Lakers Rumors: L.A. Is Too Old to Make a Serious Playoff Run with Derek Fisher
The Los Angeles Lakers were quickly dispatched in the Western Conference semifinals last season, losing four of five games to the Oklahoma City Thunder. They were out-worked and out-manned, prompting the team to make several offseason additions.
Star power certainly isn't a bad thing, particularly when they are superstars.
The problem is that several members of the Lakers team appear to be of the shooting variety—and not as in three-point shooting either.
Los Angeles has too many stars who are falling to age and injury.
Bryant was able to start the season on the court instead of in street clothes. The 34-year-old is working through a foot injury, but he didn't seem to be affected too much on opening night.
He had 22 points on 11-of-14 shooting. But the Lakers dropped the game 99-91 to the Dallas Mavericks.
Nash, 38, looked slow and labored in the opener. He had difficulty finding his range in limited shooting, going 3-of-9 and just 1-of-3 from three-point range.
Gasol and World Peace are just 32 years old, but both have a lot of basketball on their legs.
This leaves the 26-year-old Howard as the only young star on the team, but he struggles with back issues.
The Lakers need to consider how they are going to back up and spell Nash, who can't play 40 minutes a game. But shopping Steve Blake and Chris Duhon to clear salary and roster room for Fisher will do as much harm as good.
Fisher is also 38 years old. He can be a decent backup for Nash, but he can't be counted on to step into the lineup if Nash misses any time.
There are also limitations as to when Fisher can be used. He can't hang with the quicker players, and his shooting percentage was down last season in Oklahoma City.
It just seems as though Fisher's productive days are behind him. He was a good player and leader, and he would bring a veteran presence, but it is difficult to imagine him taking on that role again as a bit player.
The Lakers have some difficult decisions to make. It is too late for them to get younger, but getting older simply shouldn't be a consideration for the 2012-13 season.
Fisher won't fill any of the needs facing the Lakers. The league may have determined that he is eligible to sign with Los Angeles following being traded last year, but that doesn't mean Mitch Kupchak should consider pulling the trigger.
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