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

Not worry, these are expected during the beginning of the season. It is great to get the kinks out early instead of late. Everyone knows that it is NOT how you start but how you finish. If the Lakers started the season going 30-0 but ended the season losing 10 out of 20 games, nobdy would remember their winning streak. Ask the 2000-2001 Lakers who started the season off 15-9 but ended up killing teams in the playoffs, going 15-1 to domiante the history of the NBA. Not to mention, the Spurs were ranked #1 that season but the Lakers swept them by an average of 24 points. So there is no need to push that panic button this season, unless we start getting injuries and losing our core, then I will help you push the button. But as long as the dynamic duo of Kobe and Pau is healthy, we are set!!!

  • By simply looking at the lakers body language , it is evident that they have a “relaxed” mind set, they need to start playing with a “killer” instinct. I think for the lakers, “thanks giving” meant they were happily giving way 4 consecutive games. They need to start playing DEFENSE. And when I say DEFENSE, I dont mean kobe guarding the best player on the opposing team, and everyone else standing around and watching. I mean EVERYONE playing Lock Down D. Once we have the Defensive mind set , the offense will flow back in. Lets Get it together!d

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