Ted Green: Is the Ache Show heading for a hard fall?
And if you're the Lakers, you hate giving up your title even more because you're just not healthy enough to defend it. That hurts too.
But look at them. They're a real mess. Truth is, the Lake Show has become the Ache Show.
Kobe Bryant ... the grotesquely swollen finger on his shooting hand, the sore knee he had to rest at the end. The poor guy’s a train wreck, finally off the rails. A high-mileage mega-star now possibly showing his age.
Andrew Bynum ... down for a third time in his roller coaster career with a significant injury. Will the Achilles hold up, and how much of a factor can he be if HE has a bad wheel too?
Shannon Brown ... bum thumb, and he's one of the healthy ones.
And now Sasha Vujacic ... one limping Slovenian, ankle sprain, out maybe a few weeks.
This is not an RX for reclaiming the NBA title.
It's more of a prescription for a second-round exit.
Phoenix could get them then.
If Ron Artest brings the bug spray, I do think they'll exterminate the Durantchilla, Kevin Durant, and those young guns from Okie City, even if Durant is the youngest scoring champ ever.
But to believe that in their current banged-up condition the Lakers can beat (hypothetically) the Suns, the deep Dallas Mavericks in a Western final and then either LeBron James and the Cavs or the Orlando Magic in the championship series -- 12 total wins against those clubs -- well, that’s a real stretch.
I hate to put this on 24 because Kobe has spilled his guts for the organization, but if he comes out this weekend and gives the Okies the Mamba treatment, drops 40 on them, then all bets are off. The Lakers could still make a big run.
But looking at them right now, on April 15, the way they limped (literally) to the finish line of the regular season, it’s taxing, all right.
They need to send out an all-points bulletin for their momentum. It’s missing, gone.
Right now, there's no telling what the Ache Show is going to run out of first, ice or live bodies.
-- Ted Green
Green formerly covered the Lakers for the L.A. Times and is currently senior sports producer for "KTLA Prime News."
Photo: Kobe Bryant. Credit: Steve C Wilson / Associated Press.