When Will the Lakers Play a Full Game?

They put in the time—48 minutes.  They put in the sweat and toil.  They battled and even played tough defense.  But what has happened to the Lakers offense?

The Lakers have not put together a complete game—48 minutes of offense and defense—in quite some time.

This 2010 version of the Lakers is a team that has never met a lead it couldn’t squander, which is exactly what they have done in the first two games of their first-round playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In case anyone hasn’t noticed, this is not the same Lakers team that won the NBA title last season.  Of course, it isn’t.

Kobe Bryant is nowhere near as healthy as he was last season.  That index finger is clearly giving him trouble, not to mention the back, the ankle, and the knee.

Pain or no pain, if it were not for Bryant and Pau Gasol, the Lakers would have no offense at all.

Open shots—those have been their problem.  Not getting the shots, but making them. 

Ron Artest and Derek Fisher, 2-for-10; Lamar Odom, 2-for-9; Andrew Bynum, 3-for-9.  Two-fors not only won’t win another title, they won’t even get the job done in Oklahoma City, where the crowd and the Thunder will be thoroughly energized.

This could turn out to be very much like last year’s series with Houston going the full seven games unless the Lakers hit more of the open shots that the Thunder is giving them.

That is part of the reason that the Thunder had 17 blocked shots.  Most of them came in the frontcourt as the tenacious Thunder sagged on the Lakers’ big men all night long.

That left Fisher, Artest, and Odom open on the perimeter.  But the more open shots that they missed, the more the smaller Thunder swarmed inside, making it tough for Bynum and Gasol to maneuver. 

However, the L...

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