LOS ANGELES — For as bad of a season it has been for the Los Angeles Lakers, their utter lack of any consistent success cannot be measured by their win and loss totals.
This season for the Lakers has had many valley rather than peaks as the exemplified by the team’ loss on Friday’s against the Golden State Warriors that gave them their most losses in a regular season surpassing the 1957-58 Minneapolis team that loss 53 games.
It has been a year where the team could not be truly gauged because of one overwhelming factor. Injuries. The Lakers this season have had injuries all throughout the roster in particular to their core players in Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
Not at any point throughout the season have the Lakers had their entire team available because of injuries occurring one after another on a daily basis. It also certainly does not help given the fact that two of their best players in Nash and Bryant have only played in a total combined 20 games this season.
The injury bug has hit other players such as Xavier Henry, whose season was cut short as he only played in 43 games due to a torn ligament in his left wrist and a bone bruise in right knee that both required surgery. Gasol has missed eight out of last nine contests due to his lingering symptoms in relation with his bout of vertigo and may sit outthe last three games of the year.
The Lakers’ injury list goes on and on from Jordan Farmar missing 42 games this year due a hamstring and groin issues to Nick Young sitting out 17 games because of a fracture and bone bruise in his left knee.
What these injuries have done has put guys in roles that they are not only accustomed to but also cannot get fulfill because of their lack of ability.
“My job is to get these guys the best, They ‘ve been dealt a bad hand, Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni said. “This a bad hand. Injuries have decimated us. We’ve lost some of our guys. Steve Blake’s grittiness, we lost that. These guys are up against it, and they’re playing for the best franchise in the league. They’ve been dealt a tough hand.
“It’s my job to give them everything I’ve got, and that’s all I worry about, I don’t worry about anything else. I can’t control anything else, so I’m good.”
For Young, the franchise-record 54 losses does not truly define what type of team the Lakers have been in the 2013-14 season.
“I don’t think that define us,” Young said “I don’t think so. We had a lot of situations with the injuries. All year guys are in and out and its been tough. When you start off with everybody you have a routine. Then we guys start getting hurt you kind of get out of that routine. People ain’t used to being scorers or do other stuff.”
But with said, Young added that he wants people to remember the team for their heart and competitiveness.
“Playing with our emotions and playing with our hearts out there” Young said. “Even though we lost 54 games we are still out there trying hard and competing. I hoping it shows. Some nights are better than others. The losses do get to you and frustrate you, but at end of the day you go out there, and I go out there, try to have as much fun and play as hard as I can.”
The amount of wins may not display it, but Los Angeles has given it their all on a nightly basis by trying to make the best of what they have. Yes, Injuries are a part of the game, but what has happened to the Lakers this season has been far beyond what anyone expected.
Photo Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times