LA Lakers: Old and New Problems Continue to Plague Disappointing Squad

The Los Angeles Lakers just can't take a trick right now.

Dominated by problems on and off the court throughout the past few weeks, the Lakers headed to Miami to try and contain the streaking Heat but also attempt to resurrect their somewhat sputtering season.

All they got was a 107-97 loss and a red-hot LeBron James, who notched up his fifth-straight 30-point game, setting a franchise record in the process.

It was not quite what LA had in mind coming into this one.

Talk throughout the week had centered heavily on Dwight Howard's future in Los Angeles—something that went haywire after the player's father intervened.

There was the quip that the All-Star center shot to his teammate Kobe Bryant after the star-guard had told him to play through his current injury. Howard's line of "Kobe's not a doctor" didn't seem to go down too well with those looking to try and build team chemistry this week ahead of their big game.

Throw in a huge injury to forward Pau Gasol which will see the giant miss around six to eight weeks, and it really wasn't a good couple of days for the Lakers.

Yet for all the talk of trade rumors, team chemistry and All-Star players, what had underpinned the hope of many Lakers fans was the knowledge that this team would be good enough to win basketball games when they started to all get along.

The assumption that their current form was being determined by what was taking place off the court was the light at the end of the tunnel for many, who no doubt held fast to the fact that they would be better once Kobe and Dwight started clicking.

Yet against Miami, that light just went off.

The hope that their form was being determined by old, off-court issues, was suddenly replaced by the knowledge that this team simply isn't good enough.

There weren't any chemistry issues here, there wasn't any in-fighting. Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers