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The Best Laid Plans...

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Kobe had his “minor” knee surgery in July, with the theory that he’d be ready to go in training camp and be at full force by the start of the season. He’s clearly not. The ugly loss to Detroit on Friday night was the kind of game that last season Kobe just took over – nothing else was working so he’d score 50 and keep the Lakers close, if not win the game. Right now he physically can’t do that.

Chris Mihm was going to provide some depth at center then likely be a very good trade bait come February – he is not only 7 foot and can score, but he has a contract that expires at the end of this season, which is the coin of the realm in the NBA. Except that now he will spend the season recovering from ankle surgery.

One week ago the Lakers were 3-0, optimism abounded and Laker brass looked farsighted. Today, that optimism has faded, the Lakers have lost three of four, Kobe looks human and when they saw their first zone defense of the season the Lakers looked like you asked them to do some trigonometry.

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And they need to get it back together, starting tonight against struggling Memphis. While the season is just a couple weeks old the Lakers enter a stretch that may determine where they go in the playoffs – or if they go – with 12 of the next 13 at Staples Center. (Technically one of those is a road game against the Clippers, but that’ll still be the Laker banners hanging in the building).

There have been glimpses of just how good the Lakers can be, but Phil Jackson needs to get a full view in the next few weeks.

AP photo by Chris Carlson