Anger? Disgust? Disappointment?
Laker fans, I hear your frustration. Consecutive loses against Detroit and Washington is more than embarrassing. Coming off an impressive victory against the Heat, it seemed as if the Lakers were finally finding their rhythm, and I expected them to play full of emotion and pride on this road trip.
I see little of that from the Lakers recent play. No desire. No emotion. There is not much to say about a team who gives up a 21-point lead to the second worst team in the league. And now, with the trade deadline less than a week away, things are getting a little tense.
So is Kobe shooting too much? Should he facilitate the ball to Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol more? After an awful 17 of 57 from the floor in the previous two games, Bryant has faced a great deal of criticism.
For the first time this season, Mike Brown openly criticized Bryant. Gasol seems to be upset with Bryant’s play as well, as he made comments about the team’s selfish attitude on the court.
How will Kobe react to the criticism?
Bryant has always played well amidst criticism. He thrives off adversity, so let’s hope Brown and Gasol’s words made Kobe mad. Bryant is still the league’s leading scorer, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he came out and had a big game this Friday against the Timberwolves. However, all these negative comments from coaches and players are not a good sign for the Lakers.
Even if Kobe is shooting too much it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Lakers have few players that shoot efficiently from the perimeter. Bryant’s shooting 44 percent for the season. While Matt Barnes shoots 44 percent, Fisher 38 percent, and World Peace 35 percent. It’s apparent the Lakers need some help in the backcourt. They need to add a player who can be another threat from the perimeter other than Bryant.
Would Michael Beasley, an inconsistent player at times, but still a solid shooter, be the answer?
Still, even if the Lakers make a trade, Mike Brown has given little for fans to like this season. The players don’t mesh with Brown’s offense and talks of the triangle offense are heating up. The Lakers are often unprepared and look lost when they play on the road. Brown is largely at fault for not leading his team.
However, it doesn’t make a difference who we blame. Whether it’s Kobe who is shooting too much or Mike Brown’s offensive system that has led this Lakers team to this dangerous point, this team is running out of time.
With 27 games left to play (13 away and 14 home), mistakes made during these games will be costly when it comes to playoff positioning. The possibility of a first round exit, which would be an even bigger disappointment than last season’s untimely defeat, seems to be more and more likely. This final stretch in the season will determine if this Lakers era is coming to an end.
Still, it would be foolish to count Kobe Bryant and his team out. The heart and fury of Bryant and his quest for that sixth ring runs deep. And, if the Lakers do pull off a big trade, with the right player it could elevate this team to a championship level.
But for now, the unanswered questions and rising turmoil continues for the Lakers. Fans can only hope some magic is left in the purple and gold, because if not major changes and disappointment lie ahead.