5 Changes the Los Angeles Lakers Have to Make to Get Back on Track

The Los Angeles Lakers have spoiled the faithful with 16 world championships. That is yesterday's news.

On pace to suffer through their worst season ever (since last year), the depleted 1-8 Lakers have more holes than a bagel factory.

The team is so far off track in its attempt to build a roster that will contend in the NBA's Western Conference that it could be several years before the Lakers resemble a championship-caliber franchise again.

It won’t be easy. The Lakers look to be in a free fall, playing well for a quarter or two before eventually succumbing to opponents with a stronger bench, penetrating point guards, better shooters and overall hustle.

Sure, Kobe Bryant is averaging 25.4 points through nine games. But he's also shooting a career-low 37 percent from the floor (30 percent from three-point range) and is playing more than 35 minutes a game. That's just way too much for a 36-year-old shooting guard who has been running up and down the court for 19 years.

Playing Bryant that many minutes merely points out how the Lakers lack additional, consistent scorers.

With Nick Young still sidelined and Ryan Kelly slowly making his way back, the club is missing any real threat from long-distance and is quite predictable on both ends of the court. They're getting killed in the paint, where the opposition seems to get any shot it pursues.

Simply put, the Lakers need a lot of help in a lot of areas to get back on a winning, playoff-bound track.

After losing to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, Bryant was asked how he felt about meeting the defending champion San Antonio Spurs on Friday. Their continuing success with the same nucleus of stars had him yearning for the old days, he told Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

I'm extremely jealous of that. I don't know if I can express to you how jealous I am of the fact that Tim (Duncan), Tony (Pa...

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