No team is struggling like the Los Angeles Lakers this season. After acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the offseason, this season was supposed to be one in which they competed for an NBA title.
It looks anything but.
The Oklahoma City Thunder took the Lakers to the woodshed last night beating them 116-101 dropping the Lakers’ record to 15-21 on the season.
Now it’s looking like making the playoffs might not even happen for this Lakers team. The 8-seed in the Western Conference is currently projected to be a 42-win team. The Lakers would have to go 27-19 the rest of the year to hit that mark.
The way things are going now, that about looks impossible. And if the Lakers don’t make the playoffs, will that mean Howard will be on the way out?
Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss recently said in a radio interview that he believes the Lakers have a 95 percent chance of re-signing Howard after this season. Buss said he is still excited about this team because injuries have played a big factor in their struggles so far.
The 95 percent chance of keeping Howard is an optimistic outlook for Buss. Wouldn’t he be the one thinking there’s the highest chance of keeping him?
Let’s look at what we’ve seen from Howard and the Lakers so far this season.
Howard hasn’t fit in too well with Kobe Bryant. There have been rumored feuds between the two and their personalities were never going to be ones that fit together perfectly.
Howard does not appear to be healthy following the back surgery he had in the offseason. Maybe this means he still isn’t 100 percent or maybe this means this is the Howard we will see for the rest of his career.
The pieces surrounding Howard aren’t very good and are old. This team doesn’t exactly look like it has a bright future. If anything, they were supposed to have the best chance of winning a title this season. Nash, Kobe and Gasol are only going to get older.
The Lakers had no problem trading for Howard before this season because they were supposed to become one of the best teams in the West meaning Howard wouldn’t think twice about re-signing with them after this season.
Things haven’t gone as planned and Howard’s plan may change by the end of the season. There will be plenty of teams like Dallas, Atlanta and Houston ready to offer Howard max money this coming summer. Quite frankly, all of those teams look like better situations for the big man right now.