Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Lakers search for the silver lining
By Dave McMenamin
HOUSTON -- With the Los Angeles Lakers' starting power forward, starting center and primary back-up big man all sidelined indefinitely, Metta World Peace could be relied upon to play some center in their stead.
Despite standing just 6-7 and not having played any center since he was with the Sacramento Kings five seasons ago, World Peace isn't complaining about the potential assignment.
He's considering how it can actually benefit the Lakers.
"We’ll probably be better on our shows on the pick-and-roll," World Peace said after shootaround on Tuesday.
The Lakers come into their game with the Houston Rockets having dropped four out of five games to bring their record to a lowly 15-18. If that wasn't bad enough, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill are all out indefinitely.
That's left the team little choice but to find a glass-is-half-full approach.
"Obviously we’re not where we need to be at all and it’s something that we got to get better at, but as a coach, you just put your head down and you keep slugging away," said Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni. "You do the best you can. It’s still fun. The guys are still listening. It’s still basketball, it’s competition, it gets you riled up, it gets you disappointed at certain things but the staff’s good, we’re good together, we’re trying to solve every problem that we have. So far we got some solved and others pop up but we’re not where we need to be."
The problems have been a'plenty.
Just think of the turmoil the team has muddled through so far this season:
- An 0-8 preseason.
- Steve Nash fracturing the fibula in his left leg.
- A 1-4 start to the regular season.
- Mike Brown being fired.
- Phil Jackson being courted and then overlooked.
- Mike D'Antoni being hired.
- Pau Gasol being benched several times.
- Antawn Jamison sniping at D'Antoni after going through the same thing.
- Howard and Kobe Bryant arguing on the court, as well as Howard and Nash.
And now the losing streak and a new litany of injuries. When does it stop?
"We’ve just had one thing after the other and we haven’t been able to get on top of things," Nash said. "So, I mean in some ways, the mindset is just the same. It’s adversity, adversity, adversity. If you stay positive, you keep working, there can be an opportunity to turn that adversity into strength. So, that’s what we got to do."