LA Lakers’ Lack of Urgency Will Be Final Blow to Playoff Dreams

On the heels of a three-game winning streak, the Los Angeles Lakers failed to show up against the Phoenix Suns. Matched up against a team they should have defeated, L.A. lost a 92-86 heart-breaker in which they blew a 10-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

As a result, one thing became perfectly clear—L.A.'s lack of urgency will be the final blow to their playoff dreams.

With their loss to Phoenix, the Lakers dropped their eighth consecutive road game. The Lakers are now 5-16 on the road for the season.

Perhaps most important of all, L.A. is 20-26 and a full four games behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff structure.

To make matters worse, All-Star center Dwight Howard re-aggravated a torn labrum in his right shoulder (via The Los Angeles Times). Howard is listed as day-to-day, but the threat for a long-term impact is alive and present.

We couldn't write this ourselves, folks: The Lakers' dream team is falling to pieces.

Perhaps most troubling of all, the Lakers have displayed no sense of urgency. Not only is this a primary reason they're on the outside looking in on the postseason, but it is also a reason for another unfortunate truth.

Until their current ways change, L.A. will continue to flirt with postseason irrelevancy.


Improving One, Losing the Other

During the Los Angeles Lakers' first eight January games, they were 2-6. They averaged 105.1 points scored and 106.5 points allowed per game.

Over the span of their past eight games, L.A. is 3-5 with averages of 96.6 points scored and 98.3 points allowed per game.

In other words, the Lakers have improved their scoring defense by an average of 8.2 points per game. They're also performing worse on offense by averaging 8.5 points less per game.

Just as it seems as if the Lakers are improving, they los...

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