LA Lakers: Where Did the 2-Time Defending Champion Lakers Go?

The Los Angeles Lakers are a foreign entity right now. As the series is firmly in the grasp of the Dallas Mavericks at 3-0, “The Lake Show” is about to go on hiatus. 

Each player wearing purple and gold appears indistinct. Even Phil Jackson doesn’t look the part.

Who would think that the Mavericks would be so affective with the likes of J.J. Barea, Peja Stojakovic, and Jason Terry?

Certainly, most Laker fans would expect Kobe Bryant to outscore that trio on any given night.

However, in a crucial game three to save the series, Bryant scores 17 points on 16 attempts. A performance that screams impersonator!

The Lakers do not look like themselves. It was clear after the game two debacle in Los Angeles. 

The media went searching for the problem. Lakers center, Andrew Bynum, believed the losses were “trust issues”. He was right.

During the game two loss at home, the fans at Staples Center were in disbelief. The crowd had no trust in their beloved Lakers.

The confidence left the building, along with the Lakers' game.

Dallas was supposed to be the city where they regained their form, but it was not meant to be. 

Even with Bynum’s 21-point and 10 rebound performance, it was not enough. The Lakers needed something special.

Instead, Pau Gasol continued to struggle through referee complaints, fumbled rebounds and another elementary shooting performance.

It certainly doesn’t help that Gasol’s shooting woes have harmed his defensive skills, too. After time, a coach can only take so much.

And Phil Jackson even tapped into his gritty, former-player mentality for inspiration with Gasol. Yet that failed to hit home with Gasol and the Lakers.

None of these descriptions are fit for a two-time defending champion. However, no one pictured the Lakers losing the ...

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