How do you solve a problem that is the Lakers?

How do you solve a problem that is this year’s Lakers?  The LA Lakers lost last night at home to the Washington Wizards after having a 16 point lead at the half, 100 – 103.  They had superstar Kobe Bryant back in the lineup along with Pau Gasol.  Still, they could not, and seemingly cannot get it together for an extended period of time.  They have suffered through numerous injuries to their megawatt star power, Steve Nash being out with a fractured fibula, Dwight Howard struggling with several injuries as well as finding his role in the Lakers’ offense, Kobe out for a few games (face it, Kobe doesn’t miss games unless he almost cannot breathe), Pau Gasol out for a number of weeks with an injured foot, Steve Blake out and recovering from abdominal surgery.  You name it, the Lakers have dealt with it.  They fired head coach Mike Brown early in the season and hired Mike D’Antoni, a controversial hire.  All in all, it has not completely meshed with any sustained continuity.  One simply cannot deny the enormous talent that is on this roster.  Yes, it is aging in some respects, but there is young talent on the bench, Jamison, Meeks to name two.  The problem seems to lie in defensive struggles, the lack of sustained playing time together between the starters, and perhaps the philosophy of D’Antoni which may not be the best fit.  Kobe, Nash and Howard have guaranteed us they will make the playoffs.  They likely will.  But, after that, where do they go?  Can they make any kind of run in the playoffs given the current state of affairs?  I want to say they can but I have been a Lakers fan since I was young…who cannot get caught up in the Staples Center rocking with movies stars in the house and the crowd chanting “I love LA”…plus all the storied seasons this franchise has put on display for all of us to enjoy.  At the end of the day, this team has not had time to put their talents together for a sustained period to learn to trust each other and really know each other and play together.  That may be the reason they do not succeed in Kobe’s quest for yet another title this year for sure.  One has to also question whether D’Antoni can be the solution as coach.  Will Dwight Howard sign on for anther year and give it a go next year with the hope of putting things together?  All of these questions are just that, questions that will have to be answered.  At times this Lakers team looks brilliant, but they struggle to maintain it night in and night out for four periods.  They struggle on defense.  Well, for all of us Lakers fans, we just have to hold our breath and wait and see.

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