Unexpected Winners and Losers from Lakers Struggles

In this most disastrous of NBA seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers, not everyone has their head buried in the sand or is sitting alone in some bar, despondent over the team's major struggles.

In fact, outside of L.A., there are plenty of NBA fans who are downright giddy with delight over the plight of Mike D'Antoni's band of basketball misfits. 

Following a horrible 0-3 road trip, the Lakers of Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash are an anemic 17-25 and in very real danger of being virtually eliminated from serious contention by the All-Star break next month.

For a super power like the Lakers, accustomed to getting whatever players they covet and getting to the Finals on a pretty regular basis, a season filled with injuries, dissension, coaching upheaval and continual drama is looked upon by detractors with glee and contempt.

Since winning their 17th championship in dramatic fashion in 2010, the Lakers have struggled and finally, this year, succumbed to the ravages of time.  They are old and they are slow. 

They still have some of the game's marquee players, but they've had the misfortune of injury (the list is endless) and a lack of a cohesive offensive and defensive philosophy that is tailored to their current abilities.

Opponents are taking advantage of a Lakers team that has trouble guarding quick point guards, speedy wing players, perimeter shooters and just about anyone who hustles after loose balls.

Players, teams and fans are benefiting from the Lakers' misfortunes.  And, they are offering no apologies.

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