James Worthy: Lakers need an identity
This has been a tumultuous season, to say the least, for the Lakers.
• Metta World Peace’s torn knee ligament.
• Dwight Howard’s back and shoulder.
• Steve Nash’s leg and back.
• Kobe Bryant’s ankle and now bone spurt.
• Pau Gasol’s foot, concussion and shin splints.
• Steve Blake’s foot and abdomen.
• Jordan Hill’s back.
• Antawn Jamison’s wrist.
It sounds more like an anatomy lesson than a basketball team. The injuries have been a huge part of the Lakers’ woes this season. Because of this, they haven’t had a chance to play that many games together to create the synergy needed to win.
With nine games left, the Lakers still need to prove that they have the mental toughness to make the playoffs in order to compete with the other elite teams in the NBA.
After making a solid run since the All-Star break, the Lakers have lost four of their last five games. Even with the injuries, I still think they can get back on track if they re-establish the defensive consistency and spread the ball around.
The Lakers have yet to create an identity for themselves. This is imperative so when they go out on the floor, they know what their role is. For instance, back in the 80’s, the Detroit Pistons/Bad Boys had a physical and defensive presence every night and that was their identity. The Lakers need to do the same. This identity will create consistent play; you don’t have to think, things come natural which equals confidence.
With less turnovers and a more diverse offense (and a healthier team), the Lakers have a chance of making the playoffs. Let’s stay optimistic until the end.
‘Til next time
Big Game James Worthy is an NCAA champ, 3-time NBA champ and an MVP with the Los Angeles Lakers, a hall of famer, philanthropist and an Analyst for Time Warner Cable SportsNet. For more information or to contact Big Game for an appearance visit www.jamesworthy42.com/contact.