When the Los Angeles Lakers are playing “the right way," it’s usually because the rest of the team is buying into Coach Phil Jackson’s philosophy and Kobe Bryant’s passion for hard work and execution at both ends of the court.
But, when the Lakers hit some proverbial bumps in the road as they did last week, panic buttons start getting pushed all across Laker Nation, and the same two individuals are often cited as cause of the sudden shift in good fortune.
After starting their Grammys Road Trip with four straight wins, including a well played signature victory at TD Gardens in Boston, the Lakers lost to a tough Orlando Magic team, and then were a no-show in two blowouts, suffering dismal losses to the lowly Charlotte Bobcats and the downright pathetic Cleveland Cavaliers.
You remember the Cavs?
Five guys masquerading as NBA players who last month in Los Angeles scored a total of 57 points in a 112-57 drubbing at the hands of the two-time defending champions.
So what is wrong with the Lakers? And can they fix “it” in time for the playoffs and a run at a three-peat? And to whom can we point some "blame fingers"?
While there has to be some responsibility taken by Kobe and Phil for the Lakers lackadaisical play and recent malaise, there are other factors and players that have contributed to this inconsistent, often lackluster play that is the Los Angeles Lakers season thus far.
Let’s take a further look.