On New Year’s Eve, the Los Angeles Lakers dropped the ball in more ways than one.
Now, it is a New Year, and it is time to look ahead. With Jordan Farmar out four more weeks, the team is desperately dependent on Kendall Marshall. Only two weeks removed from the NBA Development League, Marshall should not be expected to perform a miracle and lead the Lakers to improbable wins.
At this point, even a win on Friday at home over the Utah Jazz should be considered improbable.
Until this team proves otherwise, don’t expect wins. Times are tough in Laker Land. However, placing blaming is difficult when looking back at the past two seasons. Whether one believes it is a case of freak injuries or a curse, the Lakers are freakishly cursed with injuries.
Blaming trainers or team staff will not solve the problem, and so many of these injuries were freak occurrences: Steve Nash’s broken leg, Pau Gasol’s upper respiratory infection, Steve Blake’s baseball elbow injury, etc.
The reality of the situation is that the Lakers are simply shorthanded and not much will change between now and when some healthy bodies return to the team. Wesley Johnson was unable to shake gastroenteritis in time for Tuesday’s game, but the Lakers would hope to have him back by Friday.
Other than Johnson, no one else is coming back anytime soon to save the day. For the next three games, Marshall is the starting point guard for the Lakers.
Xavier Henry will be re-examined before Jan. 7. No one knows for sure how long he will be out. The week after, Steve Nash is scheduled to possibly make a comeback. Best case scenario, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake should be back by the end of January.
Kobe Bryant’s original timeline following the knee fracture was six weeks. Counting forward from the date that announcement was made (Jan. 20), the Black Mamba will be releasing his next comeback video at the start of February.
For the whole month of January, the Lakers will be leaner than a New York model. Worse, 10 of the next 13 games are on the road for the Lakers. Even if no one else gets injured, which is hard to imagine with these guys, the Lakers are probably going to be in a race to the bottom of the Western Conference.
The Lakers are not voluntarily tanking the season, but at this point, they don’t have enough healthy players to win games against just about anyone.
After finishing 2013 with three straight losses to the three worst teams in the league, 2014 is going to get off to a tough start.