8 Teams Benefiting from the Los Angeles Lakers' Struggles

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8 Teams Benefiting from the Los Angeles Lakers' Struggles
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder may again benefit from the Lakers' fall.

There's little left to be optimistic about in Los Angeles Lakers world.

If you're looking for a half-full glass in Los Angeles that isn't already labeled Clippers, it might be the good cheers of other teams around the league benefiting from the Lakers' continuing demise.

After beginning January with six consecutive losses, the Lakers just won their first game of 2013 on Sunday with a win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It's not over for the Lakers, but it's getting closer.

Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol are currently injured with likely short, but indefinite, timelines for return. Jordan Hill is now out for the season. Kobe Bryant is having one of his greatest seasons and it's still not enough.

While the reality is that they are still just four games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference, the greater truth is that this Lakers team doesn't have enough juice.

Not enough athleticism.

Not enough defense.

Not enough cohesiveness.

Early issues looked like they may be premature concerns through a warming-up process. Mike D'Antoni hasn't solved anything that Mike Brown could not.

Los Angeles would need to win somewhere around 30 games from this point just to make the postseason.

The Lakers' woes are evident at this point, but there are plenty of other teams in the Western Conference that are benefiting.

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