After a two-game winning streak, things are finally looking up for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen plenty of these small Lakers runs earlier in the season, but always watched the franchise fall back into disarray with a string of losses.
With the Feb. 21 trading deadline just around the corner and the 2012-13 campaign more than halfway in the books, L.A. simply cannot afford to keep taking one step forward and two steps back.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest buzz surrounding the team in Tuesday’s rumor roundup.
Should the Lakers fire D'Antoni?
Even though D’Antoni is a pitiful 14-20 on the season, there is apparently no chance the Lakers brass parts way with the head coach prior to the end of the season.
According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, the organization has elected to sink or swim with the run-and-gun offensive guru. The reporter’s insider sources found that there are no plans to “pink-slip” D’Antoni, despite the struggles.
With a major win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the books and Kobe Bryant embracing his role as a facilitator, there’s actually a beginning of a case to retain the veteran HC for the 2013-14 campaign.
D12 is set to become a free agent this coming summer, but Lawrence’s sources are noting that the organization is not planning on the big man leaving.
While there were some rumblings over the past few weeks that GM Mitch Kupchak would consider some potential trades for the big man—as his team was facing the very real possibility of missing the playoffs—it no longer looks to be in the cards.
It’s going to take some convincing to keep Howard in L.A., but there’s a much more realistic chance he sticks around if the Lakers retain him.
There doesn’t seem to be much else on the horizon for the Southern California-based team, as things are looking up this week and that could hopefully signify a turnaround that fans have been desperately hoping for since the season started.
John Hollinger of ESPN has a playoff odds calculator that currently puts the Lakers at a 31.3 percent chance of making the postseason, which would certainly increase if the squad keeps playing as well as it has.
It doesn’t appear the Lakers need a drastic change to fix their problems, just some consistency from their star players.