Originally written December 14, 2012 on The Sports Rocker:
In you missed it last night, the Lakers played the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. In case you missed it last night, Carmello Anthony put on a shooting display until leaving with a minor injury in the third quarter. The Lakers looked old, slow, and like they didn't care. The Lakers lost by only nine, but were trailing by 19 at halftime.The Lakers aren't built to run a D'Antoni offense. You know, the kind designed to get out on fast breaks, and score 100+ points per. Right now, the Lakers aren't built to run much of anything. The Lakers are missing Pau Gasol and Steve Nash, who are both nursing injuries. And with Gasol having tendinitis in both knees, there is no guarantee that he could actually play significant time without missing games here and there. Dwight Howard is still not 100% after coming off back surgery to repair a herniated disc, and probably won't until much later this season if at all. Nash has yet to return from a broken fibula suffered early in the season. And to top it all off, Kobe Bryant played through back spams in last nights game. That doesn't sound like a basketball team. That sounds like a hospital waiting room. "Let's see, trade Duhon and Jamison for these guys...." Since taking over for the fired Mike Brown, the Lakers are 4-9 under D'Antoni. I don't think that's what Lakers GM Mitch Kupchack and owner Jerry Buss had in mind when they made that change.Not to lay all the blame on the coaches, but Kupchack has done a terrible job of surrounding Bryant with young talent. Note the word, "talent." Antawn Jamison (36 years old) started at the power forward slot last night, taking over for Jordan Hill, who had been starting in Gasol's absense. Hill is averaging under six points and six rebounds. Jamison's 7.8 points per game is the lowest of his career. Howard's backup is Robert Sacre. Don't feel bad for saying "who?" The Gonzaga product isn't even getting a point or rebound per game. And that's just the beginning. The Lakers bench is full of players you've never heard of.For now, D'Antoni will get the benefit of the doubt. But without some signs of improvement going forward, and a bad start next season, he'll be shown the door. Or Kobe gives him the death stare before then.
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