There isn’t a team in the NBA that can compete with the Los Angeles Lakers on paper. Yes, the three-headed monster of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh is impressive; sure, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are fierce. All in all, though, nobody has the top to bottom, complete package that the Lakers have. Offense. Defense. Scoring. Passing. Defense. You name it, this squad has it.
Unfortunately, you can’t trade away for good health. And that, above all else, is what may bring L.A. down this year.
The injuries are piling up. As we noted yesterday, the Lakers’ starting five is already ravaged by an assortment of minor to mediocre helth concerns. Kobe Bryant has a strained right foot. Dwight Howard is still recovering from back issues. Metta World Peace dislocated a finger on his shooting hand recently. Steve Nash tweaked his ankle in the last game. And again, all of this is through six preseason games. We haven’t even hit the regular season yet.
Kobe and the gang are scheduled to take on the Clippers tonight, however, it doesn’t look as though Kobe will actually be playing in this one. As reported by ESPN:
…when asked whether he would suit up, Bryant's reply was pretty clear.
And if it was a regular-season game?
Which could very well mean he sits in Thursday's preseason finale as well.
No bueno. On the bright side, though, Jordan Hill might play tonight. You will recall, when Hill got hurt some estimates had him missing as much as three months. He will be a crucial part of the Lakers’ bench this year, so don’t underestimate the importance of his return.