Some thoughts on LA at the moment…
- Dwight Howard's still not quite 'Dwight'. He's far better than he was at the start of the season, but he's still not 'there' (wherever that destination is).
- He (Dwight) needs to shut-up. You can talk about "wanting a ring", but hit your goddamn FTs and hit 50+% from the field more often than not please. Hell, 50% from the charity stripe would be a blessing. With LA performing the way they are, this won't help much. Talk about it once you're part of the solution.
- I'm ok with Kobe Bryant shooting. Guy's hitting a very high percentage of shots from far further out than the bigs… but I'm not ok with Kobe taking quick shots from outside in the dying seconds of a game when the Lakers are down by 2. Look inside.
- Obviously, LA hurt for the absence of Steve Nash. Tho' I am honestly not buying the hand-wringing about his back-up (is he even?) Steve Blake being out. It's resulted in both Darius Morris and Chris Duhon getting some run. Now, neither are game winners, but both have been better than 'ok'. Morris is still too young, and Duhon too old… but they've been ok. Problem is, with one of those guys starting, and with Pau Gasol out so Antawn Jamison starting (vs Houston), the bench (not a strong point to begin with) is further decimated.
- I am beginning to think that perhaps Gasol might need to go. It's VERY difficult for me to say that, as he's been an absolute rock for LA… but having a player like Jamison (not necessarily Jamison himself!) would be a far better fit. I expected D'Antoni to be able to find a way to fit Gasol in, and Gasol to be able to find a way to fit… but it's not happening. Having more a stretch forward who's comfortable away from the basket might be a necessity.
- D'Antoni's vaunted offensive mind. Not saying it doesn't exist, but just that I haven't seen it yet.
- I do expect some stability when Nash returns. I expect D'Antoni (to an extent) to basically get outta the way at times and let Steve run things. I would not be surprised to see a significant improvement when Nash's back. Nash/Gasol back in the line-up bolsters the starting 5 hugely, and will make the bench a whole lot better.
There are no panic buttons being pressed as yet, but given the Lakers booted Mike Brown out after his start, stuff needs to start to change. Back on track, and soon please.