The Addition-by-Subtraction Argument for 2013-14 L.A. Lakers Being Much Improved

Believe it or not, the Los Angeles Lakers are better off in 2013-14.

Sure, the losses of both Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace would cripple just about any franchise. But the Lakers may be the exception.

Let’s just call it addition by subtraction.

Los Angeles is coming off its worst season since 2007. The team finished 45-37, needed all 82 games to lock up a postseason berth and was swept in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs. Not exactly the results GM Mitch Kupchak was looking for when he brought in Howard and Steve Nash over the summer.

Now, the Lakers are spending their entire offseason prepping for a future littered with questions.

How will the team recover from losing Howard to free agency? Will Pau Gasol be able to fill the void at center? Was amnestying World Peace the best decision for Los Angeles?

Just fine. More than likely. Yes.

While it’s easy to speculate that the Lakers are heading towards a monumental disaster next season, there are several reasons to believe otherwise.


Moving the Rock

There’s no doubting the significant impact Howard has on a team. He's not only a dangerous low-post scorer but also a tremendous rebounder and great shot-blocker.

However, with Howard in the lineup, Los Angeles struggled to move the ball.

Over 2,722 minutes with the big man on the floor, the team averaged just 21.7 assists and committed 15.4 turnovers per game. During the 1,229 minutes Howard was on the bench, the Lakers averaged 24 assists and 13.2 turnovers per game.

Not only does the team distribute the basketball a lot more easily in Howard’s absence, but there were fewer mistakes made in the process.

As Nash mentioned to’s Mike Trudell, part of the problem could be due to Howard’s unwillingness to run the pick-and-roll&...

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