After a month of play, the Los Angeles Lakers are who we thought they were. A team that is only a few pieces away from being a legitimate viable threat to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy once again.
Unfortunately, the present day Lakers are going in the wrong direction, as they’re on a three-game losing streak, capped off by a 98-96 home loss to the Indiana Pacers last night.
The Mamba & Co. had a double-digit lead in the first half, and were up by as much as seven points midway through the fourth quarter, but couldn’t seal the deal against the Pacers, a team who by the way is having one of those aberration type of starts, posting a 11-4 record early on in this lockout shortened season.
The Mamba had a 33 point night, while Andrew Bynum scored 16 points, and totaled 8 rebounds (four boards under his average). But the big issue that keeps rearing its head is the consistency of Pau Gasol inability to be a solid number two option for the Lakers. The Spaniard finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds, and only took eight shot attempts. What happened to the Gasol of three nights ago in Miami that totaled 26 points? Gasol can not afford to have moments in which he spontaneously gives the Lakers his best “Ghost Protocol” imitation.
Offensively, the Lakers look fine through three quarters of play, but the fourth quarter is where the Lakeshow’s anemic offense reared its ugly head once again. Maybe it takes time for these players to fully adjust to this new offense, but I’m not sure how much patience Laker Nation will have as the season progresses. I had a conversation with a friend of mine a couple of days ago, and I think we accurately diagnosed the Lakers offensive woes. Simply put, it’s hard to score in coach Mike Brown’s offense with “Triangle Personnel.”
With three games on the slate this week, which includes a rematch with Lob City (Los Angeles Clippers), and two road games against the Milwaukee Bucks (who are fresh off of a victory against the Miami Heat) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (who recently beat Lob City). This by no means, will be a money in the bank type of week for the Lakeshow.
I know the Lakers and Laker Nation ask a lot of Kobe, but he relishes these kind of moments when the odds are against him. Sitting at only two games over .500 in this 66-game season, its now time for Bryant to get into Black Mamba mode once again, and like one of the lines in his latest Nike commercial, take this team “over the top.”
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Written by Arthur Kai