Sunday, December 28, 2014
Blog Page 58

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With almost half the season in the books, the Lakers continue to revel in mediocrity. They are currently eleventh in a loaded western conference, a whopping 12.5 games behind the Clippers, their Staples Center co-tenants. In the latest edition of Voice of the Nation: Fastbreak, David Brickley and Jason Riley try to make sense of a season that is starting to slip away… and have a little bit of fun at the Lakers expense in the process.

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Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

In Hollywood, every great actor or actress can attribute their athletic prowess, reckless abandon, and fear no evil attitudes portrayed in their films to one simple thing. No, it’s not mind altering drugs, but rather a stunt man (or in some cases a stunt woman). Those individuals are willing to throw themselves into the scripted and rehearsed harms way. They pull off the death defying leaps from buildings, burning cars, or bare it all in the love scenes. These highly paid and highly skilled individuals do these things all for the sake of making the film more exciting, and the actors or actresses, more heroic or sexy. Sometimes it can make the difference in a movie being a box office blockbuster, or a colossal bust.

You may be asking yourselves, what in the world does this have to do with the Lakers? I am so glad you asked! This current season for the Lakers has become unbearable to watch at times. The back and forth bantering around the same old repetitive questions is getting stale. Questions like: Can they turn things around? Can they make the playoffs? Can they play defense? Do they have a deep enough bench? Do they have any heart? Do they have the right coach? On and on it goes. Enough already! It is time to face reality. This team is not playing very good, or maybe, just maybe… isn’t that good at all.

I have seen enough Lakers games this year to make the following assessments. They won’t turn things around, but they will squeeze into the playoffs as a very low seed (if they get in at all). The Lakers defense, shouldn’t even be called defense. It should be called I’m too tired or lazy to guard you, so go ahead and score an easy layup. A deep enough bench? Please! A heart? You might have to wait until Valentines Day to see one of those. And it will come from Hallmark, not the Lakers. The right coach is only the right coach if a team wins. I don’t care if the coach is Walt Disney, or Walt Frazier. If you aren’t winning, you don’t have the right coach. If you are winning, you have the right coach until you start losing.

It’s time to call in the stunt people. It’s time to put an end to this disaster film & turn it into something of epic proportion. Something classic, like Old Yeller or Hoosiers. And so, without further delay. I give you the stuntmen. Let’s roll the credits.

Kobe Bryant – played by himself  (Let’s not kid ourselves)

Dwight Howard – played by Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell, Hakeem Olajuwan, & Clark Kent. Afterall, when we got him in the trade, we were told he was that good weren’t we?

Pau Gasol – played by little brother Marc Gasol. Bet you wish you had him back don’t you? Or did you forget he was a Laker for like 30 seconds?

Metta World Peace – played by Charles Atlas. He was muscular, good looking, great defender, specialized in rebounding beach babes. Oh and he scored too….

Steve Nash – played by Joe Pesci. Who else would you want assisting you to the hole? He did it in Casino and Good Fellas, he can do it in Los Angeles too.

The bench players were played by The Lion, The Scarecrow, & The Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. Courage, a brain, and a heart. Now that’s what I am talking about.

Now that we have flipped the script so to speak, I think this movie might have a better ending than the one we have been watching.

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Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant
Photo Credit: AP

The shorthanded Lakers showed they are still a force to be reckoned with, but fell short to the Spurs 108-105. Once again the Lakers failed to show up for all 48 minutes, and the Spurs made them pay. The Lakers had by their standard a solid defensive night holding their opponent to 108 (who are we kidding?), but had given up 100 points with 7 minutes to play. The Lakers went on a mini spurt to end the game, but as we have seen frequently this season came up just short.

There were definitely some positives to take away from this game. One of them is named Earl Clark. That man showed tonight that he has the potential to ball, and he may just have to play the role of Clark Kent this season, at least over the next few games as the Lakers remain shorthanded. Earl finished with 22 points and 13 boards. Metta World Peace also continues to show signs of great play combined with highly questionable decision making (What was he thinking on that two on one break he was running with Kobe?). He finished with 23 points, 8 rebounds, and a whopping 7 steals.

