Lakers No Longer an Offensive Powerhouse at Court

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 19:01
So far, the Los Angeles Lakers have had the most impressive record in the NBA, with a rating of 33-10. While it was not always smooth sailing for the team, the Lakers have managed well enough since June. Nonetheless, the Lakers team today seems to be a far cry from the one which had bagged the 2009 championship for the NBA. Another defensive step forward has led them to be known as the third best defensive team in this league. This has also resulted in their ranking as the second-best defensive team that Kobe Bryant has been associated with. The Lakers' poor rankings On the contrary, the current Lakers team is among the least offensive as far as Bryant’s career is concerned. The current team ranking is 10, with just a score of 105.9, for every 100 possessions. Simply put, this score is just 1.9 points higher than the average in the league. While there have been other Lakers teams which have performed poorly in the league, none of them have obtained such a low score on the offensive side. It is rather difficult to imagine how a team as talented as the Lakers could perform poorly on the offensive front and fare worse than the Blazers, Raptors, or the Grizzlies. After all, Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, and Lamar Odom are all part of the team. Why the poor offensive ranking? Possible explanations Nonetheless, a closer look into the losses suffered by the Lakers this season will reveal how offense has been a huge dilemma for the team this season. Seven out of the ten losses, they were not able to score a point per possession. Phil Jackson, coach to the Los Angeles Lakers, has admitted how offense has become an issue for the team lately. Jackson also admitted that for the past couple of weeks, the team has been in discussion as to how to address the problem promptly and effectively. Several factors are being looked into as to why the Lakers have not had a stellar performance on court this season. First off, Pau Gasol, the second-best player for the team, has been absent for a total of 17 games this season. It has been speculated how the presence of Gasol on the team has sparked a huge difference in terms of offensive performance; with the Lakers team ranked fourth in the entire league whenever Gasol played. Another factor which has attributed to the slow offensive performance of the team for this season is Kobe Bryant’s avulsion fracture on his right index finger. This took place just recently when the Lakers were up against the Timberwolves. Since the injury, Bryant has been more cautious on the court, not driving to the basket as often or as fast he normally would.

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