Franchise-Defining Moments Are Coming This Season for LA Lakers

The future of the Los Angeles Lakers will be decided shortly. Key decisions await a franchise that may have to recalibrate its short-term goals.

The plan was to stay afloat early during the season while Kobe Bryant rehabbed his Achilles tear. Once Bryant rejoined the lineup, the Purple and Gold would get an opportunity to compete for a playoff spot and make some noise in the postseason.

Mind you, that projection quickly went out the door once the two-time NBA Finals MVP injured his knee. With Bryant scheduled to rejoin the team at latest around the Super Bowl, the Lakers have franchise-defining moments ahead.


Stand pat

The Los Angeles Lakers have dealt with a multitude of injuries, and as a result, they have not had their projected starting five share the court at any point in the season. Furthermore, some second-unit players have been sidelined as well.

Thus, the Lakers’ sub-.500 record can be attributed—at least on some level—to the amount of games rotation players and stars have missed. Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol have been out for different reasons and hence, the team has suffered.

However, Los Angeles can stand pat and wait until its big guns return. The trio of Nash, Bryant and Gasol might be good enough to earn the team a postseason berth provided that they enjoy a relatively clean bill of health after the All-Star break.

Mike D’Antoni echoed those sentiments with’s Ramona Shelburne:

"That's too bad," coach Mike D'Antoni said at the team's practice Thursday. "You hate it for Kobe. He worked so hard to get back. But he'll be back. He'll be back in six weeks, and we'll deal with it and weather the storm until he gets back."

The Lakers have some intriguing complementary parts that will give the threesome some solid firepower to work with. Nick Young and Xavier Henry are having th...

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