Originally written on Purple and Gold Blog  |  Last updated 1/7/13
The Lakers are 15-18. They are currently 3 1/2 games below the 8th seed in the west. They head into Houston to try to snap a 3-game skid without their top 3 big men, who are all lost to injuries for at least a week. Mind you that the team is still struggling with their defensive effort and will have to stay as close to the surface of the water as possible while dealing with San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Miami over the course of the next 7 days. In other words, this might be exactly what the Lakers need. A lot of times when a team is going through so much adversity, it's difficult for them to reflect while they're engaged in battle inside the trench. With Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill taken out of the equation for the meantime, the Lakers will be forced to deal with their situation head on with no room for error. In the meantime, both Howard and Gasol will have the opportunity to see how the team is missing them and identify what they need to do when they return into the lineup. Mike D'Antoni will also have a front row seat in seeing for himself if both Howard and Gasol are accessories or necessities for the team. He's been known throughout his coaching career to prefer perimeter players over post-players. With only Kobe and Steve Nash as his only reliable shooters, I have a feeling he'll change his tune in the coming days. But no matter how you cut it, time is running short on the Lakers. At this point, the Lakers can use what little time they still have in how they want the rest of the season turn out for them: 1. Continue to feel sorry for themselves or 2. Stand up and fight back! Laker fans are hoping for the latter but we'll see if the hole they dug up for themselves is really too steep to climb out of.
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