Lakers (25-52) lost all four contests through Week 23, gaining ground on the Utah Jazz (24-53) in the lottery standings. Nick Young may relish the "player hater" role, but the Lakers didn't get much spoiling done.
Currently slotted sixth for May's
NBA draft lottery, the Lakers now have a chance to at least tie the Jazz for fifth -- assuming the Lakers don't win any of their final five games on the schedule.
The week began with a resumption of the debate -- should
Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman play on the court together?
Gasol said he believes it's something that
could have worked for the team this season, although it clearly wasn't Coach Mike D'Antoni's preference.
The two seven-footers
got their wish on Tuesday against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, although Gasol wasn't quite himself as he tried to return from a bout with vertigo.
took up for D'Antoni before the game, a departure for the often frustrated center.
scored 40 points against Portland, the Lakers still fell, 124-112.
Gasol said he
didn't feel confident during the game, still experiencing some dizziness while playing. The duo of Gasol and Kaman didn't have much staying power as both missed the rest of the week, Kaman suffering a calf injury.
A relapse of vertigo may keep Gasol out for the
rest of the season. Xavier Henry may also be done for the year with knee and wrist injuries.
With his fellow bigs out,
Jordan Hill stepped into big minutes, but noted he was unlikely to return to the Lakers next season under similar circumstances (based on D'Antoni's preference for small ball).
The Lakers fell again on Wednesday night, falling in Sacramento to the
Kings, 107-102. With the team's 50th loss, the Lakers all but solidified 6th position for NBA draft lottery.
Dallas Mavericks pulled away in the second half to beat the Lakers on Friday, 107-95. Steve Nash was able to play on both Tuesday and Friday, but is always facing the possibility, " This could be it tonight," with back and nerve issues. The 40-year-old point guard is just five assists away from passing Mark Jackson for third on the all-time assists list.
The Lakers also fell to the Clippers on Sunday,
120-97, and Nash sat out the afternoon game.
Kobe Bryant and Nash have made their dollars earned per minutes played off the charts.
Bryant proved to be
quite the prognosticator, picking Kentucky Wildcats to win the NCAA tournament. Lottery prospect Julius Randle helped the Wildcats advance to the final game against the Connecticut Huskies -- to be played on Monday night.
should target Connecticut's Kevin Ollie as their next head coach.
Meanwhile, Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins
declared for the June 26 NBA draft.
While the Lakers have struggled most of the year, the
D-Fenders cinched the D-League's West division. They'll draw the Santa Cruz Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.
Finally, the Lakers announced a deal to
build a new practice facility near their current El Segundo facility. ALSO: Lakers should target Connecticut's Kevin Ollie as next head coach Kobe Bryant's pick, Kentucky, will face Connecticut in NCAA final Clippers blow past Lakers in second half for 120-97 victory
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