Dwight Howard missed all of training camp and most of preseason recovering from back surgery. Kobe Bryant has a sprained foot that requires him to wear a walking boot. Steve Nash is out for a while with a fracture in his fibula.
That lack of continuity led to 11 straight losses – all eight in the preseason, which the Lakers dismissed as games that don’t count, and the first three of the regular season, which counted very much.
Asked after that third loss when it was time to press the panic button, Bryant said somewhat sarcastically, “Now.”
Lakers fans are looking for a different button – the one for the ejection seat for coach Mike Brown.
Virtually every team is dealing with injuries and incorporating new players. The Mavericks are without Dirk Nowitzki – and beat the Lakers. The Trail Blazers have a rookie point guard – and beat the Lakers. The Clippers have five new players in their rotation – and beat the Lakers.
Those teams aren’t trying to install a new offense, however. In the offseason, the Lakers hired Eddie Jordan as an assistant coach with the express purpose of having him put in the Princeton offense, his calling card as an NBA coach. The idea was to have Jordan complement Brown, whose principles are in defense.