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At one time they were the preseason favorites to make the NBA finals, now the Lakers seem to be on the edge of the playoffs after a quarter of the 2012-2013 NBA season. The additions of Dwight Howard, Antawn Jamison, and Steve Nash were supposed to boost the team to the level of the Heat, Thunder, and Spurs, but after last night’s loss to the Houston Rockets, the team now sits at 8-10 and just starting a stretch where six of their next seven games are on the road. So what exactly is happening with this supposed super team?
Well, the most noticeable problem has been Dwight Howard’s free throw shooting. He’s shooting 47% for the season which is only slightly lower than his career average, but the problem comes at the point in the game where he’s shooting these free throws. The NBA allows for fouls off the ball up to the last two minutes of the game, which means teams will foul Dwight Howard constantly in the fourth quarter. Throughout this season, this tactic has succeeded beautifully because it stops any offensive flow as well as piles the pressure on Dwight to make free throws.
Another reason why the Lakers are struggling this season is due to the injury to Steve Nash. He suffered a leg fracture earlier in the season and will still be out for another two to three weeks. The thing many people forget is that Steve Nash was injury prone throughout his career in Dallas until he arrived in Phoenix where their training staff is considered the best in the NBA. Look for a similar situation to happen to Grant Hill who’s with the other team in LA this season, the Clippers.
After all this, Kobe still remains. If he expounds too much energy at the beginning of the season, he will surely run out of energy come playoff-time. He’s simply played too many games and had too many injuries in his career to be 100% effective from November thru June. Plus, this was an Olympic year which means he had to play games all summer. One other interesting stat about Kobe this year, the Lakers record is 1 – 7 when Kobe has more than 20 shots per game. It’s something to consider if the Lakers continue their struggle and Kobe feels the need to put the team on his shoulders.


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