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What Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers Need to Win the Championship Next Year

Grant TaylorCorrespondent IIJune 25, 2011

The L.A. Lakers were swept by the NBA champions in the Dallas Mavericks. They have received a lot of criticism, even though they won the championship the two years before and still remain an undeniable force in this league. Obviously though, they have some serious issues they need to account for. In no particular order, here are eight I find most important.

A Young, Talented Point Guard to Replace Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher is aging. With age comes wisdom, but for Fisher, age comes with a lot of wear and tear on his body. Fisher can no longer keep up with the young, speedy point guards taking over the NBA. The way he chased players such as Chris Paul and J.J. Barea was almost mediocre.

With the drafting of Darius Morris at the No. 41 spot in the 2011 NBA draft, the Lakers now have a youthful point guard with speed and an impressive passing ability. Fisher will be a good mentor for Morris and will help grow him into a skilled point guard in the NBA.

Youth

Last season, the Lakers' age became more evident than ever before, and they brought in rookies Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks. These players were good enough to make the team but need more time to mature to become of substantial value. With Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock, Los Angeles gets two guards that can be nurtured into the starting role for the Lake Show. 

Athleticism

The Lakers' most athletic player is easily Shannon Brown. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, he played minimally behind guards Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Steve Blake. The Lakers want to get an electric swingman that runs the fast break to get them more easy buckets. They have been involved in rumors to get Andre Iguodala for Lamar Odom and Luke Walton. If they can make that happen, Los Angeles will be that much better of a team.

Kobe Bryant Needs to Accept Mike Brown as the New Lakers Coach

You have to understand.

Kobe and the other Lakers veterans are in no position to change the way they play offense and defense. By this time in their careers, they have been molded into the way the play. This is especially true with Kobe. Kobe is experienced and has been spoiled over his entire career having played for Phil Jackson.

That era has ended though, so if Kobe plans on winning another title, he must accept Mike Brown and the changes that come with him.

A Second Scoring Option Other than Kobe Bryant

Kobe's body has taken a lot of damage during his NBA career, and being relied upon as much as he is isn't helping the matter. Bringing in a younger scorer would mean more rest for Kobe and more points for the Lakers. 

Three-point Shooting

The Lakers signed Steve Blake last season for speed, passing and of course, his three-point shot. Unfortunately, his shot just wasn't as great as the Lakers had hoped for. He shot 37.8 percent from three, compared to 43.7 percent the year before with the Clippers. Ron Artest and Derek Fisher are probably the Laker's second and third best shooters, and you have to consider both Derek's age, and Ron Artest's decline since the 2010 championship. 

Speed

The Lakers currently have no players in their starting lineup that are considered "fast." With a new, youthful point, the Lakers could solve this problem and have more easy points coming from the open court. If Darius Morris becomes the starter, the Lakers will have more scoring, better passing and most importantly, quickness.

Energy

The Lakers' drive to become the NBA champions last year was seemingly nonexistent during the postseason. They need players with a high energy level to inject such attributes into an aging Lakers roster. With the draft, they hope to get some of this from new players Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock.

In my opinion, they could also get more by giving last year's draft picks Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks larger roles on the team. There are many free agents with a knack for bringing energy to the court like J.R. Smith, so don't be too surprised if the Lakers pick up a new role player this summer.

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