Los Angeles Lakers: The 2012-13 Season in Retrospect

How did a Los Angeles Lakers season that started off with such high hopes and anticipation end in such heartbreak?

It was only late last summer when GM Mitch Kupchak engineered improbable deals to bring both Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to Los Angeles.  

Lakers Nation could barely believe its good fortune. Nash, Howard, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant all taking the floor to start for the Lakers?  It was almost an embarrassment of riches. There were renewed dreams of title hopes after an ugly playoff exit at the hands of Oklahoma City the previous spring.

But as things got underway, something didn't seem quite right. The pieces just didn't seem to fit.  Add to that coach Mike Brown installing a new Princeton offense, and the Lakers somehow found themselves with an 0-8 preseason record and 1-4 start to the regular season.

Suddenly, Brown was fired, and after a few days of speculation and intrigue worthy of a palace coup, Phil Jackson was passed over for Mike D'Antoni as Brown’s replacement.

Oh, and did I mention the injuries? Howard was struggling to regain form after back surgery. Then Nash sustained a leg fracture in a freak collision in only the second game of the season.

D'Antoni's plans for the team were left high and dry without Nash to run his system.  

Worse, he didn't adapt to fit the skills of the players he did have. His stubborn insistence on having the team try to run and gun cost the Lakers. Sometimes I'd watch him on the sidelines exhorting the team to run, run, pick up the pace! and I felt like I was watching nothing more than a desperate jockey flogging his exhausted thoroughbred as it slogged around a muddy track.

I found myself yelling at him through the TV.  Did he not watch any footage of this team last year? This isn't a track meet team. The pace was unsustainable.

It took him way too long to adapt and realize that on...

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