December 12, 2012
By Oliver Layco
Passion. That is what it all comes down to this season for the Los Angeles Lakers. Besides Kobe Bryant and Jordan Hill, I don’t think the rest of the team got the memo that they’re one of the worse teams in the league right now. Those two are the only ones that have been showing any sign of urgency these past few games. Kobe has been brilliant as always while leading the league in scoring with 28.6 points. However, this may be the exact problem with the team. The fact that this 17 year veteran has to be the leading scorer on a team that has Dwight Howard is pathetic actually. Granted Steve Nash, Steve Blake, and Pau Gasol are sidelined with various injuries, that is no excuse for this team to not at least be a playoff team. There’s just no real consistency between games, or within one game for that matter.
In the game against the Thunder they showed signs of being able to close it out, but they weren’t able to fully finish the job and they fell short. The next two games against the Jazz and Cavaliers were just plain inexcusable losses. Against the Jazz they had 14 turnovers while in the loss to the Cavaliers they had 18! Any number above 10 is just too high. They’re second in the league in turnovers with 16.33 per game. Their lazy and erratic play is what often leads to most of these turnovers. Another problem is their league worse 67.8% at the free throw line. That is just absolutely atrocious and can mostly be put on Dwight’s shoulders. While, the rest of the team does need to step up on defense and help him out, he needs to make opponents pay for sending him to the foul line. Unfortunately, until he does his job at the line, the rest of the team may not feel inclined to do their job to help him out.
This Laker team has sky high potential, but perhaps, as a collective, they are scared of it. Kobe is doing his best to unlock it, but the rest of the team can’t figure out who they are. They can be a post up team; or they can be a run-and-gun team; they can’t be a run-and-gun post up team. They have to identify who they want to be in order to move forward. For now, they even barely deserve the prestige and honor of being called Los Angeles Lakers.