, 40-37, are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in years. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Ben Eagle
There's been no shortage of drama for the Lakers this season. First they fired Mike Brown after a 1-4 start. Then they flirted with Phil Jackson before ultimately hiring Mike D'Antoni. And now they're in danger of missing the postseason after months of reported locker room drama and injury after injury after injury.
It's enough to drive a coach crazy, says Steve Nash, per Fox Sports and Sports Radio Interviews.com:
“I wouldn’t say he’s happy with where we are, just because it’s been a coach’s nightmare in a lot of ways. You’ve had a lot of guys either injured for great stretches, unfamiliar with one another, no training camp to really get the necessary hours in and finding our balance and who we are as a team. So I know it’s disappointing for him and frustrating because he hasn’t been able to really have a full shot at it.”
Expectations were high for D'Antoni given his relationship with both Nash and Kobe Bryant, but, as Nash points out, injuries to Pau Gasol (missed 33 games), Nash (27 games) and Dwight Howard (six games) made chemistry hard to come by. Hyped as an All-Star lineup prior to the season, the combination of Nash-Bryant-Metta World Peace-Gasol-Howard has only started seven games, all losses.
The Lakers (40-37) and Jazz (41-37) are locked in a tight battle for the No. 8 seed. The Jazz hold a half-game lead and the tiebreaker over the Lakers, who have made the postseason in each of the last seven seasons. Yet Nash, who has missed the last three games, says the Lakers aren't worried.
“I wouldn’t say panic, but with our backs against the wall we need a sense of urgency.”(H/T: SLAM Online)