Harsh Realities That LA Lakers Face Entering 2013 Playoff Push

With the last days of the 2012-13 season finally upon us, the Los Angeles Lakers have their work cut out for them as they fight for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Most of the drama that enveloped the Lakers at the beginning of the year no longer matters: The team has adjusted to head coach Mike D'Antoni's system, Dwight Howard now appears to be comfortable as a No. 2 option, and Kobe Bryant knows when he needs to facilitate and when he needs to take over.

Even so, as the Lakers chase the Utah Jazz in the standings, there is no shortage of storylines in Hollywood. Bryant is still the central figure in the movie, but the rest of his supporting cast also has a number of harsh realities that they need to face as a possible postseason berth lingers on the horizon.

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