need to win at least 45 games like they did last season, and will need Bryant and the other injured players to return from injury, which will provide some much needed depth for the team.
Realistically, their chances of making it are rather slim because of the competition they have to face in the Western Conference. Even if Kobe Bryant comes back early from his injury, he is most likely going to be rusty and it will take some time to develop some chemistry with some of his teammates since he has only played 6 games so far this season. They will also need to pick up their defensive intensity drastically for them to even have a shot at the playoffs, which doesn’t seem likely.