Los Angeles Lakers: The First-Round Exit Is Nigh

So yes, the Lakers made the playoffs and the seventh seed at that. But this isn't fun. It feels more like a death watch. It was painful to watch the team struggle against San Antonio and old nemesis Manu Ginobili who has gotten healthy at just the right time.

Meanwhile, the Lakers once again trot out a new starting line-up and all the problems that have plagued them all year, mostly because of injury, were right back on full view. No chemistry, turnovers (18), not enough shooting. Depressing.

This was the game where the Lakers really missed Kobe Bryant. His shooting could have kept them close, but when Ginobili went off in the third, the Lakers had no answer. Final score: 91-79 San Antonio.

Mike D'Antoni is going to have to make some adjustments for Game 2. The Spurs need none. They now know how to beat this particular Lakers squad.

What can the Lakers possibly do? I can't believe I'm going to broach this heresy, but I think Steve Nash should come off the bench. He's still not healthy. His time away has left him rusty and most of all, it disrupts what little chemistry the Lakers had in their back court with Steve Blake (who has been lights out the final few games as the Lakers pushed for the playoffs sans Kobe) and Jodie Meeks. I will grant you this isn't Westbrook and Durant, but at least the Lakers were competitive.

But if Nash can go for Game 2, I think there is zero chance D'Antoni won't start him. One thing about D'Antoni that really bothers me is his blindness to Nash's current limitations; more to do with injury than age right now. I think he keeps thinking he has the 2005-07 Nash on his hands. I understand his loyalty. But, D'Antoni's priority has to be the team.

The Lakers will not advance out of this round. It kills me to write that, but they just do not have enough firepower to beat the Spurs. Of all the many injuries this year, the one that hurts the ...

About the Author