Charting the Way L.A. Lakers Changed in Front of Their Fans’ Eyes This Season

No team in the NBA this season has had as bad of an identity crisis as the Los Angeles Lakers had this season. 

It all started with the acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. 

Fueled by such star power, it was apparent that the Lakers were destined to make their way back into the upper echelon of the Western Conference. 

While Howard didn't have the post moves that Andrew Bynum had exhibited when he was healthy, Howard was the far superior defender and perhaps the more imposing physical force.

With Nash taking some of the ball-handling duties from Kobe Bryant, the Lakers were supposed to have even more offensive weapons than their title-winning teams in 2009 and 2010. 

Even the role players looked good on paper.

Jodie Meeks, Steve Blake and Antawn Jamison would provide the outside shooting threat while Metta World Peace would continue to be a pest on defense and inconsistently dangerous on offense.

However, things did not mesh together as planned.

Mike Brown started the season losing every preseason game and winning only one of the Lakers' first five games. 

The onus of the blame can't be pinpointed on one thing.

Brown's implementation of the Princeton offense was obviously a poor fit for a Lakers team whose skills were mitigated in that system. 

A lot of the blame was also unfairly placed upon Howard's shoulders. While he wasn't as dominant as he was in seasons past, it was clear that returning several months early from back surgery may not have been prudent if the Lakers were expecting the Howard of old. 

With Gasol and Nash suffering through early-season injury woes, the Lakers' early season struggles ultimately resulted in Brown's dismissal. 

Then started the public outcry for Phil Jackson's hiring.

A proven winner and one of the greatest co...

About the Author