There really isn’t much new to say about this dismal season for the Los Angeles Lakers. They lost three of their last four from the past week, a slide that doesn’t seem to have any hopes of improving anytime soon. The only thing Lakers fans can look hopeful to is the end of this season, that’s when they don’t have to put up with watching a team that is barely recognizable, especially for a Lakers team.
With Kobe Bryant out indefinitely (hopefully for the rest of the season, so he can get the proper rest and rehabilitation that his body needs), and no top flight weapons offensively or defensively on this team, it’s going to need great internal improvement in order to be more competitive this year. That might already be happening at one position for the Lakers, which is certainly more than anyone could expect.
Second year point guard Kendall Marshall was picked up by the Lakers just before Christmas probably just to have a warm body on the bench, and certainly not ready to contribute anything meaningful right away. While he hasn’t exactly been a dynamic scorer, he has absolutely surprised with his ability to pass. He has lead the team in assists since making his way into the starting lineup. Now this could just be a little blip on the radar, but if he can at least be an average or slightly above average NBA point guard, the Lakers will have made a great signing in a desperate situation.
Pau Gasol has continued to provide strong play, and has been the best Laker overall. Unfortunately he is at that point in his career where he should be a third or fourth wheel, not one of the main options. Maybe the fact that he is playing for a new contract is the fuel that is driving him, or just being the best player on the bad team, that have enhanced his stats, either way if it weren’t for Gasol, the Lakers, while still losing often, would hardly ever be even semi competitive without him.
Jodie Meeks, after several weeks of struggling a bit with shooting, has managed to turn it around, sitting at 40% from three point range. Meeks would be a tremendous get for a contender looking for a quick shooting spark off the bench. If depending on Meeks to be your starting shooting guard, you’ll be in a situation similar to what’s going on with the Lakers, unless of course, that team has several other all star players.
Nick Young has also continued to provide scoring punch for the Lakers. He may not be the most efficient player, but when a team is struggling as much as the Lakers to find scoring, it definitely helps to have a guy who isn’t afraid to get shots up, whether or not its a good look. While general manager, Mitch Kupchak has stated he’d like for Nick Young to be a Laker for a long time, it remains to be seen as Young has a play option for next year. At this point, it looks as though he’ll forgo that, to gain a more lucrative contract, with his decent play from this year. If the Lakers were smart, they wouldn’t pay him that much, as they’d be better off spending that money on other options.