After their hot start to the season, the Lakers have struggled to look like the two-time defending champions. They have not only struggled against the best teams in the league, but the team has also had its share of struggles against some of the league's worst teams. The Lakers hit rock bottom this past week by losing to the dismal Cavaliers.
The Lakers' struggles this season have many wondering if the team is in need of a roster shake-up, or if it is just a matter of the team "flipping a switch."
As Wednesday's game against Cleveland showed, it may be much more than the Lakers needing to flip the proverbial switch. Here are five reasons why the team needs to make a trade before the deadline.
Ron Artest's struggles on the court this season have been well documented. However, this past week, after embarrassing losses to the Bobcats and Cavaliers, Artest's attention seemed to be elsewhere. He seemed more interested in Lamar Odom's new perfume and making a new mix tape.
The team may have already gotten the best they are going to get from Ron. It may be time to cut ties before things get really wacky.
The Lakers' defense has been very inconsistent at times this season. However, what seems to really be holding them back is their offense. At times, the team cannot throw a pea into the ocean. Shannon Brown, Steve Blake, Ron Artest, Derek Fisher and even Kobe's shooting have been up and down this season.
Granted, the team went through similar shooting struggles last season, but this year the team does not have a strangle hold on the Western Conference like it has the last couple of seasons. It may be time to make a move for a player who can consistently hit shots from the perimeter.
When Andrew Bynum has been able to stay healthy his value to the team is obvious. In addition, he is the only young building block the team has for the future. With that being said, Bynum's injuries and involvement in trade rumors have warranted more attention than his play on the court.
There is no doubt Bynum is the team's X factor. However, it may be worth the risk of trading Bynum to continue winning now instead of later, and finally put an end to all of the trade rumors and anxiety about the next injury.
The majority of people believe the team's struggles this season are due to complacency or just waiting for the playoffs to roll around. No one is willing to consider that the team may have declined a little bit. Making a small tweak here or there could be just what the team needs.
The Lakers have been fortunate enough to have home court advantage in every playoff series they have played the last two seasons.
These playoffs are shaping up to be drastically different. The Lakers will most likely have the burden of winning multiple playoff series without homecourt advantage. Obviously, this team has the capability of winning playoff games on the road. However, there will be much more pressure to win on the road this season with no homecourt advantage.
Making a trade will not guarantee the Lakers having the best record in the conference and/or the league. Some would argue it would even hurt the team. However, the Lakers are currently in third place in the Western Conference. Making a trade may spark the team into making up some ground on the Mavericks and Spurs.