The Los Angeles Lakers, an NBA Enigma

One thing is certain about the Lakers: They are the defending NBA Champions. 

But have they actually been defending that much this season?

After their eight-game road trip, I was ready to dial down their chances of repeating this year. Even though they went 5-3, they were a miserable 1-3 against teams with winning records.

The one game they captured against a winning team—the Celtics—was by a margin of just one point, 90-89, on a patented clutch shot by Mister Laker, Kobe Bryant.

But unlike the games they had lost previously this season against winning teams, all three losses on the road were winnable games. None was as disappointing as the first game, a 93-87 loss in Cleveland that gave the Cavaliers a 2-0 season sweep of the Lakers.

But none was so utterly frustrating as the final game of the road trip, a 95-93 loss in Memphis that ironically saw Kobe Bryant pass Jerry West as the Lakers all-time leading scorer.

Returning to Staples Center, the Lakers barely escaped with a 99-97 victory over Charlotte. Then Denver came into town without Carmelo Anthony, their leading scorer, and absolutely mopped up the court with the Purple and Gold to a tune of 126-113.

Denver now holds a 2-0 edge in the season series, winning both games by blowouts. One more win over the Lakers, and the Nuggets will hold the tie-breaker in the Western Conference Playoffs.

At this point, I was hoping Mitch Kupchak would pull a trade. Which player or players? I didn’t care. Anyone for anyone. Just get somebody in here who could bring new life to the Lakers like Trevor Ariza did two years ago and Shannon Brown did last year.

Critics would say that the Denver game was an anomaly. Denver would never shoot 57 percent as a team in a seven-game series and an astounding 68 percent from beyond the arc. They would also say that Kobe Bryant was playing on a gimpy ankle.
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers