7 Reasons the Los Angeles Lakers Are in Total Disarray
They've gone from a Championship Team to a mediocre, unpredictable club in a few short years. Once feared as the two-time Defending Champ, the Los Angeles Lakers have turned into just another middle of the pack team in the deep Western Conference.
Oh, how they have fallen.
The Lakers face a myriad of problems, issues, and challenges if they want Kobe to hoist another Larry O'Brien trophy.
They are inconsistent. They are hard to predict. The Purple and Gold have always had a strong bench. Check that, they used to be known for their strong bench. They used to have some of the top coaches in the game, but the current one is struggling to find his way among the glitz and glamor of Southern California. Their Hall of Fame superstar has put the team on his back, sure, but he is pressing and drastically needs some help. The man making the personnel moves has made some moves that haven't moved anyone. And the "chosen one", Jim Buss—talk about big shoes to fill.
Weak Laker Bench
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The bench is a disappointment.
They signed Steve Blake to be Derek Fisher's backup, but Blake has struggled. Injury problems kept him out of the lineup for a while, and now that he is back, he is still trying to find his rhythm.
Matt Barnes was supposed to be a defensive stopper, but his impact has been insignificant.
Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts have good size, but not the athleticism to keep up with quicker big men.
Luke Walton, Devin Ebanks, and Jason Kapono never take off their warm-ups.
The lack of production from the bench has put more stress and minutes on the Lakers' starters.
Mike Brown Is a Bad Fit for Laker Organization
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It feels like Mike Brown is in the line of fire. It is a little soon for that, no?
I know the Brown Ship is taking on water since grumblings surfaced that some Laker players questioned his x's and o's, which is never a good thing, whether you're in a new situation or not. He will have to work quickly to resolve in-house "situations."
Brown has the best player in the game and his team is struggling, which is a problem in a city like Los Angeles, on a team like the Lakers. Brown is a stellar defensive coach, but at the Staples Center, people want to see Kobe flying and the Lakers running, and the fans aren't getting what they want. Instead, they're getting a Laker team that may beat the Miami Heat one night, and then lose to the Wizards.
Brown has to find himself and do it quickly.
In Los Angeles you are expected to win championships. Brown does not look as though he can steer the ship in that direction.
Kobe Bryant's Shot Selection
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It's hard to say anything negative about Kobe because without him, the team would resemble the New Orleans Hornets or Washington Wizards.
But Kobe is pressing.
He went 9 for 31 against the Wizards and got his 30. He has put the team on his shoulders and it is a heavy load for a guy in his 15th year who plays through all kinds of injuries.
The Lakers used to depend on Pau Gasol to a degree, but lately Gasol has been playing like he is in a fog. He does not look like the same guy who helped the Lakers win back-to-back championships.
With a lack of options you end up with Kobe jacking up more than 30 shots.
Offseason Acquisitions Have No Roles
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The Lakers' brass thought they were getting a few players who could help them immediately when they signed Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy. Unfortunately neither has had much impact (as previously mentioned).
That is why Michael Beasley's name keeps getting floated around. The Lakers conceded that they will not get much out of Murphy and McRoberts and Jason Kapono has not played like he did when he was with Miami a few years ago, although he has suffered from inconsistent playing time.
The Lakers bench is puzzling and they seem to be puzzled as well. I'm not sure McRoberts, Murphy, or Kapono know what their exact roles are.
I certainly don't.
Andrew Bynum's Immaturity and Slow Development
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Andrew Bynum's recent admission that he was "loafing" in a game was surprising and disappointing. He is the starting center for the L.A. Lakers and he is admitting to goofing off as the team struggles?
Bynum has a tremendous opportunity before him. He is following in the footsteps of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Shaquille O'Neal. All three left an impressive mark on the game and Lakers history. Bynum has the same opportunity, but he can't get there by loafing.
Next to Dwight Howard, Bynum is the most dominant center in the game. He has tremendous size. Under the tutelage of Abdul Jabbar, he has developed an impressive set of offensive moves. The kid just needs to wake up and embrace what is in front of him.
He spoke as if he had matured when he apologized for shoving Mavericks J.J. Barea in last year's playoffs, but flash forward and he says he goofed around when the team lost to the Wizards.
Mitch Kupchak's Questionable Moves
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Mitch Kupchak was the toast of the town a few years ago. He swung the deal for Gasol and the rest is history. Then in 2012, the Lakers parted ways with Phil Jackson and the versatile and efficient, Lamar Odom.
Neither McRoberts or Murphy have been able to fill Odom's shoes.
High Flying Shannon Brown signed with the Phoenix Suns, and all of a sudden the Lakers bench was minus two dynamic scorers.
Kupchak went a new direction with the type of players he brought in as replacements.
Kupchak needs Dwight Howard.
It is the only thing that will get him out of this mess and put the Lakers back on track for another championship.
A dynamic young explosive point guard would be the other solution for him, but good luck with that.
Jim Buss Struggling to Fill His Dad's Shoes
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He has one of the best jobs in the world.
Jim Buss runs the Los Angeles Lakers.
Buss' father, Dr. Jerry Buss ran the Lakers for over 25 years. He was responsible for the Showtime era, Kobe, Shaq, Wilt, Jerry, Kareem, Worthy, Goodrich, Magic, and many, many more.
His son is off to a rocky start behind the wheel.
He replaced his scouting department. He signed Brown to replace Phil Jackson.
The Laker locomotive is still lumbering down the track, but it is a bumpy ride.
If you're Jim Buss always remember the old saying: Your Dad's "door is always open."