For the Los Angeles Lakers, the first half of the campaign has been a major letdown. This is a team many predicted would be competing for a championship at the start of the year. Instead, it will be lucky just to make the playoffs with the way things have been going.
Sitting at 17-24, LA is currently in 12th place, four games behind the Houston Rockets, who are currently occupying the last playoff spot. Nobody is doubting the Lakers' talent, but they'll need some players to step up in the second half of the season if they're going anywhere.
Right now, nothing is going right. A couple of the team's starters aren't pulling their weight. There are some key reserves who've been nowhere to be found for much of the season. Then, there's a franchise cornerstone who's seemingly left in limbo—either between starting and coming off the bench, or staying with LA or being traded.
Here are five LA Lakers players who must step up in the second half of the season.