Blogtable: How Low Can Lakers Go?

Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Week 12: The bumbling Heat | Shaking up Atlanta | Rock bottom for Lakers?

Do you think the Lakers finally have hit rock bottom?

Steve Aschburner: Rock bottom in the standings? Yes, yes I do. I can’t see the Lakers falling below 11th in the Western Conference, their perch as of Wednesday morning. But rock bottom by record? Hey, it’s possible they could wind up worse than six games under .500, their low mark (15-21) so far. And rock bottom emotionally? Very possible, in a dozen different ways. Maybe it’s Kobe Bryant or Steve Nash breaking down with a season-snuffing injury. Maybe Dwight Howard goes Hamlet on a second team for a third consecutive season, pondering his whims and wherabouts. Maybe the Lakers trade Pau Gasol and things get worse. Or maybe it hits them all hardest on the night they’re mathematically blocked from a playoff berth.

Fran BlineburyGeneralissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. (Kids, ask your parents.)

Jeff Caplan: I do, really. No way they could get any lower, right? Look, the bottom line is that Steve Nash, the orchestrator of coach Mike D’Antoni‘s offense, missed the first two months of the season. Dwight Howard hasn’t been the same athletically because of his back. Pau Gasol has now missed two stretches of games with injuries. The bench is weak and was made weaker by the injuries. Steve Blake could actually return and help some. But recently D’Antoni also said he plans to get Pau positioned more on the low block where he belongs. That’s a great start, a show that maybe D’Antoni can bend and can wrap his system around his players instead of the other way around. There’s just too much talent and pride on that team to go down in flames without a serious effort to get back into playoff contention.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Yes. And every time I have said that before the last few months, I have been proven wrong. I would have thought the first couple weeks was rock bottom. Or that night in New York, when the Knicks scored 68 in the first half. Or that six-game losing streak that just ended. That has to be it. That has to be rock bottom. (Uh-huh.)

John Schuhmann: Yeah, I don’t think things are going to get worse than a six-game losing streak in which their defense allowed 110 points per 100 possessions. I don’t think that home wins over the Cavs and Bucks indicate that they’re back on track to make the playoffs, but there have been some signs of defensive improvement and I think the worst is behind them. Thursday’s game against the Heat and the three-game trip that follows will obviously be a challenge. If they can win two of those four games, it will be clear that they’re making progress internally, even if they’re not making progress in the standings.

Sekou Smith: No. Rock bottom is the Lakers sitting outside of the top eight in the Western Conference standings in mid-April. Then and only then will it sink in around Lakerland that this team is scraping the bottom. Even now, with all of the mounting evidence against their chances of simply making the playoffs, there are those who continue to believe that the Lakers will somehow miraculously recover from the mess that has been the first two and a half months of their season. Their fairy tale ends with the No. 8 seed Lakers defying the odds and winning a title and shutting all of their haters up with a confetti-filled scene on the last night of the season in Miami or New York. Must be fun to live in that land of make believe.


  1. Patty says:

    It is only two games.

  2. Cleepers says:

    Rock bottom for the lakers will come when they see Chris Paul in an open top bus driving down Figueroa with a Larry-O held over his head.

  3. just blaze says:

    seems sekou has picked his eastern conference finalists already..interesting…am still feelin deres gonna be a surprise team in the east….nets,pacers, atlanta……we wait and see….lakers still got some time to rack up to 25 wins if dey can really get it goin….but spurs all d way for me…always will…Big Fundamental it is !!!

    • BIGMatta23 says:

      Yeh man, the lakers can rack up 25 more wins. That would make it 42 wins and that aint going to get them into the playoffs!!! Nuff said.

  4. James says:

    get some backup PGs, make trades with Mavs. their only three losses away from the 8th seed. So if they can try to not lose, maybe the 7th and 8th seed will lose some games and they’ll be back in there. Keep playing aggressive like the last two games. FOCUS ON DEFENSE AND TALK ABOUT IT ONLY.