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Courtesy of US Presswire
Courtesy of US Presswire
Courtesy of US Presswire

“All of this, falling apart like this is all on you! We had a good thing…we had Fring, we had a lab, we had everything we ever needed, and it all ran like clockwork. You could have shut your mouth, cooked, and made as much money as you ever needed. It was perfect! But no! You just had to blow it up! You and your pride and your ego. You just had to be the man. If you had done your job and known your place, we’d all be fine right now.”

This was Mike Ehrmantraut’s final rebuke of Walt White on AMC’s hit drama Breaking Bad. If we step back and observe the Lakers’ debacle of a season, we can find a few people who are deserving of such criticism. Who you may ask? Well, let’s start with Jim Buss.

No Lakers fan in the space time continuum has ever said, “Boy I do love Jim Buss and the job he is doing running the Lakers!” He is a know-it-all. A person who has lots of money and feels entitled to make basketball-related decisions when he has no business doing so. It seems that he allows his personal and professional insecurities to make him take responsibilities that should solely belong to Mitch Kupchak. The most recent example was the hiring of Mike Brown, firing of Mike Brown, and the decision to hire Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson.

Which leads to the next person worthy of Mike’s tongue-lashing: The Lakers current head coach, Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni has stubbornly refused to adjust his system to accommodate his star players. He insists on imposing his philosophy which calls for a quick, young, athletic, 3-point shooting team on a Lakers squad that is slow, old, and has a mediocre perimeter game. It is a ridiculous idea for one of the best post players in Pau Gasol to be taking 3-pointers. D’Antoni’s public embarrassments of Gasol is wrong in every way.

To Laker fans, D’Antoni is an outsider and he hasn’t earned the credit to bench Gasol and reason that he “wanted to try to win the game”. Guess what, Mike. Gasol has been consistently been helping us win games since 2008. He helped us win two titles. So maybe you should learn to adjust your gameplan for a guy who gets paid more money in year than your entire 4-year contract.

TJ Simers of the LA Times put it best:

“The Lakers have a huge problem and its not Pau Gasol.”

I just can’t decide if its Jim or Mike.

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Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Prior to entrance of 2013, Congress avoided the Fiscal Cliff; but the Los Angeles Lakers seem to be headed for a cliff of their own: The Dismal Cliff.

Having yet to win a game in the New Year, the Lakers are on a four game losing streak with upcoming games against some tough opponents: Spurs, Thunder, and Heat, along with games against lower tier teams such as the Cavs and Bucks.  The season has been so unpredictable for the Lakers that it is no longer conceivable the Lakers will beat teams they should beat.

Lakers’ fans everywhere are as perplexed as the management, coaches, and players. The Lakers must find a way to consistently pull together and fight through adversity. With losses mounting, can the Lakers turn things around, get into the playoffs, and make some waves? Or, are they on the verge of total collapse in what could be the most disappointing season in sports history?

With news of injuries to Dwight Howard (shoulder), Pau Gasol (concussion), and Jordan Hill (hip), the Lakers could very well be on their way to the unavoidable edge. Many fans are waiting for something, anything, to happen at this point.

Call me crazy, but it may be time to make some noise with a big trade, which could potentially shake this team out of its funk. If the Lakers choose to stand pat, the results may be unimaginable, that perhaps one of the greatest teams ever put together was so bad it couldn’t get the 8th seed in the Western Conference. If the Lakers do go off the edge of the Dismal Cliff, the fall may be catastrophic, ending in the potential loss of Dwight Howard, the heir apparent to Kobe Bryant.

It seems everything the Lakers have tried this season has utterly failed. Changing coaches, offenses, returns from injury… nothing has improved the team’s standing, but has led to a constant regression. Perhaps the one thing the Lakers haven’t tried is the only thing that will work: trading whoever they can to get younger.

The Lakers have turned into a very bad tease. Just when it seemed this team had put it’s season back together, they somehow find themselves right back on the edge, taking their fans with them. Right now, there is no view of an NBA championship in sight this year, nor any sort of consolation prize. For an organization that wins a lot, and is always expected to win, the fall from the Dismal Cliff may have already occurred.

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Photo by: Harry How/Getty Images North America
Photo by: Harry How/Getty Images North America

The year is 1987. While three young men from New York City, known as the Beastie Boys, set their feet into the hip-hop world, rapping about seeking amusement in a boring, strict routine. The actual party was all over Southern California. The city of Los Angeles can proudly speak about two NBA titles related to that year, as the Lakers ended up as champions in the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons.

