The Los Angeles Lakers just lost their length.
Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported the news via Twitter:
Dwight Howard has torn labrum in his right shoulder, is out at least a week. Pau Gasol has a concussion, is out at least two games. #Lakers— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 7, 2013
Howard suffered a shoulder injury in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. He played through it against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, but the injury turned out to be worse than a stinger that was originally reported by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register. Gasol likely sustained his concussion on Sunday.
These injuries are exactly what L.A. doesn’t need right now.
Gasol has struggled mightily the past two games in scoring a total of just 13 points, but Howard has been the Lakers’ second-most valuable player behind Kobe Bryant all season. D12 is averaging 17.3 points, 12.4 boards and 2.6 blocks per game, all while maintaining an impressive player efficiency ratio of 20.1.
As a result of this news, Robert Sacre is expected to see more time, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com via Twitter.
With a record of 15-18, losing that much production for a significant period of time is crushing news for Los Angeles. Not only will it be more difficult for the Lakers to climb back to .500 without Howard, but it will also disrupt the development of the D12-Gasol chemistry even more.
The Spaniard only played 27 minutes against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday because he was nearly useless with Howard on the floor. It’ll be impossible for L.A. to overcome its chemistry woes if the players with the chemistry issues can’t stay healthy.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.