Examining LA Lakers’ Ideal Starting Lineup by the Numbers

In case you haven't noticed, there's something wrong with the Los Angeles Lakers.

With less than 25 games remaining in the regular season, the Lakers sit under .500 and are on the outside of the Western Conference playoff bubble looking in; their postseason hopes are dwindling.

Sadly, the Lakers aren't exactly doing themselves any favors at the moment; they're not doing what is necessary to stop the bleeding completely.

They've turned things around since airing out their collective grievances in Memphis, at times even resembling a franchise no longer in flux. But as Los Angeles prepares to enter the last quarter of the NBA's regular season, "at times" isn't good enough. 

If the Lakers are to prove that past numbers do, in fact, lie, they must embrace the strength in the current ones, beginning with the starting lineup.

Like plenty of other teams, Los Angeles isn't employing the "ideal" starting lineup, and it has nothing to do with Pau Gasol's injury.

Presently, the Mike D'Antoni-guided Lakers are using a starting lineup that consists of Kobe Bryant, Earl Clark, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace. At the moment, said five-man unit is Los Angeles' most heavily used batch of players by more than 60 minutes.

Because it's working, right?

While that's the general idea, it's not a virtue this faction is currently exemplifying.

The Lakers are 10-8 when starting these five, but not because they're starting these five. And even if that were the case, the goal isn't to play at a rate of just two games over .500.

Delve deeper than the record and you'll come to find that this unit is actually being outscored by 1.1 points per 100 possessions.

I know that may not seem like much, but consider this: The Lakers are the only sub .500 team to have actually outscored their opponents this season.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers