The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Los Angeles Lakers This Season

Watching the Los Angeles Lakers this season has been the equivalent of scarfing down a decadently lavish dinner, and then, when you're full to the nines, riding a roller coaster teeming with loops, twists and turns.

That feeling you get when you're overwhelmingly satisfied, only to abruptly become violently nauseous—that's the Lakers.

In what was supposed to be a dominant campaign marked by winning, contention and dynasty-esque aspirations, Hollywood has stumbled, ultimately fallen and picked itself back up, only to repeat the whole process again.

Still fighting for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot, the Lakers have traveled back and forth between the team we thought they'd be and the crumbling faction absolutely no one envisioned.

Inside of seven games to go in the regular season, they're still maddeningly inconsistent. They've been good and bad. Domineering and passive. Cohesive and ugly.

And so, we're left torn, wondering which version of the Lakers is a genuine representation of the team and its future together.


The Good

After falling to the depths of the Western Conference at 17-25, Los Angeles has (nearly) turned its season around.

Since their implosion against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Lakers are 23-12, climbing above .500 and re-entering the playoff picture.

Tinseltown's rise to competency hasn't always been pretty, but through the injuries, general attrition and spotty execution, a formula for success has taken precedence.

Kobe Bryant has emerged as a point man of sorts. He's strictly a volume shooter no more and has instead shouldered additional responsibilities as a playmaker.

It's a blueprint that isn't always followed, but one that is yielding results when it is. Los Angeles is 32-16 when Kobe dishes out at least five assists, 22-9 when he has seven or more and 8-2 when he h...

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