In case you have been away the last couple of weeks, the Lakers are not playing very spirited basketball at the moment. The team has lost four of its last six games, including three blowout losses on their home floor.
However, when you are a veteran team, and have won back to back championships, it is easier said than done trying to find the right tweak that will get the team playing up to its standards.
Here are five possible solutions that could get the Lakers back on track to winning their third straight championship.
Like I mentioned in the introduction, the Lakers are an established championship team. Throw in the fact that Phil Jackson rarely tinkers with his lineups, and a change in the lineup is probably not going to happen.
However, a small tweak here of there may not hurt. What if the Lakers started Matt Barnes instead of Ron Artest? Or, played Shannon Brown more with the starters? Changes like these could give the Lakers a shot in the arm they are desperately looking for.
This has been said a million times and a million ways, but the Lakers are an inside-outside basketball team. I don't know if Kobe needs to take less shots, or Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol need to be more assertive. On any note, the sooner the Lakers figure this out the more successful they will be.
The Lakers have not been very good on either side of the ball lately. However, the Lakers know more than anyone that defense wins championships. The sooner they can fix their problems on the defensive end, the sooner their offense will fix itself.
For the first time in three years, the Lakers are not in first place in the Western Conference standings. They are currently trailing the: Spurs, Mavericks and Jazz. The Lakers may be waiting to play their best until they weather warms up.
However, they may want to use the fact they are behind in the standings as motivation during the dog days of January. Otherwise, they will playing a lot of road games come playoff time.
Everyone knows the Lakers have the talent, considering they have won the last two championships, and have been to three straight NBA Finals. On paper, the Lakers even have a better roster this season, compared to the last two.
This is what makes me wonder if it is not a motivation or mindset problem that is hampering the team. To fix this, members of the team will have to change their individual mindset, before the team can do so collectively.