LA Lakers: Can the Lakers Win Another Ring with Derek Fisher as the Lead Guard?

The NBA lockout-extended offseason has created plenty of spare time for basketball fans' imaginations to roam, and in the case of Los Angeles Lakers fans there is no shortage of questions to ponder before the games begin again.

The Lakers were already a team in flux with the impending retirement of head coach Phil Jackson after the 2010-11 season, but the promotion of Jim Buss and his subsequent decision to hire Mike Brown as the new coach created more questions than answers.

Couple those developments with the startling manner in which Los Angeles folded in the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks and you have a team who is desperately searching for an identity as the 2011-12 season approaches.

Are the Lakers the same team who was swept out of the postseason by the Mavericks or are they the same team who managed to qualify for three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals?

There has been plenty of finger-pointing amongst fans regarding the Lakers unceremonious exit from the playoffs and much of the blame has fell on the shoulders of 36-year-old point guard Derek Fisher.

In the opinion of many Lakers fans, the point guard position has been a point of concern for the past few seasons, but Fisher's inability to guard Mavericks guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry in the playoffs gave the theory concrete credibility.

Fisher was simply too slow to guard Terry on the wing and too weak to guard Kidd in the post.

As a team the Lakers looked ancient against the Mavericks and no player looked older than Fisher, whose past heroics were quickly forgotten in the midst of a four-game sweep.

Even though Pau Gasol and Ron Artest pulled disappearing acts of their own in the 2011 playoffs, there uninspired play could not diminish the chorus of boos sent in Fisher's direction.

Fisher's last second game-winning three pointer against San Antonio in the 2004 Western Conferenc...

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