Los Angeles Lakers: Don't Be Fooled, the Lakers Are Still Capable

Hayden Kim@@HayDayKimCorrespondent IIIJanuary 19, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 19:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 19, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

LeBron James and the Miami Heat are once again victorious against what looks to be a confused Los Angeles Laker team.

Though the box score showed a mere 11-point margin, the mental gap was much worse.

Miami looks to be the early favorites for the title this year and as of now, the Lakers can only talk about why they can't seem to score 90 points a game on a consistent basis. 

After cringing and smacking myself with whatever was around me, the sad but relevant reality came into mind.

Kobe is the reason why this Laker team is struggling and unless he can wise up and transition into a different style of play, his team won't have a chance to compete for another title, at least for the time being.

The loss of former Sixth Man of the Year, Lamar Odom, has most definitely looked like a big minus thus far.

It is still apparent that the Lakers are still the lone wolf team that has yet to find a legitimate starting point guard, and yet, there is still hope for this veteran group of players.

What the Lakers need to do is consistently pound the ball inside to the best frontcourt in the NBA in some form of a high-low.

If the team doesn't establish the post, Kobe is not only going to shoot the Lakers out of the NBA Finals, he is going to shoot his way out of the league. Time is clicking and the Lakers need to figure this out fast.

The single most frustrating aspect of the Lakers this season has to be the bench—again.

Mitch Kupchak managed to bring in veteran sharpshooter, Jason Kapono, right before the season and as most Laker role players have done, he has instantly tanked in unconventional fashion as soon as they come to Los Angeles.

Is it Kobe you ask?

No one really knows, but it sure is hurting the Lakers in a huge way.

With the lack of outside shooting, defenses around the league have comfortably clogged the paint forcing the Lakers to chuck up low percentage shots and for this very reason, Gasol and Bynum have had a hard time getting touches.


However, there are some positives on this Laker team: the improvement in defense, Bynum's production and Steve Blake.

The Lakers still—believe it or not—have the tools to be a contender in the West, it's just up to Coach Brown and Kobe to figure out this offensive mess before it's too late.

Now, a lot of you are probably jumping right to Dwight Howard at this point and I don't blame you, I mean he is bar none the most dominant big man in the NBA and no one questions that, but have you forgotten that Bynum comes in at a close second?

Flip situations with Bynum and Howard and you might be surprised to see that there isn't that big a difference in production, to be honest, Bynum is the more skilled player.

The Lakers problem does not relate to inside play, it is more about the lack of point guard production mixed in with terrible bench play.

If the Lakers can manage to make some moves this season to get a viable starting point guard, who knows how good this Laker team could be? 

Gasol, Bynum and Kobe is still one of the best trios in the NBA, so don't give up on them just quite yet.

The Lakers are now a measly 10-6 and are heading to Orlando for their two-game road trip, possibly being their first true test on the road.

The Lakers, as usual, will be a matchup nightmare for the Magic and if they can manage to knock off Orlando, which has been one of the surprising teams in the East this season, they can prove that they still belong at the top.

People may already have begun to count out the Lakers, but it's still a long season, even if it's just 66 games.