Lakers News: Frontcourt Injuries Come at Worst Possible Time for Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets last night, their third consecutive loss, and yet another pitiful nadir for a season gone awry.

After the game, rumblings of a riff between Kobe Bryant an Dwight Howard were bandied about the internet. There were unfounded rumors of a "heated exchange," and a more important dissonance in their postgame comments.

Kobe said, "I think it's fine for us to boil over a little bit .. it's fine to get a little chippy," while the more jovial Howard said, "Sometimes when you try too hard, you mess up ... we're just trying to put it all together, just quiet our spirits and play."

But those reports are conjectural, abstract, easily assuaged by a puckish twitpic. The issues the Lakers are facing—the real ones—are far more tangible and far more lethal.

Over the course of 15 minutes on Monday, news broke on the injuries of Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill. The Lakers three best big men, arguably their only three NBA-caliber big men, will all be sidelined for the upcoming games—at the least. Which means Antawn Jamison, Earl Clark and Robert Sacre will be forced into extensive playing time.

It doesn't get much more threadbare than that.

And while neither Howard, Hill nor Gasol are in serious jeopardy of missing EXTENDED time, even their short absence could put the Lakers in jeopardy of missing the postseason.

The Lakers next three games are against Houston, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Here's the most productive player in each of those front courts:

Player PPG RPG BPG FG% PER Omer Asik (HOU) 10.6 11.4  1.1 .525  14.93 Tim Duncan (SA)  17.7 9.6  2.5 .513  25.55 Serge Ibaka (OKC) 14.4 8.5  2.9 .565  19.99  

For comparison sake, here's how Jamison, Sacre and Clark stack up:

Player PPG RPG BPG FG% PER Antawn Jamison (LAL) 6....

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