Biggest Issue L.A. Lakers Must Solve Before the Start of the Playoffs

Despite the Los Angeles Lakers' return to the playoff picture, they are still a very flawed team with problems that could ultimately result in an early exit. 

Though they have showed flashes of promise utilizing different lineups, they can't seem to perform well with their best four players on the floor.

The Lakers have zero wins and seven losses when Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard start at the same time. 

While the Lakers have found a formula for success that revolves around Howard's resurgence on defense and Bryant's balance between distribution and scoring, they haven't been able to maintain any sort of consistency. 

With this balance, they've managed to win a lot of games, including an impressive victory over the Indiana Pacers. However, they haven't been able to topple playoff juggernauts such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat or the Denver Nuggets during their recent surge up the rankings.

This may be due to the fact that although they have been clicking on both ends of the court, their talent level simply doesn't match up with the other playoff teams.

Gasol's return should have changed that.

However, despite his skill and versatility, they've reacquired a problem that had troubled them since the beginning of the season.

Seeing as Mike D'Antoni's system is predicated on floor spacing, shooting and the pick-and-roll offense, there really isn't a place for a low-post player like Gasol.

D'Antoni has never been comfortable conforming his offense to cater to post-play. This is evident through his struggles with Gasol and his failure to adapt Shaquille O'Neal to the Phoenix Suns' offense during Shaq's initial stretch with the Suns.

The only way the Lakers will be able to make any sort of playoff push is to adapt their system so that Gasol can utilize his various skills to contribute to the t...

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