L.A. Lakers’ 5-Game Win Streak Nothing to Get Too Excited About

After blowing the Los Angeles Lakers' poor start out of proportion, let's not repeat the same mistakes and assume everything has returned to normal.

The Lakers recently corrected a concerning 9-14 start by fighting back to .500 with five straight victories. Although they are finally healthy and ready to push up the Western Conference standings, they are still far from a shoo-in to win the West, or even land a top-four seed.

Out of their last five victories, only the New York Knicks are a legitimate title contender. The Golden State Warriors are much improved under head coach Mark Jackson, but they'll still begin the first round on the road, if they even make the playoffs.

They're not forming into a super team running opponents out of the gym during this stretch. Through the past five wins, the Lakers have averaged a 5.8-point margin of victory, only topping the 13-15 Philadelphia 76ers by double-digits.

Steve Nash's return certainly brightens the landscape in Los Angeles, but they still must work out some kinks.

Offensively, the Lakers should dominate once the big names become familiarized with each other. Nash has already established the pick-and-roll with Dwight Howard while making Pau Gasol much more comfortable operating outside the post.

Then there's still Kobe Bryant, who is in the midst of the most productive offensive season of his illustrious career. The 34-year-old is averaging 29.9 points per game on a career-high 47.5 shooting percentage.

And by accumulating at least 30 points during each game of the winning streak, Bryant is proving that his scoring does not prevent them from coming out on top.

But how will they fare on defense? Even in their glory days, Nash and head coach Mike D'Antoni never protected the basket well. Nash alleviates any possible offensive woes, but he will struggle to contain Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker an...

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