Tuck: Lakers And NBA's Rough Season
Many Hollywood productions begin with difficult beginnings. The Lakers season has been filled with injuries, drama, and adversity. The Lakers and Dwight Howard better hope this follows the typical script with the usual Hollywood ending in Dwight's second season in Los Angeles.
LA got off to about the worst start possible with their stars barely seeing each other in the preseason, and the regular season began with more of the same. The season was filled with injuries and the Lakers, as imagined by fans and GM Mitch Kupchak never materialized. Just check out the list of time missed.
Jordan Hill- 53 games
Steve Nash- 32 games + Game 3? More?
Pau Gasol- 33 games
Kobe Bryant- 4 games + playoffs + next season?
Steve Blake- 37 games + Game 3 and ?
Metta World Peace- 7 games, returned from torn meniscus surgery in 12 days
Dwight Howard- 6 games, played with torn labrum most of the season while still recovering from back sugery
Antawn Jamison- 6 games, played with wrist injury that will require offseason surgery
Jodi Meeks- 4 games + Game 3 and ?
Those were the Lakers projected top 9 rotation players. The first two games were the only ones all season in which they all appeared. They'll end up missing around 150 total games.
A 45-win season and 7th place finish isn't what anyone had in mind this year for LA. Of course, after a 17-25 start, the Lakers actually played at a high level for the remainder of the season, going 28-12 good for the 4th best record in the league over that time-span despite the injuries. That is of little condolence now, but perhaps if the team finds health next season it will have a chance to compete for the title Dwight Howard, and everyone else, thought they'd have a shot at this season.
Other than the Miami's amazing season, I'll probably think back on this year and all the significant time missed by stars. It wasn't just the Lakers. Check out this impressive list of stars who missed a lot of time:
Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Andrew Bynum, Dirk Nowitzki, Rajon Rondo, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Anderson Varejeo, Ricky Rubio, Anthony Davis, Amare Stoudemire, Danny Granger, Brad Beal, Nene, Danillo Gallinari, Mo Williams, Lou Williams, Eric Gordon, Glen Davis, Jameer Nelson, Richard Hamilton, Andrew Bogut, Chauncey Billups, and Brandon Roy
That's a pretty impressive list. Many, many others missed 10-15 games like Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Carmelo Anthony, and Joakim Noah. And it doesn't include Russell Westbrook and David Lee who got hurt in the playoffs.
Let's just hope for good health the rest of the way for all the teams remaining.