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Joe Chacon's Blog
Time to Blow Up the Lakers? Stuck
Posted on January 8, 2013 at 11:11 PM.


I was sitting inside a restaurant earlier this evening with some pretty bad phone reception. The app I use to check scores was only displaying one line of scores before timing out. In this case I saw "Lakers 112". As I tucked the phone back into my pocket I felt fairly confident that my beloved purple and gold had taken one on the road in Houston.

Granted, Houston does average around 106 points per game and have been heating up as of late, but for whatever reason I had a hunch the Lakers came together while two of their stars (Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol) sat out the game due to injuries.

Then again, how can one possibly have any sort of confidence with a starting lineup of Steve Nash, Darius Morris, Robert Sacre, Kobe Bryant, and Metta World Peace?

It looks like the Lakers made it a game through the first half. Then the wheels fell off the wagon and they were outscored 66-50 in the second half.

Leading up to this game I've never seen a more lackluster group of guys play defense. It appears half the time they are confused about their assignments and the other half of the time they just don't give a damn.

It truly is sad for a life-long Laker fan such as myself. I see the fire in Kobe's eye, I see Metta on the verge of becoming Ron Artest again, and I hear the disappointment in Nash's voice at the end of every game. It has gotten so bad that even Laker Legend James Worthy said this following their loss against Denver on Sunday, "The effort, the intangibles, I'm actually getting tired of talking about it every program."

The number of so-called "fans" that I see jumping ship and throwing on Clippers' colors is also quite alarming. I'll admit that I envy the way the Clippers play. They are out there having fun, enjoying each other on the court, and playing their butts off on defense. It's not so much about the wins and losses, it's the way they play that draws my admiration.

I keep going back to the Lakers' teams of the mid-late 90's. Sure those teams stunk it up more often than not, but you had guys like Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Elden Campbell, Anthony Peeler, Sedale Threatt, and Vlade Divac doing what they could do win ballgames. Let's never fail to mention the hustle of Anthony "Pig" Miller (remember the Pig Pen?).

I absolutely hate knee-jerk reactions by general managers, the media, and fans, but I think we've seen this experiment go on long enough. It's obvious Mike Brown wasn't the problem and Mike D'Antoni isn't the answer.

As consistent as Dwight Howard is, Pau Gasol isn't. Gasol is not going to be utilized the best way he can be. I love Nash, but he can't pick up his opponent on defense far enough from the basket to be as effective as he should be. The elite guys are going to run circles around him. Kobe appears to be taking everything in stride, but you can sense he's going to blow up at any moment.

This entire operation has the makings of a huge disaster on the horizon.

So, what do they do? Do they dismantle the team piece by piece and start obtaining young, athletic players and draft picks?

I'm not going to sit here and give you a blue print as to what the organization should do, because quite honestly, I don't know. I haven't seen a grand plan blow up like this since who knows when.

It's officially time to hit the panic button.


OS Voice: Which route would you take if you were in charge of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers? Blow the team up now and start the rebuilding process, or ride the current roster out and hope things turn around?


Joe Chacon is a staff writer for Operation Sports and a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.
Comments
# 1 SkillzKillz719 @ Jan 9
I would say it is not time to panic. The moment we stop caring about them, and the media leaves them alone, they will mesh. The media has gotten out of control.

If the Lakers played the Rockets in a pickup game with no media coverage, Lakers win easy. They would beat most teams actually. They have the talent, but they are human. Let them be.

I know ESPN tracks how often people click links to, obviously see what they post, and about a month ago, I stopped click on all the Laker links. The media seriously needs to let them be.
Just my opinion.
 
# 2 DubTrey1 @ Jan 9
Skills, I disagree. The media has nothing to do with playing defense. Pick up game or not, Lakers are not a good team. In my opinion, any team that has a guy like Kobe balling out of control like he is should be way better than they are. It's sad really, and who would have thought the day would come when the Clippers would be the big boys in LA?
 
