Star-Studded to Star-Starved, Los Angeles Lakers Go Long Way to Get Nowhere

With a 100-86 win over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night, the Los Angeles Lakers now find themselves sitting at .500 with a record of 7-7. That's the exact same record the Lakers had when they awoke on the morning of Nov. 25, 2012.

The big difference between this year's team and the tumultuous 2012-13 squad? Just about everything. 

Last year's Lakers were a star-studded bunch that entered the season with title aspirations. Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard were primed to lead the league's most compelling assortment of talent on the road to prosperity. We know how that worked out. 

This year's team is different. 

The 2013-14 Lakers play with energy. They hustle. They look like they genuinely care about each other.

On a night when the Lakers held the Kings to 86 points and had four players score in double figures, it became abundantly clear that this year's team has come a long way to reform its image and style of play in a short amount of time.

While Gasol, the team's only healthy star at the moment, poured in 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, it was a collection of unsung players who had largely been cast off who made the biggest difference against the Kings.

"We have good guys. They share. They don’t care (about their stats). They have the right values," D'Antoni said after the win, according to Mike Trudell of

One of those "good guys" is Xavier Henry, who led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting and guided the league's premier scoring second unit, one that scored 40 points in the win.

Point guard Steve Blake added nine points and 12 assists and Jordan Hill double-doubled yet again (10 points and 13 rebounds). Jodie Meeks scored 14 points, while Jordan Farmar and Nick Young combined to score 16 points and dish out five assists off the pine. 


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