Why Are The Lakers Struggling, And When Will They Pull It Together?

This time last week, the Lakers were 13-2, the Miami Heat were floating one game above .500 and all was well in Tinsel Town. Today, the Lakers sit at 13-6, and although the Super Friends of South Beach continue to struggle, all is most certainly not well for the purple and gold.

Losing to Utah, Indiana, Memphis and Houston is undesirable at any point in the season – doing so in four consecutive games is simply unacceptable for a two-time defending NBA champion. Unexplainably, the Lakers, who were projected by many to finish the season with an upwards of 60 wins, have apparently forgotten how to close out a game and capture a victory.

June 15, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02204159 Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant reacts to a shot against the Boston Celtics during the first half of game six of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA 15 June 2010. Boston leads the series 3-2 for the best of seven games.

Maintaining leads and closing out opponents has come up as a cause for concern for the Lakers in the past; however, with one of the best benches in basketball (freshly coined the “Killer B’s” following their hot start to the season) to go along with a rejuvenated Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, the formula to success appeared as simple as two plus two for the Lakers during their first 15 games of 2010.

Now, as they rest on the heels of a four game losing streak, they must ask themselves: “is this really how we are planning on defending our title?” If the answer is yes, the Lakers and their fans can kiss any hopes at a three-peat, goodbye; because the fellas out in Boston, San Antonio and Orlando are playing like the Lakers are just another team, not the reigning world champs.

Although it is crucial for the Lakers to pick up as many wins as possible while the season is still young, and while their players are still fresh – it’s generally more favorable (in the long run) to struggle and work out all the kinks early on; because come playoff time, they will not have any time to gel or figure out their identity. The teams of the Western Conference are too tough to let the Lakers believe that they can coast to a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance without facing a challenge. If the Lakers do have that mindset (which I don’t believe they do), they are going to struggle mightily when they start facing off with the NBA’s elite.

Next: Complacency Killed the Champs

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Trae Young Joins LeBron James In Exclusive Statistical Group

In the 2021 NBA playoffs, Trae Young joined Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James as the only players…

Kobe Bryant’s Arthritic Knee Seriously Threatened NBA Career

Last season Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers were embarrassed in…

Lakers Vs. Warriors Videos: Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Luke Walton

On the night of Kobe Bryant’s jersey retirement, the Los Angeles Lakers sent their second game of the season against the Golden State Warriors into overtime…

Lakers News: Robert Horry, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels Attend 2020 California Strong Celebrity Softball Game

Fresh off sweeping a two-game road trip, Los Angeles Lakers teammates Quinn Cook and Troy Daniels were on hand…