The Lakers, who previously relied on efficient, balanced scoring from their starters and bench, along with solid defense, have lost three of their last five, and have dropped two straight.
Los Angeles still leads the next closes team by four wins with seven games remaining in their regular season, but the way their playing could be setting up the domino's to fall against a slew of first-round opponents that could arguably give them a run for their money.
Stemming from Pau Gasol's open frustration about not getting enough offensive touches, and Kobe Bryant not being on top of his game on a consistent basis, the Lakers have recently run into stretches where their bench scoring is non-existent, their defense is complacent, and we're back to the Lakers of old.
This isn't the same team that won the NBA Finals a year ago. Sure, they have the talent and the roster to do it again, but the results and consistency doesn't equate to another championship run.
L.A.'s latest struggles can be best displayed by the lack of a scoring punch from their bench, as Bryant out-scored his entire cast of supporting bench players by six points in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
It was even worse in a 108-100 loss to the New Orleans Hornets, where the Lakers bench scored just 12 points in nearly 50 minutes of combined play.
Unlike last season, this inconsistency and lack of support for the Lakers bench has been a recurring theme in the 2009-10 season, and has recently become a big issue.
So, desperate times call for desperate measures, right?
While desperate might be considered crazy in this conversation, the Lakers might be advised to do themselves a favor and unleash a potentially lethal bench scoring threat.
Former lottery pick Adam Morrison has been twiddling his thumbs and biding his time on the Lakers bench for the past two seasons, and has never logged more than 10 minutes in back-to-back games all season.
So, why Morrison, you ask?
He's merely a lottery bust with a bum knee, a history of poor percentages, and an inability to play support or man-on-man defense.
Perhaps the defensive issue could be warranted, but anyone who has seen Morrison play know that he can bring instant offense to the table when given an opportunity.
But what do the Lakers have to lose?
Bryant is doing it all by himself like the old days, and the Lakers are headed into spiral mode. Sure, this could be a minor issue that works itself out, but if you look at the facts, the Lakers need to make a change, and adding a potentially great offensive boost to their regular rotation would be a good move.
While there is plenty of reason to write-off Morrison and stick with the current rotation, giving Morrison extra minutes to see if he can add a spark to the offense is at least constructive thinking.
With Jordan Farmar as the only consistent option off the bench currently (and that is being, oh, so kind), what would it hurt to give a former draft bust one last opportunity to prove himself?
God knows the Lakers need the help. And we're pretty sure Morrison has a big enough chip on his shoulder that it's crazy enough to work.
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