Lakers Fourth in West: Why It’s Not Time to Panic in Hollywood

The Los Angeles Lakers have played more like the “Lost” Angeles Lakers recently.  They lost four games in row, something that has never happened in Phil Jackson’s 11 championship seasons. So is there reason to panic in LA, or will Kobe Bryant and Co. get things turned around and be playing their best ball in April and May?

The Lakers started off the season on fire, winning their first eight games and leading the league in scoring and 3-point shooting. The killer B’s, Shannon Brown, Steve Blake and Matt Barnes, were getting the job done off the bench, while Lamar Odom was off to a career best start and Andrew Bynum was recovering from off-season surgery.  However, losing back-up Theo Ratliff to injury forced Pau Gasol to play more minutes than the coaching staff was comfortable with, and now Gasol has re-injured the hamstring that gave him problems off and on last season. 

The Lakers currently sit in fourth place in the West, but are only three games behind the Spurs, who are off to one of the best starts in franchise history. 

So is it time to panic in Tinsel Town? The short answer is no, of course not.

The Lakers are known to coast through the regular season and save their best basketball for May and June. However, Bynum has yet to get through an entire season injury free, and many are wondering if he is the new Yao Ming. If Bynum can get fully healthy and play the rest of the season and post-season injury free for LA, the Lakers will have to be favored to win their third straight title. However, if Bynum cannot stay on the court, forcing more minutes from Odom and Gasol, it will be a much tougher road for the Purple and Gold. 

Nonetheless, despite the record, the Lakers are still the best team in the NBA. They have more playoff experience as a team than any team in the league. They have arguably the best power forward in the game in Gasol. They ha...

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