It was “Showtime” when Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and many other greats performed in perhaps the most entertaining way a basketball fanbase had even seen. It was executed in such a unique fashion that many believed it would never be replicated. The Purple & Gold continued to build on their glorious legacy in the following decades, but the name “Showtime” remained locked to the 80’s, until a couple of signings in 2012 revived it in the mind of Laker Nation.

When Dwight Howard and Steve Nash were announced as the newest Lakers to join Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and company, the basketball world stopped and the season’s expectations for the team went as high as possible.

Now, a reality check. It is already 2013 and the Lakers have played 34 games. Only 15 of them were victories, which puts L.A. as the 11th team in the Western Conference, 4 games below a .500 record and the 8th seed. They sit a whopping 11.5 contests behind the West leaders and noisy neighbors, the Clippers. It’s been a whirlwind of a season for the Lakers, who have endured injuries to their best players and coaching changes.

But is there really an excuse for being so poorly ranked at this point of the season? The word at the beginning of the ride was “patience”, as the team tried to weather the storm, claiming that time was needed in order to get the new squad in sync. The new year is bringing a different mindset to LaLa Land, as now a different word is getting bigger and bigger each game:

Desperation.

The Lakers are running out of time. If anything has been learned by the Laker faithful this season, it’s that success isn’t something that is handed to you. No matter how good the team looks on paper, they still have to hit the court, play hard and earn their respect. The Lakers still have to fight for their right to party, because there is no fight, and no party, going on right now. By the time they wake up, would it it be too late for school? Do they even want to go to school?

It still remains to be seen if what drives this Lakers team will be good enough to turn the ship around. They say that in basketball you are only as good as your last shot. For this Laker squad, they are only as good as their last effort. The talent is there. The MVPs, the Defensive Player of the Years, the All-Stars, the tradition, the accolades… The Lakers already have all that. What’s lacking is the knowledge and hunger to put all those things together and get the franchise back to its winning ways.

The championship goal remains the same, but the clock is ticking. There is no right to party in the glorious side of L.A. today.

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Photo Credit: Espn.go.com
Photo Credit: Espn.go.com

Who would have thought we’d be talking about chemistry outside of a science laboratory and relating it to Laker basketball?  Well, that’s where we find ourselves today.  With The Lakers’ struggles at such a critical point and no end in sight, fans and players alike are desperately searching for answers.  Dwight Howard seems to have an answer to these struggles: Chemistry.  No. not the chemistry with chemicals and different solutions, but the chemistry of communication, teamwork, and respect for one another out on the court.  Howard had this to say regarding team chemistry:

“(Chemistry is) something we have to do to get better. We have to play like we like each other. Even if we don’t want to be friends off the court, whatever that may be, when we step in between the lines or we step in the locker room or the gym, we have to respect each other and what we bring to the table.”

I think this speaks volumes for how The Lakers have played thus far.  With Howard and Nash being added in the off-season, veteran Lakers needed to learn how to play with the new guys. These things take time to work and figure out, which is why the Lakers are yet to play some solid, winning basketball.  Howard also believes the Clippers have a great bond and a functioning chemistry, and had this to say regarding that chemistry:

“Those guys on the Clippers team, they really enjoy each other off the court and it shows.”

This was made right after The Clippers game on January 4th.  When the All-Star Center is complementing the other team on their chemistry following a loss, that clearly reveals a problem with chemistry for The Lakers.  During the game, Lakers backup Center Jordan Hill went down with an ankle injury, and while he was writhing on the ground, not a single Laker came over to make sure he was alright.

Chemistry problem.

If they don’t even care enough to make sure a guy is okay, then they clearly don’t care about him much outside of the locker room.  However, Coach D’Antoni didn’t believe that snub was intentional:

“I think it was a lapse. I don’t think it was meant,” D’Antoni said of the team’s lack of a reaction to Hill’s injury. “It’s something we addressed and talked about.

Well, coach doesn’t think that was an intentional act, and perhaps it wasn’t, perhaps it was just a momentary lapse where other players were caught up in the moment of the game and they didn’t think to check on the injured Hill.  I can believe this as easily as I can believe they did it intentionally. The Lakers aren’t in a good place right now and they have a lot bigger problems to deal with than whether or not they checked on an injured player.

