Lakers News: Analyzing Mike Dunleavy’s Take on Mike D’Antoni and More from LA

The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in one of their most unique situations in franchise history.

For perhaps just the second time (the other being the first post-Shaq year) since 1975 (the year they acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), the Lakers aren't expected to make the postseason by most of the NBA's literati. The combo meal of Dwight Howard's departure, Kobe Bryant's Achilles injury and the decline of Pau Gasol and Steve Nash leave most tepid at best about next season.

Even the most optimistic Lakers fan—the one who views everything with purple and gold glasses, the one who thinks Kobe will be back in the preseason—has acknowledged a playoff berth would be a blessing. For a franchise that's seen May basketball as a rite of passage for the entirety of some fans' lives, the entire month of July was spent adjusting to also-ran status.

At least for now. There remains some hope that Bryant could return for all 82 games, that Gasol could be rejuvenated by an increased role and that Nash's downward-spiral season last year was a fluke. A No. 7 or No. 8 seed lurks within this roster—even if that's the apex of expectations. 

For now, though, it's all a waiting game. A waiting game to see when Howard will make his first Staples Center appearance. To see when Bryant's likeliest return date is. For the answer to whether the Pringles man is the right potato chip spokesperson for this team.

Until those answers begin getting cleared up in June, the Lakers wait. Luckily, there's never much of a dull moment in Los Angeles—making for at least some headlines in the past couple days. 

With that in mind, here's a quick check-in on the latest news and takeaways from Lakerland.


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