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How much trouble are the Lakers in?

It's too soon to tell

Ira Winderman

Sun Sentinel

Who knows? We haven't seen the real Lakers yet.

This is not LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh working through their growing pains during a 9-8 Heat start to the 2010-11 season. This is a Lakers team that has yet to play a single game intact under the D'Antoni system. For now there is nothing but chaos, chaos exacerbated by Pau Gasol's knee issues.

Only when Kobe Brant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash are together on the court, playing in whatever style D'Antoni is supposed to be delivering, can we appreciate the level of desperation.

Like Howard's free throws, we have no idea where this is going, and we won't until it's whole.

iwinderman@tribune.com

Wait for Nash's return

Brian Schmitz

Orlando Sentinel

The best (and worst) thing about an NBA season is that it is 82 games. We figured that by now, the Lakers would just be bored with it all, the only real entertainment provided by Dwight Howard and Jack Nicholson yukking it up.

They'd be largely marking time until the playoffs.

Instead, there has been high drama, coaches coming and going, offenses installed and stalled, Dwight a fright at the line. If Steve Nash had been playing during this slow start, I'd say the Lakers should sound an alarm.

But let's see them after Nash returns from injury in a week or so. The offense will run smoother and Mike D'Antoni will be a much better coach.

bschmitz@tribune.com

Lakers are a mess

Lisa Dillman

Los Angeles Times

Underwater and sinking fast. Welcome to the injury-riddled, befuddling Lakers season, checking in at an underwhelming 8-10.

Turnovers (average of 16.3 per game in Mike D'Antoni era) and trouble seems to lurk around every corner considering that seven of the Lakers' next nine games are on the road and that there is no fixed date for Steve Nash's return.

Backup point guard Steve Blake was scheduled to have abdominal surgery Wednesday and won't be back for at least six to eight weeks. Dwight Howard seems in denial about his considerable free-throw shooting woes. At least Magic Johnson hasn't tweeted about the Lakers since Monday morning. Then again, the day is not over yet.

ldillman@tribune.com

Nash will improve team

K.C. Johnson

Chicago Tribune

They're in far more trouble than anticipated, but no assessment can be fully completed until Steve Nash gets healthy.

Not that Nash is still the player who won back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards. But his body of work under Mike D'Antoni can't be ignored. Simply put, he'll make that team better.

It's also logical to assume the Lakers will turn the asset that is Pau Gasol into something that fits better for them with Dwight Howard. Gasol is still a very good player who can net a good player.

The organization is known for making big moves. These initial ones haven't worked to this point. Give it one or two more tweaks until the obituary is written.

kcjohnson@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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