The Lakers’ Biggest X-Factor

The Los Angeles Lakers have an exceptionally talented roster, with players of all different sizes and talents.  From their 32 year-old superstar, to their Spanish big man, the Lakers are perhaps the most talented team in the NBA.  However, just like every championship team, the Lakers have talented role players who hold the key to their success.

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming , left, shoots over Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol (16) in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on October 26, 2010. The Lakers won 112 to 110. UPI/Lori Shepler Photo via Newscom

Without question, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are the team’s MVPs, but their efforts alone cannot carry the Lakers to a three-peat.  Take Game 7 of last year’s Finals for an example, Ron Artest made big shots and key plays down the stretch to clinch the title.

The Lakers have unprecedented talent from top-to-bottom, and certain teams fall to the Lakers due to their inability to guard the juggernaut of talent.

Besides the two-headed monster of Kobe and Pau, the Lakers have three other players in their starting five who can take over a game: veteran guard Derek Fisher, the humanitarian Ron Artest and the young big man Andrew Bynum.

In the past couple of years, the “Bench Mob” was a no-show and failed to impress the Lakers’ coaches and fans.  However, this year is much different.  The Lakers re-amped their bench and the reserves are playing very well so far this season. Coming off the sideline is the versatile Lamar Odom, the highflyer Shannon Brown and the new guys Matt Barnes and Steve Blake.

Kobe and Gasol show up every night, and they rarely take any games off.  Phil Jackson knows what he will get out of his stars every game day, but he is never certain about his other players. Some days, the rest of the team plays exceptionally well, while other days they commit turnovers and are very ineffective.  However, there is one player who, when on “fire,” makes the Lakers unstoppable.  Who is the Lakers X-Factor that will be the key to winning games and ultimately the championship?

Let’s dissect the rest of the Lakers’ roster and try to determine who the team’s X-Factor is.

Next: The Captain

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