When a team is struggling as badly as the Lakers right now, sitting at 1-4 after many (including your friendly neighborhood SportsGrid staff) predicted you’d win the Western Conference, it’s tempting to find little moments that encapsulate their overall follies – especially when you’re a site that enjoys posting funny sports videos.
It’s tempting even though we freely acknowledge what ails the Lakers is bigger than any one moment – it’s adapting to a new offense with new personnel (and, for now, playing without the the new personnel acquired to make that new offense run smoothly). It’s tempting even though we know, despite the Lakers’ awful start to the season and awful preseason, it’s still extremely early. There are still 77 games to go. The Lakers have too much talent to keep being this bad. We know all this.
With all that said, Dwight Howard airballed a free throw last night, and you will probably laugh at him doing it. Here is that airball:
It’s worth pointing out here that beyond being an amusing symbol of the Lakers’ failures thus far, this is… pretty much Dwight Howard being Dwight Howard at the line. He’s a career 59 percent shooter there. Over the last couple seasons, he’s gotten even worse (an even 50 percent so far in ’12-’13, 49.1 percent last season). The shot above was one of seven he missed from the charity stripe last night. Even if the Lakers turn it around, as expected, Howard will have moments like this. But for now, L.A. isn’t faring much better as a team than its new star center did on that shot. And no matter how early it is, no matter how likely it is that the team eventually finds a rhythm, right now, that’s a legitimate story.