Written by: Josh Surdin
This week the Lakers got back to what they needed to, basics. Pound the ball inside and feed the bigs. The trio of Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol put great numbers all week long, culminating in a historic blowout last night against Cleveland. This is what the Lakers should be, and need to be doing. This team is built around Kobe Bryant and his talents in the back court, but is blessed with the size and length of the front court.
The times when the Lakers seem to struggle this season is when for some reason or another, they go away from the big men down low. During the Shaq and Kobe era, they used the inside outside game to near perfection. Whether it was Glenn Rice, Rick Fox, Robert Horry or Kobe on the perimeter, the Lakers used the inside-outside game to their advantage.
Going ahead, the Lakers need to continue the trend of going to the big men on the block. This formula has landed them in three straight NBA Finals, winning two of them. The only finals appearance that this core group of Lakers lost was in the 2007–08 season due to Andrew Bynum going down for the season with his knee injury. Since the three big men have started playing together, the Lakers are 179-67 winning a staggering 72% of their games.