Los Angeles Lakers’ Biggest Problems Aren’t Ones Mike D’Antoni Can Fix

With his Los Angeles Lakers spiralling out of control, head coach Mike D'Antoni is searching for answers.

But it's a hopeless pursuit.

He doesn't have the pieces he needs to cure what's ailing this team. A group that needed a best-case scenario just to remain competitive has seen nearly the exact opposite play out.

Ravaged by injury and not overly talented to begin with, the Lakers don't have the bodies to change their fate. D'Antoni won't stop moving these pieces around, but he doesn't have nearly enough to solve this puzzle.


Talent Shortage

L.A.'s offseason transaction log should have prepared fans for a long season.

Perennial All-Star Dwight Howard made his escape, with veterans Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison and Earl Clark following him out of town. The reinforcements called in were a batch of castaway reclamation projects: Chris Kaman, Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, Xavier Henry and Jordan Farmar.

But already tempered expectations have been forcibly lowered over the course of the season.

The rotation has been ripped apart by a rash of injuries.

Kobe Bryant was six games into his return from a torn Achilles before a fracture in his left knee sent him back off the floor. Steve Nash hasn't played since Nov. 10 and may not return to the floor this season. Farmar has twice torn his left hamstring. Steve Blake has been sitting since Dec. 10 with a torn elbow ligament.

Some nights, the Lakers don't look like they belong in the same league as their opponents. There's a sizable talent gap lowering this team's ceiling, even if D'Antoni doesn't want to see if that way:

Even at full strength, this team figured to be in trouble.

At the least, it was going to be overreliant on the offensive creativity of its aging backcourt. The roster runs short on players who can consistently create thei...

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