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Lakers fall with the sky

by Tim Martinez
Nov. 17, 2009

What’s going on?

That’s the major question everyone is asking about the Lakers after they lost two straight games. The first to Denver in which they were shamefully dismantled and the second in which they were booed by fans Sunday against Houston.

Fans and sports pundits automatically equate the Lakers falling from the power rankings with the sky falling. This means it’s necessary to make a couple of clarifications on the state of Lakerdom.

Yes, the Lakers are not playing at the top of the game. No, they are not going to miss the playoffs. Yes, once they get passed this unlucky string of injuries, including Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Luke Walton and Kobe Bryant, they will reform into a championship caliber team. And no, the sky is not falling.

What then is going on with the Lakers?

First, the bench has been outscored handily by the opposing team’s bench in the losing games. Second, a lot of burden of scoring has fallen on Kobe and to a lesser extent Andrew Bynum, causing a reliance on Kobe to fulfill the team’s offensive needs. This was illustrated during their dismal second half against the Denver Nuggets last Friday when Kobe could not land a shot.

I am still confident that a lot of these problems will be solved once Pau Gasol comes back into the starting line-up, pushing Lamar Odom back to the bench where he could be a much-needed leader for the bunch. Pau would also bring another consistent scoring option, which would take pressure off Kobe and Bynum.

Nevertheless, with Pau remaining in street clothes, the Lakers will have to walk the precarious path for the next few games (starting tonight against Detroit) and hope that no one jumps off a bridge if they lose another game.

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