Ask any Los Angeles Lakers player, coach, or fan what the goal for the 2012-13 season is, and they all respond with the same words: win the championship.
Unfortunately, the true championship potential of this team will only be visible in spurts for the next few months. In fact, watching the Lakers for the next two months will likely frustrate and cause major anxiety to every Lakers fan.
The frustration derives from seeing the true potential of this team but understanding that these players simply aren’t quite physically ready to meet preseason expectations.
Currently, Dwight Howard is not close to 100% after undergoing major back surgery in April of this year. Howard is a one-of-a-kind athlete at his size, and the newest Lakers big man is undergoing a very public rehab every time he steps out on the floor.
Anyone familiar with Howard’s abilities can see that he’s simply not yet moving with as much quickness or jumping with as many springs as he did pre-surgery.
Following the Lakers loss to the Clippers, Howard admitted his back was acting up due to sitting for long periods with foul trouble.
At Monday’s practice, the newest Superman revealed, “Usually I play above the rim, and these couple games I’ve been below the rim.”
Steve Nash is also set to miss anywhere from 1 week to a month with a fibula fracture sustained in the loss to Portland. Undoubtedly, the 38-year old point guard will need time to regain fitness following the layoff.
Even when he returns to health, Nash will need some time to play in the Princeton offense and learn how to best use his talents within the system.
With Dwight’s recovering slowly and Nash far from assimilated into the team, this Lakers super team may not come close to revealing its true potential until 2013.
The next couple of months will test their patience of Lakers fans as the team slowly heals, gains strength and grows.
Patience is a key lesson for the players and fans this season, but the goal in Los Angeles never changes: win the championship.
The season so far: