The Lakers are not going away

miércoles, 5 de octubre de 2011

Since the Lakers lost to the Mavericks in the second round of the 2011 playoffs, many doubts have been raised about them, their drive, their ability, and their future. Many have suggested that they need to trade one or more of their core players, that they’re too old, and that they can’t win again.

I believe none of that is true.

This Lakers’ team is very capable of winning more championships, or at least one more. The main issues that caused their loss to the Mavericks won’t necessarily exist in the future.
In my opinion, the main reason why the Lakers lost was Gasol’s horrible performance, which he admitted was caused by off the court personal problems. If those problems can be fixed, I don’t see a reason why Gasol can’t go back to being his usual self, and that player is at least a top 5 big man in the NBA.

Many people criticized Kobe, who wasn’t healthy, for not being as productive and clutch as in the past, but he was much closer to his usual production than Gasol, the team’s 2nd best player, was to his. Gasol’s struggles, paired with Kobe’s physical limitations, made it difficult for the Lakers to score. That affected the team’s motivation, which wasn’t that good to begin with. The team’s lack of motivation affected their play on defense, and without a good enough offense or defense, they couldn’t handle the Mavericks. That’s why they were swept. If Kobe had been healthier and Gasol had not been struggling, the Lakers would’ve won that series. Of course, Dirk was unstoppable, and it probably would’ve taken seven games for the Lakers to beat Dallas, but they were the better team. The main reason why the Mavericks scored that much is the fact that the Lakers were not defending the way they were capable of. Dallas is a great offensive team, but they shouldn’t get as much credit as they have gotten.  They didn’t figure out the Lakers’ defense. They took advantage of the Lakers’ defensive issues. The Lakers might not have been capable of stopping, or even slowing Dirk, but they were capable of slowing everybody else, and they didn’t. That’s why I believe that, in different circumstances, they would have won. That is also what makes me think they can win another championship.

If by next season’s playoffs Kobe and Gasol are healthy enough and don’t have any off-court issues bothering them, and most of the team (especially Bynum) is also healthy, the Lakers will have a very good chance at winning another championship. Their team is still capable of beating anyone in a seven game series and with Mike Brown at the helm, their defense should go back to being one of the best. As of right now, there’s no reason to believe that, barring more injuries, the Lakers will get back to being the dominant team they have been in past playoffs.

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