How Ramon Sessions Is Transforming the L.A. Lakers' Title Hopes

Matt Shetler@@buccos12Correspondent IMarch 26, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 18:  Ramon Sessions #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on March 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Jazz won 103-99.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Despite coming off a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies their last time out, the Los Angeles Lakers are in a good place to make a nice run down the stretch.

The Lakers are poised to make a run at another championship. They currently lead the Pacific Division and have a firm hold on the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. That puts them at least in the conversation with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in the west.

Lakerland is a much better place than it was about three weeks ago, and much of the credit for the recent transformation can be put on the shoulders of new point guard Ramon Sessions.

Now, before we look at what Sessions has brought to the Lakers, first realize he isn't an elite point guard. He's a good point guard, but the impact he's making is huge. Down the road, the Lakers and Sessions may prove to be the perfect fit.

The one thing holding the Lakers back all season has been Mike Brown's offense. Quite frankly he's had a race car all season, but no one to drive it.

With an offense that features not only Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, but an Andrew Bynum who emerged into a force, the Lakers' offense should have been much better all season. Certainly not 17th in the NBA in scoring.

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The main problem was there was no one around to drive the car.

What you saw pre-Sessions was an offense with no flow and a lot of forced shots. Maybe Derek Fisher and Steve Blake knew where the ball was supposed to go and what they wanted to do—they are both smart players. The problem was they couldn't get there.

Sessions can. He's an athlete with speed, but also possesses a high basketball IQ.

He keeps all of the Lakers' Big Three involved in the offense, which makes the Lakers a tough cover for the opposition. His ability to get into the paint at ease and create easy shot attempts for his teammates was something majorly lacking from the Lakers attack.

They are even knocking down shots from behind the arc with Sessions on the floor. The Lakers are still a miserable 28th in the NBA in three-point shooting, but Sessions is creating such open looks that the Lakers are improving shooting from distance.

So he does all of that, but he has the ability to knock down some shots as well. Opposing defenses must respect his offense, which is something they haven't had to do all season long.

His ability gives the Lakers as many as four guys on the court at one time that opposing defenses must worry about.

That alone, plus the way they play defense on most nights, make them a very tough out in the postseason.

On a team with Bryant, Gasol and Bynum on it, you wouldn't think that Sessions would be the key to what type of run the Lakers make, but he very well could be.

They already had the car. Now they have someone to drive it as well.

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