D’Antoni later commented on The Lakers’ chemistry:

“I don’t know if it’s because of a lack of training camp, or a lack of Steve being with us from the beginning, but the relationship between Steve and Dwight’s got to get a lot better,” D’Antoni said. “It’s not creating the easy shots that we need.”

Clearly the chemistry between Nash and Howard isn’t where it needs to be in order to work in a D’Antoni offense.  Once Howard returns from his shoulder injury and is able to get more time working with Nash, their chemistry will likely improve. However, that will not fix everything by any means.  D’Antoni also commented on liking each other outside the locker room:

“I don’t think you have to love each other. But you have to respect each other with what they do on the court.”

This quote from coach D’Antoni stands out.  The players don’t have to be best friends off the court, but they must respect each other in order to have a successful basketball team.  Once the Lakers get more accustomed to one another and become better friends, they will begin to play better, winning basketball.  The Lakers current chemistry is nothing to be proud of, and hopefully will improve with time… because it’s chemistry that will ultimately lead the Lakers to victory.

(More about The Lakers chemistry can be read here)

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Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images

In just 34 games, the star-studded Lakers have managed to extinguish their fans optimism, all but wiping out an off-season that saw the additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.

Early in the season, we liked to believe it was simply a health issue. When that stopped being a good enough excuse, we pointed our foam finger of disdain at Mike Brown and called it a coaching issue. After Mike D’Antoni got acclimated and Steve Nash returned to the lineup, we reasoned that it must be a chemistry issue. Tack on a few bad losses and some uninspired performances, and once again, we have a coaching issue. Finally, you guessed it… it’s back to being a health issue again.

Instead of being a season of excitement, it’s turned into a season of excuses.

Injuries, coaching changes and chemistry issues aside, this Lakers team still boasts a re-energized Kobe Bryant, who’s having his best season in recent memory. Dwight Howard, even if he’s been barely 80% healthy, has played the majority of the season. Believe it or not, Pau Gasol is still on the roster and has played in 25 of 34 games. And for those that envisioned Steve Nash returning and saving the Lakers from themselves, he’s played in 8 straight now, and the Lakers are somehow just 3-5 in those games.

Just when you want to reach inside your bag of excuses, think about this: On this day in 2006, the Lakers were 18-16, fresh off a win over the Indiana Pacers. That Lakers team (the one we always try to forget) started Smush Parker, Kwame Brown and Chris Mihm.

That’s how quickly things have deteriorated around here, and if you’re not feeling optimistic, not to worry, neither is Steve Nash:

“I think three or four weeks ago, people would have said, ‘Oh, it will get better,’ ” Nash said. “Right now, I definitely don’t think there’s a guarantee it will, so the only remedy is to continue to work hard and give yourself a chance for it to get better.”

He continued:

“I obviously think with time — and that might mean through the summer — we can get better,” Nash said, “but for this season it’s definitely going to be a challenge to turn this around.”

The Lakers trail the Utah Jazz by 2 games for the #10 spot in the West.

Wait.

Yep, I just wrote that.

They’ll get a chance to snap their 4-game skid tonight in San Antonio, where the Spurs are 14-2 this season. If you’re looking for a reason to be hopeful, Pop did bench his starters for a game earlier this year in Miami…

I would say crazier things have happened, but after what I’ve seen from the Lakers this season, that just wouldn’t be true.

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Photo courtesy of Scott Halleran, Getty Images
Photo courtesy of Scott Halleran, Getty Images
Photo courtesy of Scott Halleran, Getty Images

48 minutes – the amount of time in a regulation NBA basketball game. Somebody should remind the Lakers, because I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen them play a consistent game for 48 minutes. These new look Lakers seem to play in spurts, and unfortunately often find themselves on the wrong end of scoring runs. While the they rocketed out of the gates to an 18-4 lead, inconsistent play brought the Rockets right back into the game.

Defensive struggles continued as the Lakers allowed at least 28 points a quarter, including a 38 point third quarter led by a 16-2 run. After losing 4 straight, the Lakers fall to 15-19 on the season, and things aren’t looking any easier with a matchup against the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow night.

