So despite the Lakers recent six-game winning streak, nobody is happy with the direction of the squad.
In fact, here is Phil Jackson’s assessment after their latest victory.
"It was awful," Jackson said. "It was an awful second half. There was no intensity. We didn’t play right… We just didn’t play with a full functioning group of guys. Kobe [Bryant] took one shot [in the second half]. Made his shot [and] that was it. So we weren’t going to come out there and play with the kind of intensity you have to play with."
Seems that their most consistent performer right now is beat writer Mike Bresnahan, who breaks down the Lakers’ chances at becoming the first repeat NBA title winner since 2002. The story address both his – and fans’ – largest concerns for what augurs to be a contentious playoff run (Blazers in round one? Eesh).
Furthermore, concerns abound amongst their guard play, the spotty Jordan Farmar vs. the non-shooter Shannon Brown vs. the aging Derek Fisher, and the fact that even a six-game winning streak is leaving them unmotivated and eerily reminiscent of last year’s squad that was taken to the wire by Houston.
Much of the concerns have to do with the frontcourt as much as the backcourt, with Gasol constantly irked, whether it be by Kobe’s reluctance to pass or the Spanish paparazzi trailing him throughout the South Bay.
The young and oft-injured Andrew Bynum is down yet again (for the third consecutive season), and who knows his mindset upon return.
In short, the Lakers are still the number one team in the Western Conference and still appear superior to any team in the conference, but the concerns are there; this is evident with their 8-9 record against the top four teams in the League. That said, this is LA-LA land, and since the Dominating days of Shaq, the Lakers have shown to be a team that can truly flip the switch – which is definitely what will need to be done this year.