The Los Angeles Lakers Are Victims To Their Own Defensive Tendencies

To be a follower of the Los Angeles Lakers, it is necessary to come to terms with several absolute truths about the team, with the purpose of preserving sanity as the main motivation.

For instance, everyone wishes Pau Gasol would attack the rim with authority on the offensive end, but his versatility and talent makes his sometimes soft approach easier to live with.

Likewise, the inconsistency of Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom have been a point of contention as long as the two have donned the Laker purple and gold, but their talent and potential have over-shadowed inconsistency issues.

In both cases, each of the players mentioned are battle tested and approved, and their obvious impact on the fortunes of the team outweigh any questions about their motivation or desire.

Harder to reconcile is the Lakers' inability to defend on the perimeter, and that may be the one issue that Laker fans will be hard pressed to dismiss as an anomaly they are willing to deal with.

It's a familiar concern for the Lakers, but it is one that threatens to derail repeat championship aspirations, and has to be considered the major flaw for one of the league's most talented teams.

Los Angeles won the title in 2009 and the specter of defensive incompetence on the perimeter nearly came back to haunt them in the series against Houston, where an under-manned Rockets team pushed the Lakers to the brink of elimination.

Houston was capable of this because Los Angeles had no answer for Aaron Brooks, who abused one Laker after the other on his way to almost causing one of the biggest upsets in recent playoff memory.

The primary victim was Derek Fisher who lacked the foot speed to stay in front of Brooks, and although Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar had the speed, they lacked the defensive discipline.

Fast forward to this season and the situation remains much the same, excep...

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