|2012-13 Team Rating|
|6th Overall||19th Overall|
Stats through Jan. 22
Dwight Howard has not played to his standards, but remains a top center even while coming back from back surgery. Pau Gasol lost his starting job. Metta World Peace is the least of the problems.
Kobe Bryant reaches new layers of incredible, still good this late into his career. Steve Nash -- 8.6 assists in 33.3 minutes, 51 percent overall, 40.9 percent on threes -- has been good in limited time.
Mike D'Antoni was hired as coach and said he would play fast. The Lakers never had a chance of keeping up on defense. At least they're good on the boards.
It has been as bad as expected and feared. Losing Steve Blake hurt, and now Jordan Hill is done for the season. Even the healthy reserves have mostly underwhelmed.
D'Antoni can coach. He just can't coach this team with his up-tempo system. That's on management -- Jerry Buss, Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak -- more than D'Antoni, who wasn't going to turn the job down.
A good offense, even with Nash missing 24 games, saves L.A. from a D. But nothing saves the Lakers if this flaming tailspin does not end in time to at least get them to the playoffs. If they miss, it would be hard to imagine a team in league history that has underachieved more.
The first half has been an endless update to the worst-case-scenario list. Terrible play. Injuries. A quick coaching change. A poor coaching hire. Internal strife that makes the future of Howard in Los Angeles, once assumed to be an automatic, a growing question. Bryant's play is about the only thing that has gone consistently right.
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||B+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||C-|
|New Orleans Hornets||C-|
|New York Knicks||A-|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B+|