The Lakers have had a roller coaster year,with many ups and downs. The Lakers won eight out of their first ten games and Reggie Miller predicted them to go 72-10.
The Lakers haven't lived up to their expectations this year, as Kobe Bryant said, "Winning in June is the thing that will really judge are season." Which shows the Lakers are mentally prepared for the playoffs which is a promising sign.
The Lakers are capable of beating any team in the NBA comfortably, they haven't shown signs of that as of late.
The Lakers haven't been able to play quality Basketball for 48 minutes this year, due to a undisciplined bench for example Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar. Shannon isn't disciplined because he forces shots, having said that he plays good defense. Jordan Farmar is a very streaky shooter and is undisciplined, because he hogs the ball a little bit too much.
The Lakers haven't been showing any determination in the last six games.
Every loss feels like they are thinking we will bounce back next game and play well when all the chips are on the line, you can tell by their body language they didn't care if they were to beat Denver when they played.
Kobe didn't play apparently because he was fatigued, but all these loses are crucial, because the Orlando Magic are know tied with the Lakers with only three games remaining. I am expecting the Lakers to go on a four game winning streak to end the season, because it's an easy schedule remaining.
3. Andrew Bynum
Andrew Bynum is expected to play in the very first game of the playoffs. Their rotation has really struggled in Bynum's absence.
The Lakers don't look very deep when Bynum's out which is a concern. Josh Powell was supposed to replace Ronny Turiaf's role which isn't happening, he doesn't play with any energy and doesn't give the Lakers a spark.
Bynum needs to play aggressively come playoff time, last year he only averaged six points in the playoffs due to foul trouble. Bynum can be so effective, he is very skillful in the post and uses his length to an advantage.
4. Perimeter Shooting
The Lakers don't have a consistent three point shooter, and struggle when Kobe gets doubled teamed.
Sometimes the Lakers look like they need another perimeter shooter. Derek Fisher isn't reliable and Artest misses too many open threes,which could be costly.
The Lakers may have size but they are a bad three point shooting team, they are ranked 23rd in three point percentage. Which may be problem, because Cleveland and Orlando are in the top three for three point percentage.
The Lakers were at their best last year when they would push the ball and play good defense.
Tempo is a concern because the Lakers haven't been looking to push the ball as of late. They have the perfect team for playing a high tempo, Lamar Odom is very dangerous when he looks to run the floor.
Shannon Brown is a high-flyer and looks promising when the Lakers look to run. Pau Gasol is one of the best seven footers at running the floor.