Buying or Selling Lakers 2-Game Win Streak as a Real Turnaround

Even though the Los Angeles Lakers have only won two games in a row, the way they've built this brief streak implies they may have figured out some of their issues.

The first thought that pops into your head when you read the box score is that these look like the numbers we originally thought the Lakers would put up.

On Jan. 25, each of L.A.'s four stars hit at least half of their shots en route to a 102-84 drubbing of the Utah Jazz. Two days later, the Lakers took down the Oklahoma City Thunder, 105-96, a statement win which alerted the NBA that this team might be finding its juggernaut form.

Of course, the second thought immediately following that is that this is a laughably small sample size.

Two games do not undo all of the drama, tension and turmoil that preceded them. We're still weeks away from knowing for sure whether or not this is the new normal for the Lakers.

However, this improved play coincides with a couple of major developments in Los Angeles. There isn't sufficient statistical support to call this a turnaround yet, but the circumstantial evidence indicates that this is a whole new ballclub.

Even if the individual stars have all been better, it was clear in the first half of the season that poor strategy and chemistry were the real reasons behind their team's woes.

Let's start with the tactical issue.

Neither of the Lakers' head coaches this season, from Mike Brown to Mike D'Antoni, has understood how to utilize the big man tandem of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.

Considering Howard was the crown jewel of the 2012 offseason, it made sense that Los Angeles parked him in the low post and let him do his work. That moved Gasol up to the high post, where the Lakers hoped he could continue to make an impact with his mid-range jumper and superb passing.

The failure of this positioning was twofold.

If Howard were at full strength, he would d...

About the Author