The Lakers are treading water with back to back wins over the Wizards and Sixers. But what looked like the inevitably approaching rock bottom, was thankfully sidestepped due to key injuries on both opposing squads.
Yes the Lakers are banged up too. They are still without Steve Nash, Paul Gasol, Steve Blake, both Jordan Hill and Antawn Jamison have missed time recently, Dwight Howard isn’t 100% yet and Kobe has been playing through back spasms.
But the Wizards are without overall number 1 pick John Wall who’s been out all season, former NBA Champion Lakers small forward Trevor Ariza, and Trevor Booker.
And the 76ers were without their 2 best players: Jrue Holiday, and Andrew Bynum. The former UCLA guard is the best playmaker and scorer on the team. And Lakers fans are all too familiar with Bynums strengths and weaknesses. For all of those flaws, he is a talented offensive player. He has been out all season, but when healthy is unarguably one of the 2 best centers in the league.
The Lakers are banged up too, but as constructed are much more capable of making up for the loss of top talent. Middle to bottom tier teams like Philly and Washington don’t have the depth to replace top tier talent. It would take 4-6 Sixer players to make up for the loss of Holiday and Bynum, and league rules are still enforcing only 5 players per team on the court at a time–sorry injured Wizards and Sixers.
The Lakers take on the 3rd of the perennially bad teams they’ve seen recently tonight at STAPLES Center. They face off against Charlotte tonight, after facing Cleveland and Washington in the last 10 days. The Bobcats don’t have any major injuries to blame for their 7-16 record. They had a hot start to the year coming off their historically awful 2011 season, but have cooled off considerably since then.
But Kemba Walker scored a career high 32 points in his last outing. With an uninjured complement of players, he could join the list of quick guards that wreak havoc with the Lakers, and end the fuzzier feeling in the locker room after 2 straight wins.