Lamar Odom may not be panicking, but LAist is. After a disastrous three-game road swing that resulted in losses to horrible teams like the Raptors, Knicks, and Celtics, the Lakers now find themselves tied with the Nuggets for the last playoff spot in the West. The fact of the matter is that the Shaq trade has been a total disaster. While we never pretended that it was possible to get equal value for Shaq, LAist did think that Lamar Odom and Caron Butler would play better.
Instead Odom remains timid near the hole, has not shown an ounce of his much-advertised ball-handling point-forward skills. Caron Butler has proven only to be a slightly above-average (and often inconsistent) scorer who can't do much else. With Kobe, the three of them were supposed to lead the Lakers' showtime revival.
To add insult to injury, Brian Grant has been an absolute joke, averaging 3.5 points a game and eating almost $12 million in cap space. We all knew Brian Grant's best days were behind him, but $4 million a point?! That's unacceptable.
The leader of the Lakers 2005 sinking ship is now Frank Hamblen who loves to joke about what a bad coach he is. Hamblen is right. He is a bad coach. He's gone 4-9 since he took over Rudy Tomjanovich, who we were never high on either.
Hamblen refuses to run Rudy T's offense (whatever that was) because he claims to be incapable of calling plays from the bench. So instead he is bringing back Phil Jackson's triangle offense, that is foreign to most of the new Lakers. It's never easy to institute a new offense mid-season, but the Triangle is especially complex.
This is fast becoming a wasted year for the Lakers, who we hope can improve with Larry Brown or Flip Saunders as their coach next year.