LA Lakers: Will Road Test in Denver Reveal Their True Character?

Unless you glanced at the scoreboard it would be easy to assume the Los Angeles Lakers had just lost their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves judging by the body language.

The mood in the Lakers' locker room was somber and introspective as the Lakers tried to explain all that went wrong during the game.

Lamar Odom said he was ashamed of the team's performance, while Ron Artest rebuked himself for his part in Kevin Love's offensive explosion.

Point guard Derek Fisher went further to say the Lakers' performance was disrespectful to fans, and it didn't matter whether or not the Lakers won or lost, because their was nothing positive to be found in the win.

I'm not sure if I completely agree with Fisher's comments, but you have to appreciate the sincerity of his words, and the difference in approach that the Lakers' statements illustrate.

Last season an early loss would be treated insignificantly by the formerly non-chalant Lakers, but this season Los Angeles is playing with an intensity and sense of urgency that is usually reserved for the spring.

Fisher, Odom, and Artest's comments signal a shift in attitude and focus for the Lakers, and they will get to prove it tonight in Denver where, the Nuggets should provide the Lakers with their toughest challenge to date.

Last season the Lakers entered Colorado in the second game of a back to back, and the Nuggets promptly handed them a 20-plus point defeat that was not even as close as the final score indicated.

That loss brought the Lakers back down to earth, but there are several big differences between that pivotal game and this one.

Forward Pau Gasol was not fully healthy when the Lakers lost to Denver early last season, and Ron Artest was still adjusting to his role on the team.

Lamar Odom was battling another case of inconsistency and the Lakers didn't have newcomers Steve Blake and Matt Barne...

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