# 3 WaddupCouzin @ Jan 9
Laker fan since 1980, team is just too inconsistent. Dub makes the point Kobe is balling out of control but for every highlight he has on offense he's constantly missing assignments on Defense. I didn't think Mike Brown was the problem, but I didn't think D'Antoni would be this bad either. Truthfully, there's only so much blame you can put on a coach, you still have to go out and play the game. With Kobe making $30 million a year, unless you trade Gasol and Amnesty Metta, you're not going to get much cap relief. I'm not sure D'Antoni is the guy, but they need a Tom Thibideaux(sp) type defensive assistant coach, period.
 
# 4 TheU1990 @ Jan 9
I have a feeling they will get it together at some point this season. Although, I hate to say that being I strongly dislike the lakers! Gotta think though, that somewhere Phil Jackson is laughing his butt off right now..
 
# 5 tril @ Jan 9
IM a die hard Lakers fan, but truthfully the LAkers are just a bit too old. if this wre the eastern cnference I wouldnt worry so much. Thast cause theyd get into the playoffs. and once in the playoffs the game pretty much slows down a bit.
with the western conference, theyd be lucky to be a 7th seed. All the teams ahead of them have height, quickness, and youth. The older temas like the Spurs even have youth that can play.
LA's bench is horrible, Nash has lost a step, on top of that the rest of team cant keep up with NAsh, excpet for maybe Kobe. Arteste is becoming ARtest again becuase of the offensive sytem run by D'Antonie. Id rather see Gasol get 16 atttempts a game than Ron Artest. Gasol needs to be in the post or just outside the post. Gasol and Howard, should have worked.
If I were LA Id seriously consider trading Howard, causeI dont think he ants to play for LA.
a possible trade maybe they jump in on all the Demarcus Cousins talk. trade Howard for Cousins, Evans and maybe Fredett. Lakers can throw Duhon in the package.
 
# 6 tril @ Jan 9
to comment on my previous post, that trade is wishful thinking cause Sacramento would need a guarenteed contract extension for Howard befor they make that move.
 
# 7 WaddupCouzin @ Jan 9
Howard will be fine, his injury is a year recovery type injury. His back is fine but the nerves in his legs have to be retrained. That takes time.
 
# 8 sooperb @ Jan 9
Go get Trevor Ariza back.
Beg for Philip to return or get Brian Shaw to take that seat if he is willing(Sloan if these two don't come).
If the money works then do a D12 for Brook Lopez trade.D12 will not stick around after all the drama, arguements , criticism and LOSING.
D'antoni.....Outta here regardless.
Sign an enforcer and shut that paint DOWN!! Kenyon would've been great for them but not for stats but keeping guards out of the paint ala Bad Boys. Him and Nene used to terrorize people driving the lane and had them shooting jumpers... see that playoff series a few years between the nuggets and hornets. Cp3 was on the floor a lot and his bigs got punked and did nothing. This was after DWest and Tyson punked punked Dirk in the previous series.
Lakers desrve this though.lol

Spurs fan since 89
 
# 9 naot2010 @ Jan 9
can the lakers really break up this team and still preserve the 2014 cap space they heavily covet. trading pau would probably be considered only if they land a potential star and or an expiring contract. howard is the teams main focus right now and his re-signing is the top concern for the franchise right now. losing him would put them into the all-out rebuild mode. if they wait until the summer and a team has a player under a long-term contract and is an all star then giving up pau and his final year could be doable. kobe will ride out his deal and i can't see him coming back after that. peace will most likely opt in for his final year and could also be used to acquire a contract a team might not want to pay. don't think the lakers will use the amnesty clause considering how they have such a large luxury tax to pay. if howard wants out the lakers will try and get draft picks at the least back in a sign-and-trade.
 
# 10 WaddupCouzin @ Jan 9
Superb: with you being a Spurs fan, I cant take nothing you say serious....lol. Trade D12 for Brooke Lopez? That's ridiculous. Orlando wouldn't even pull that trigger, why would we?
 
# 11 cusefan74 @ Jan 11
I got an idea, how about they tell Kobe to pass the ball. I turned on a Lakers game this week and watched 5 trips up and down the floor. Kobe got the ball every time and took every shot in those trips and three of them were three pointers. Someone needs to tell him he has teammates. Oh, and he missed every shot. So breaking up the team doesn't matter because there is no team that I can see.
 
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