This is quickly turning into the season from hell for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Expected to waltz into the Western Conference final — at least — upon adding Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to a core that already included Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace, instead, L.A. is three games under .500 with a hard road ahead.
There have been reports of a near fistfight involving Bryant and Howard — which the pair mocked on Twitter — Mike Brown was fired early on and Mike D’Antoni brought in and the defence has been poor.
Howard is out indefinitely after suffering a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He already was playing far below his usual form because of lingering effects from back surgery, and now will miss at least a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, Gasol, who has not fit into D’Antoni’s system, is on the shelf with a concussion and backup big man Jordan Hill will miss at least a week because of a hip injury.