The Lakers are struggling to say the least. This is no surprise to anyone if they have been keeping up with basketball. However the reason for their struggles is finally coming to the fore front.
For years when the Lakers lost it was blamed on Kobe by default. Cast off as another night that Kobe decided to go one on five.
For the first time analyst are finally doing their job, and they've come to the conclusion that the Lakers are actually more sucessful this year when Kobe is aggressive. To go further in detail this season Kobe has to score on a average of 35 points a game for the Lakers to even be competitive.
That is insane!
Yes it is insane that Kobe is doing it at his age with such a injury as a damaged ligament in his shooting wrist. What is even more insane is that he has to do it at all!
Kobe plays with arguably the second best center in the game next to Howard and the games most skilled power forward. Just one problem they are LAZY!
When the game is going their way they can be complete beasts! When the calls aren't going their way and they feel they are not getting enough touches they disappear altogether.
Especially Pau Gasol!
To support my claim I will go to the stats. In the Lakers first loss against the Chicago Bulls, Gasol a power forward and I used the term "power" very loosely had a disheartening 8 rebounds, a very pedestrian 14 points to his credit he did have 3 blocks. However Gasol has to put up better numbers playing along side Bynum down low between the two of them they should dominant every game on the boards.
In the second lost of the season Gasol had 15 points and 9 rebounds, these are numbers that are acceptable for a solid small forward or a bench player not a perennial all-star.
Then to make matter worse Dwight Howard doubled both Gasol's and Bynum's productions by himself in the Laker's loss to Orlando.
Gasol is averaging 13 attempts this year which matches his career attempts so its not like he is used to having more touches he is just doing less now with his touches then he used to.
Bynum is averaging 12 touches a game, for his career he is only used to getting 7. So what is his complaint. Kobe's assist are up this year also and would be even higher if players would convert wide open shots.
So why is Kobe taking more shots then both combined? Because they fail to get proper position and they fail to get offensive rebounds. If you take away Kobe's ungodly 14 rebounds against Minnesota. The Lakers would of have had the same amount of total rebounds as Minnesota's offensive rebounds.
What the Laker's will get with the acquisition of Dwight Howard is hard work, athleticism, and toughness. Also Howard is a true big man in every sense of the word. He plays tough defense and rebounds every game. Not when he feels like it.
Howard averages 20 points and 15 rebounds with 2 blocks a game. He only gets one more touch a game then Gasol and Bynum gets, so how is it that he averages more points by such a significant margin. It's simple, he is averaging 4 offensive rebounds a game. Unlike Gasol and Bynum when Howard gets a offensive rebound one or two things are guaranteed to happen. He will either score or get fouled.
This trade is a no brainer for the Laker's. They should try to trade for Howard and retain one of their big's. but if they can't get rid of both of them the upside to having Howard is way better than the down side without him.