Lakers Are Work In Progress
When you say a team is a "Work In Progress," it is usually a bad thing. We are midway through the month of March and the Lakers are playing their best ball. Look out NBA.
Do you really think anyone will want to play them in the first round of the playoffs if Dwight Howard is hitting free throws when the other team is intentionally putting him at the foul line?
Okay. I know losing to bad teams like Phoenix and Washington are not promising signs, but Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant WERE coming back. A few games with them on the court together and with their sea legs under them should do the trick. The Lakers will likely make one more push before the playoffs. I still like their chances at the 6th seed, but we shall see.
Kobe Bryant had a poor shooting night in Orlando in Howard's return to his old arena. Dwight scored 39 points and 25 free throws. This could be bad news for the rest of the league. Howard is getting stronger each game and starting to dominate on both ends of the floor.
Steve Nash is playing OFF THE BALL. Kobe is taking the ball down the court and feeding the beasts. Nash is scoring and now the BENCH looks solid with Jamison, Meeks and Blake holding their own when they come in.
The Lakers could be scary in a half court defensive-minded playoff series and will go into every series as a road team and underdog.
The coach Mike D'Antoni has had to change his coaching style to suit his team and has done pretty well coming out of timeouts. My ONE big issue is not using more of his bench. These 8 guys will get very tired by mid April.
This is the ONE thing Phil Jackson excelled at. Jackson instinctually would go deep in his bench and come away with hot players who had not contributed in awhile. I would like to see D'Antoni go a tad deeper on the road and give his team some rest when they have big leads.
The last month will be very interesting and there are some big games coming up. Be careful not to get anyone hurt before the playoffs start.