By Craig Kwasniewski
Injuries are a part of the game.
Take away 60% of any team's starting five and they'll have problems too.
This is just bad luck... we'll be fine when everyone's healthy.
Enough with the excuses! As the Lakers' season falls deeper and deeper into Bolivia, the front office continues to spew out excuses left and right. Besides the obvious basketball problems (the Smush Parker Era, poor defensive play, tougher schedule than earlier in the season, the Brian Cook Era, youth), the real problem lies with the Lakers dependency on injury prone players.
Below is a list of the five Lakers that have missed significant portions of the season along with the average number of games they play each year. (I didn't count the rookie season because of the many DNP-CD's for rookies.):
Kwame Brown - 67.0 games
Chris Mihm - 67.2 games
Lamar Odom - 63.0 games
Vladimir Radmanovic - 72.3 games
Luke Walton - 65.0 games
So the Lakers are looking at 15 missed games from five of their top eight players each season. Not the best way to utilize Kobe Bryant's prime years is it?
I know every team suffers injuries, and it comes down to the overall depth in talent to survive. The problem with the Lakers is that their front office is trying to rebuild on the fly with players who simply can't go a full season. They're hoping that a combination of a talented training staff and luck will keep these five players on the floor. Keeping fingers crossed is not the best way to build a championship contender.
One of my favorite lines in sports is, "you are what you are." Unfortunately for Laker fans, Mitch Kupchak doesn't follow this notion. So expect more of the same in 07-08... good times.