  5. samuel jackson says:

    Kenneth faried to la the lakers arent gonna win any rings until gasol and artests contracts are up and nash every other team has speed at those positions #hustle#effort#speed#ManimaltoLA

  6. The Prince says:

    Kamote says they fired a good playoff coach in mike Brown….what exactly did he do or was know for that makes him a “good playoff coach”

  7. rene says:

    im sorry but the lakers have not been playing 100 percent, till they play 5 or more games all together can some one really say there not good.. they will get better, they will be in the finals, and they will suprise people.. kobe is no MJ, but is the closest thing to him..

  8. slider821 says:

    I agree with Sekou; rock bottom is missing the playoffs but to Kamote’s point, anything shorting of WCF is a failure. They would be naive to think they could win a title in the first year with this roster, it took the heat two years to do it as well.

    That being said, I think they will make the 8th seed but will lose in the first round. All I ask is a LAC LAL first round series. Please let that happen.

  9. gabbyboy says:

    the only way this team can win it all is by kobe sharing the basketball.they cant out run other team coz their old, their main strength is length and the only way you can utilize that strength is by sharing the ball.

  10. Kobe is GOAT says:

    Sekou Smith, your a complete idiot, why in the world did they let you write here. Your the one who lives in fairytale land.
    Seriously who in the world lets him write here, I guess he just started watching basketball this season.

    • Hm says:

      No, he should just indulge the people who religiously believe that the Lakers will win around 75% of their remaining schedule, while top west teams go on losing streaks. Their defence will miraculously become impeccable and they’ll be the team to beat in the Finals for whoever wins the East!

      The facts: Including the easiest part of their schedule, Lakers are now 9-16 against their own conference (not a good record if they’re really aiming to do work in the playoffs), they’re barely over .500 at home (12-9) and have a terrible road record with 5-12 (more of those coming up in the next few weeks!).

      I don’t think Sekou Smith (or anyone else) is saying it’s impossible… it’s just so highly unlikely that it’s a bit silly to put all your faith in that team.

  11. Kamote says:

    It wouldn’t even matter. At the start of the year, the acquisition of Nash and DH has made the LAL a fave to win the ring (much like when the HEAT celebrated having their Big3, well at least they got to the finals). Anything short won’t even matter. That’s the reason why they fired a good playoff’s coach in Brown. Nothing else matters, on to the next year.

    • Kobe is GOAT says:

      Good playoff coach? Are you really that stupid?
      We got destroyed by the Thunder.
      Cavs got SWEEP, yes SWEEP in the Finals.
      I don’t want to hear that ” They still made the finals” bullsh1t.

    • Kamote says:

      @Kobe is GOAT

      The name you use itself dictates a Kobe fandom that would be impregnable to facts and reason LOL.

      Brown still has a winning percentage since he lead Cleveland years ago. Though I’m not a LBJ fan, being able to coach that 1-superstar-team to numerous playoffs apperances and a finals appearance is a feat in itself.

      LAL’s season has been attributed to A LOT of excuses: Brown don’t fit, they didn’t get Paul, they got D’Antoni instead of PJax, Nash was injured, DH is not 100%, Pau is in a slump, etc. But this team is an elite organization capable of hauling franchise players and creating an imbalance in the league. Now if you can’t win with what you have, stop being a baby. LALs demise is LALs fault, and not Kobe’s alone, if that would make you happy :).

      There are a lot of things you don’t want to hear my man. But Kudos to you for being Kobe-the-GOAT’s #1 fan.


  12. prix says:

    Lakers will win if they admit the truth that Kobe would just be the 3rd option…after Nash and Dwight pick and roll or Nash-Gasol…Kobe should shot less and with higher percentage plus let the Jamison play his game…not the defense to blame but most of all…TAKE KOBE’S EGO…that could be impossible so Lakers will keep on losing…