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Every week, our staff writers chime in on the trending topics, rumors and storylines surrounding the Lakers. In today’s State of the Nation, they answer one, simple question: What does the not-so-distant future look like for this Lakers team?

With a potentially long term injury to Dwight Howard (torn labrum), along with short term injuries to Pau Gasol (concussion) and Jordan Hill (hip), where will the Lakers find themselves at the end of the regular season?

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Oren Levy // @LakersOren:

It really depends on how long Dwight is hurt for. The scary truth is that the Lakers have a tough 6 game stretch coming up (HOU, SA, OKC, CLE, MIL, MIAMI). A bad run right now could end their season. As Kobe recently said, “when it rains, it pours.” Let’s see if the Lakers can find an umbrella.

Alex Lambeth // @AlexLambeth:

7th seed in the Western Conference. Unbelievable, right? But with this new injury bug hitting the entire Lakers’ front court, along with their difficult schedule coming up, the Lakers will continue to struggle through the month of January. It’s crazy to think that this Lakers season will come down to luck, as their fate now rests in the hands of the ten other teams ahead of the Lakers.

Garrett Garcia // @GarrettGarcia:

Seeing that this season hasn’t gone the way anyone anticipated it, these injuries will be catastrophic if they turn out to be any longer than “one week” setbacks. Remember back when Nash first got injured and it was only “one week” that he’d be out? I hate to say it, but the Lakers will be truly lucky to grab that 8th seed in the Western Conference, if that.

Anna Gonda // @AnnaLBG:

These injuries certainly don’t help matters any, but what are the chances that all three big men would go down at the same time? This is a calling for the rest of the team to rise up and take on the responsibility left. If they can do this, they will find themselves competing in the playoffs. If they can’t step up to the challenge, they’ll miss out on what could’ve been a great post-season. The choice is theirs.

John Gaffer // @jewelslamo:

Seeding anywhere from 6-8. This Lakers team lacks bench depth, speed, can’t play defense, and at times, shows no sense of urgency to win. At this rate it’s one and done, as in rounds in the playoffs.

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Alik Ourfalian // @alik_o:

Injuries and tough schedules always seem to motivate the Lakers (e.g. Kobe’s shin injury last season). We’re not even halfway through the season. There’s plenty of time for the Lakers to get it together and make the playoffs as a 5-8 seed.

Melvin Taylor // @PastPossible30:

I believe the Lakers find themselves at a crossroads. With this rash of injuries, they have the opportunity to find out what type of team they really are, and if their depth of: Antawn Jamison, Robert Sacre, Earl Clark, and Devin Ebanks are good enough to compete. Make no mistake about it: this will be a vital stretch for them.

Bummi Anderson // @BummiNAnderson:

I don’t think either player will be out for a long stretch. I still expect Lakers to finish between 6-8 in West. Those lower seeded teams will fall back…to reality.

Matevz Rojc // @MatevzRojc:

Hopefully in a playoff spot. A lot of things will have to change for that to happen. We haven’t seen any consistency from this team so far. With the roster they have, Gasol’s return should be enough for them to make the playoffs. They will have to take one game at a time and not even think about what will happen at the end of the regular season.

Robert Benitez // @beeb0:

It’s very difficult to say. With Steve Nash back, the Lakers should have taken that 5 game win streak and extended it. Instead, they dropped 4 of 5 since then. I still have faith and see the potential, but I’m saying 8th seed in the West is the best they can do now.

James Cypert // @JamesCypert:

The one bright spot in all of the injuries to the Lakers front court is that the team can now really see what they have in second-round pick and consummate bench cheerleader Robert Sacre. With the Lakers poised to miss the playoffs, the absence of a 2013 first-round pick, traded to the Suns for Steve Nash, means that there’s no quick-and-easy fix in Lakerland.

Emil Rivera // @e_double_r75:

Injuries are now the least of the Lakers problems, considering they couldn’t win games with a relatively healthy roster. The real issue is how they approach the game and their inability to hustle and do the little things to pull off wins. At this point, I would be surprised if the Lakers did make the playoffs.

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DJO
Photo Credit: NBA

Despite the headline news of Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Jordan Hill being injured, the Lakers also made news by waiving rookie guard Darius Johnson-Odom. Johnson-Odom only participated in four games this season for the Lakers. He recorded a total of four rebounds and one assist in six minutes.

