The Yellow Brick Road: How the Lakers Find Their Way Back To Oz

Rest assured Laker fans, when the time comes Jackson’s voice will be heard.  More importantly, he will help this team remember just what it needs to find its way back to the Finals.  For, much like the ruby red slippers that Dorothy wore throughout the entire movie, the remedy for what’s ailed this team has been with it all along.

As the trade deadline approaches, there’s no need for panic.  There’s no quick fix on the horizon and there’s no possibility of a blockbuster deal that would guarantee a trip to the Finals this year.  But there is hope!

For, what this team needs more than anything is effort.  What’s been missing for most of this season is defense. These are the elusive ruby slippers which they’ve been wearing all along, but have disregarded like an old pair of Kobe’s.  For the Lakers to return to their championship selves, they must get those ruby slippers clicking together in order to get back home.

No more half hearted attempts at loose balls.

No more lackluster efforts at boxing out for a rebound.

No more failing to make the appropriate defensive rotation to help out a teammate.

No more.

It’s time for this team to start executing like champions again.  It’s time for them to remember that it’s defense that wins championships.  And it’s time for them to make the commitment to both execution and defense that will be required to win a third consecutive title.

Somewhere over the rainbow, the 2010-11 NBA championship waits and there’s no telling where this Lakers team will be when the Finals end.  The first half of the season tells one story, but last year’s happy ending tells another.

One thing’s for sure though, winning the title three years in a row requires courage, heart, brains, and a lot of luck.  This Lakers team has been there before, twice as a matter of fact; so I’m guessing they can get there again.  And it could be that it’s as easy as clicking their heels together and saying, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!”

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