Anyway, the Lakers are sporting a 32-13 winning record (.711 winning percentage), and are second at the suddenly tough Western Conference. Since my last report, the Lakers have gotten a 15-6 record. They follow their conference nemesis San Antonio Spurs by five and a half games, but lead the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder by three games.
Following my good-bad format in the first quarter season analysis, here's how the second quarter of the season looked for the team:
- Ron Artest - In the first twenty games of the season, Ron Artest looked like a slow-footed version of himself. He was able to turn around this January, with better long-range shooting and improved tough guy defense on opposing team's wing players.
- Lamar Odom - This guy should be an All-Star period.
- Andrew Bynum - The team has worked Andrew Bynum into the rotation gradually, and it has been paying dividends for the team. Bynum, while foul-prone, is able to alter opponent shots inside and get blocks himself. This month, Bynum has improved his numbers significantly across the board.
- Interior Play - Even thoough Pau Gasol has slid a bit, the trio of Gasol, Bynum and Odom has been giving opposing team fits by sharp passing and good rebounding.
- The Bench - What the heck happened to the Killer B's? After raving about them at the start of the season, the bench players have faded away. The trade to acquire Joe Smith has yet to bolster the bench effort, especially with Matt Barnes out with an injury.
- Lack of Quality Wins - In the acid tests in the last twenty-something games, the Lakers have failed. The team lost to the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, and Dallas Mavericks.
- Defense - The Lakers have struggled mightily with quick teams because their transition defense is spotty. This 2010-2011 still can't shake the reputation of getting abused by quick players and teams.
- Shot Selection - The team is turning it around in the last ten games, but when the Lakers were losing, they were settling for outside jump shots. This affected the Lakers' offense and disrupted the play of the bigs.
Over-all, the Los Angeles Lakers look far from winning their third straight championship in the season's second quarter. From my perspective,the team has yet to display quality play against quality teams.
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