Darius was assigned to the Lakers development team, The L.A. Defenders, on Nov. 10th and started in all 12 of their games this season. He has averaged 20.6 points, 5.3 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game for the Defenders. Monday was the final day for NBA teams to cut players on non-guaranteed contracts before those deals became guaranteed for the remainder of the season.

This release opens up a roster spot for the Lakers to sign another player via free agency or to add someone in a trade. With the injuries to their big men, it is rumored that they are targeting free agent Kenyon Martin, but all the speculation ends there.

The announcement was made early Monday afternoon on the Lakers website:

January 07, 2013 1:40 pm PST

EL SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles Lakers have waived guard Darius Johnson-Odom, it was announced today.Johnson-Odom, the 55th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, was acquired by the Lakers from Dallas on draft night. The 6-2 guard out of Marquette averaged 15.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 105 collegiate games. As a senior, the Raleigh, North Carolina native led his team in scoring (18.3 ppg) and earned First Team All-Big East honors in addition to being named an Honorable Mention All-American by the Associated Press.

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Our own James Cypert joined the Out of Bounds Sports Radio show over on Fox Sports Radio: Tampa Bay last week. During the 10 minute segment, James breaks down the Lakers season, starting with the lofty expectations that many had coming into training camp, and explains why he remains cautiously optimistic that this Lakers team will somehow turn their season around.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Next week, LakerNation.com columnist Ashkan Kargaran will join John Russo for his Lakers segment. You can listen LIVE every Thursday, starting at 5pm PT, and be sure to follow the show on Twitter: @OutOfBoundsTalk.

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Image Credit: Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images

You didn’t think things could get any worse for the 15-18 Lakers, right? Well, according to the Lakers’ official injury update, starting center Dwight Howard has suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder:

Howard first suffered an injury to his right shoulder in the recent game against the Clippers. When Howard went up for a dunk, in the second half of that game, Caron Butler stripped him of the ball. Consequently, Howard came down clutching his right shoulder, wincing in pain.

Last night, in the Lakers’ loss to the Denver Nuggets, Howard was stripped on a similar play. Again it appeared Howard had re-injured his right shoulder. Although Howard gobbled up a career-high tying 26 rebounds last night, the Lakers have learned that Howard has in fact suffered a torn labrum in that shoulder.

Howard will be out a minimum of one week and will then be re-evaluated. Howard will travel with the team and receive treatment on their upcoming two-game road trip, however. The Lakers travel to Houston today for back-to-back games in Houston (Tuesday) and San Antonio (Wednesday).

Pau Gasol:

Remember how things couldn’t get any worse? The Lakers have also learned that starting power forward Pau Gasol has suffered a concussion and laceration to his nose:

The injury was suffered in the fourth quarter of last night’s loss when he was inadvertently struck in the face by Nuggets’ center JaVale McGee. Unlike Howard, Gasol will not travel with the team to Texas and instead stay home to recover from his concussion.

Gasol, out at least the next two games, will not be able to return to the court until he clears the NBA’s concussion program.

Jordan Hill:

The Lakers will at least have their best backup big man on this crucial road trip, right? Wrong. Lakers F/C Jordan Hill has a small tear of the labrum in his left hip that will also prevent him from travelling with the team:

Along with the injuries to Howard and Gasol, the Lakers have also lost their most consistent player off the bench for at least the next two games. Hill’s hip injury was somewhat of a surprise, as he registered 13 points and 5 rebounds in 15 minutes against the Nuggets.

After suffering multiple back injuries earlier in the season, Hill will now attempt to come back from a hip injury. Hill will miss at least a week and like Howard, will be re-evaluated sometime next week.

The major injuries to the Lakers’ best three big men could open the door for the reemergence of Antawn Jamison and Devin Ebanks. Both players have been out of the rotation of late, but expect both to have ample opportunities filling in for the Lakers’ depleted front court.

Both Howard and Gasol are officially listed as ‘out indefinitely’ on the Lakers’ injury report, while Hill is tentatively listed as out for a minimum of one week.

 

Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the injured Lakers going forward…

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With the Lakers off to a poor start, trade rumors have begun to swirl around Kobe Bryant, leading many to speculate if he'll leave for greener pastures. Kobe puts those rumors to rest in his interview with Yahoo Sports.