Teams facing an 0-3 deficit have never won an NBA playoff series, and the Lakers appear to face even longer odds than usual. Steve Nash, Metta World Peace, Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks and, of course, Kobe Bryant, will all miss Game 4 against the Spurs. Even those who will play aren't necessarily healthy, as Pau Gasol is considering an offseason procedure to address a degenerative condition in both knees. As the Lakers season crash lands, here's the latest on the purple and gold:
- Dwight Howard's future will be a central topic in the coming months, but Howard told reporters, including Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com, that he hasn't given thought to where he'll sign next season (Twitter link).
- Wherever he winds up, the Hack-a-Howard fouling strategy figures to follow, though NBA president of basketball operations Joel Litvin wishes it wouldn't. Litvin expressed distaste for the rules that allow teams to intentionally foul players away from the ball, but commissioner David Stern seems to favor the status quo, as Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times observes.
- In the same piece, Bresnahan provides more details on the set-off rights the Lakers have on their contract with Mike Brown now that he'll be coaching the Cavs. Brown was slated to receive about $7MM from the Lakers over the next two seasons, but L.A. could recoup anywhere from $1.5MM to $3.5MM of that. As we've heard before, the precise amount of the relief for the Lakers won't be known until the league finalizes Brown's contract, which could take a month.
- Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com chroncles the journey of Andrew Goudelock from getting waived in training camp to winning the D-League MVP award to starting in the NBA playoffs.