The Lakers finished up with a 45-37 record in 2012-13, which had them finish in 3rd place in the Pacific Division, 11 games behind the Clippers. The Lakers were then swept out of the playoffs in four straight games by the San Antonio Spurs. Here is a look at the players who made the biggest impacts for the Lakers in 2012-13, in my opinion:
TEAM MVP: Kobe Bryant – When 34-year old shooting guard Kobe Bryant went down to injury late in the 2012-13 season, it ended any hope of the Lakers’ making a deep playoff run. Bryant played in 78 games (all starts) for the Lakers last year and he averaged 38.6 minutes, 27.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Bryant had 16 double-doubles and 3 triple-doubles last year. Bryant scored at least 30 points in a game 35 times in 2012-13 for the Lakers. He also had 10 or more rebounds 7 times, 10 or more assists 11 times and 3 or more steals 12 times last year. Kobe proved in 2012-13 that he still has plenty left in the gas tank.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Steve Nash – 39-year old point guard Steve Nash just couldn’t stay healthy in 2012-13. He played in 50 games (all starts) for the Lakers last year and he averaged 32.5 minutes, 12.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game. He did still shoot well as he hit 49.7% from the floor, 43.8% from three point range and 92.2% from the free throw line last year. Nash had 8 double-doubles for the Lakers last year. He only scored more than 20 points four times last year and he had 10 or more assists 10 times in 2012-13. He looked like a shell of his former self in 2012-13.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Earl Clark – 25-year old power forward Earl Clark was just a throw in for the Lakers in the Dwight Howard deal last summer. He played in 59 games (36 starts) for the Lakers last year and he averaged 23.1 minutes, 7.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Clark had 11 double-doubles for the Lakers last year. Clark scored at least 10 points in 22 games last year and he had at least 10 rebounds in 12 games.