Kobe Bryant And The Lakers: How Can A Team Get Out Of This Tailspin

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are in what any team would call a tailspin.

Losers of three straight lopsided contests, the Lakers need to turn things around quickly if they hope to remain among the legit contenders in the extremely rugged Western Conference.

With the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks well in position to battle for the conference’s top seed, and Utah and Oklahoma City not far behind, the time is clearly now for the Lakers.

But how do they do it?

How do the Lakers bounce back into prominence in the Western Conference?

Defense, Defense, Defense

In my opinion, it starts with defense. In the Lakers’ 10 losses this season, they’ve allowed more than 90 points in all but one of them, and have allowed the opposition to break the century mark four times.

While Bryant may be a solid one-on-one defender with the capability of shutting down an opponent, depending on the matchup, the Lakers can improve their team defense mightily.

With bodies like Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum on the floor, Los Angeles has the pieces to take over a game defensively. Currently owners of the 15th ranked defense in the league—allowing 98 points per game—the Lakers have plenty of room for improvement.

Get it to the Bigs

The Lakers could also focus on working their offensive game plan around their big men a bit more—especially when trailing.

As evidenced by last night’s loss to San Antonio, the Lakers tend to heave it up from beyond the arc when trailing. To slow down the clock, work the ball down low to Gasol and Bynum and leave Bryant’s shot-making abilities as a last-gasp effort on each possession would serve the Lakers well.

Stop the Bleeding

The Lakers’ 21-10 record certainly is not any proof that the years of success in Los Angeles are over—make no bones about it. The Lakers are and will continue to be one of the contenders in the Western Conference. Still, their knack for tailspins this season leaves NBA fans scratching their heads.

Save for the Lakers’ loss to Chicago earlier this season, each defeat has been just one of a string of downgraded play.

After starting 8-0, the Lakers lost two straight to Denver and Phoenix.

After Thanksgiving, they lost four straight and are currently amidst a three-game tailspin,including a embarrassing loss against the Miami Heat.

If the Lakers can improve their efforts after losses—stop the bleeding, so to speak—three peat is imminent.


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