The Achilles heel of the Los Angeles Lakers

Your Ad Here

Kobe Bryant Wins 4th ChampionshipThe Los Angeles Lakers’ Achilles’ heel is comprised of three components: The Oklahoma City Thunder, Andrew Bynum, and Derek Fisher.

According to the Oxford Dictionary an Achilles’ heel is “a weakness or a vulnerable point”

Your Ad Here

By far The Lakers greatest ‘vulnerable point’ is Oklahoma; if Kobe Bryant and The Lakers are comparable to Superman than Kevin Durant and The Oklahoma City Thunder are definitely the kryptonite of the scenario. The speed of this surprisingly young team is hard to believe. The elusiveness and command of Russell Westbrook, the scoring ability of Durant, and the length of the Thunder’s big men is stunning.

Durant is already putting up MVP numbers shooting just under 50% and averaging 26.2 points per game. With Westbrook’s ability to creep into the paint and score on demand, Oklahoma’s offense is top notch. Although Serge Ibaka can be an inconsistent defender, he now has the help of Kendrick Perkins one of the NBA’s premier defenders in the paint.

With Kevin Durant rivaling the clutch abilities of Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade, and 2 dominate defenders in the paint one almost has to wonder: what NBA team can stop them?

Not the Lakers, as much as it hurts to say. Quite frankly they’re just too slow, old and are still learning the system of Coach Mike Brown. Look for this young ‘run and gun’ team to give The Dallas Mavericks a tough time in The West this post-season.

And what does Bynum have to do with this? Let’s be honest, Laker fans expect too much. (Can you hear the Laker fans screaming?) But this is an objective viewpoint and the only reason Bynum is consistently considered one of the best is due to his potential. But there’s a problem with potential, it’s not so guaranteed as we’d like and statistically speaking, it means nothing.

Perfect example, Mr. Kwame Brown, he had the potential to be the best big man in the NBA. But with career numbers like 6.8 points and 5.6 boards he is merely average, if that. Or what about the 1977 1st round Milwaukee pick Kent Benson, who everyone forgot, don’t remember him? He was supposed to be the next greatest thing to come to the NBA in the late 70’s. Still don’t remember? He’s the guy who got punched in the face by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in his second game, and that’s about all he is remembered for.

Still think potential counts here’s a more recent potentially great player that flopped, and is eerily similar to Bynum, Greg Oden. Portland could’ve had Kevin Durant, but Oden had so much potential! So much so that he has only played in 82 games over his 5 year career, and in those 82 games, 9.4 pts and 7.3 boards, nothing great about that.

This doesn’t mean Bynum cannot succeed in his NBA career, it just shows that great potential shouldn’t factor into his frequent [yet short lasted] big number streaks, as much as we love allowing it to. He hasn’t been able to prove any great numbers over 82 games. He is always hurt, plain and simple. You can’t help your team if you’re sitting on the bench. And if we use the past as a measure, look for him to [maybe] play 45 games this season

That being said, he is coming out strong this season. In the five games he has played Bynum is shooting 54% from the field, and just under 19 points, 16 rebounds and 2 blocks in 35 minutes of play time.

Impressive? Maybe, but don’t count on him down the stretch. Bynum, over the course of his seemingly short 7 year career, has missed over 30% of the games the Lakers have played. At the time of this article, L.A. is barely above .500 and having trouble staying there, currently at 6 – 4. He will not help The Lakers to the NBA Playoffs, and if the previous holds true we will find Bynum sitting on the bench and the Oklahoma City Thunder running up and down the battered Lakers.

Finally Derek Fisher, while a beloved fan favorite Fish has got to go for the Lakers to succeed. Only averaging slightly above 4 points and 4 assist a game, coupled with his inability to defend even the slowest of point guards in the league he is no longer needed in the starting line-up.

He is scoreless in his last two games, the amount of time he can stay on the court is decreasing, and he is becoming more and more inconsistent every game. Of course no one will forget Fisher’s 18 foot, awkward looking, fade away over Manu Ginobili with 0.4 seconds left on the clock, giving the Lakers the win over the San Antonio Spurs in the 2004 Western Conference Semi-Finals. However this occurred 8 years ago, and near the peak of Fisher’s NBA career. Unfortunately Fisher has declined greatly since his heyday and the Lakers need another man to run the point.

On the other hand no one can deny how much ‘locker room style leadership’ Derek Fisher brings to this Laker team. Keep him in the line-up, but the Lakers need a new starter for the point.

With Oklahoma playing as strong as they currently are, the injury potential of Bynum, and the lack of presence with Fisher, the Lakers are looking at a tough season and most likely will not see any games deep into the playoffs, bottom line.

Larry D is an NBA team writer for The Sports Blitz

All stats and figures credited to
Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Achilles heel of the Los Angeles Lakers

  1. Aaron Moon says:

    Great read Larry! I love the way the Thunder play basketball and agree with your points on the Lakers completely.

  2. LarryD says:

    Hey thanks Aaron, I appreciate your comments.

  3. 80s90sBaller says:

    Great Article, I can’t agree more about the Thunder. Also don’t forget that the Thunder’s 2nd Team led by Harden and Collison play just about as good if not more efficiently than the starting 5. I think that the depth of the team is one of their major advantages over other teams. Oh and they can finish games too because they can make their freethrows more often than not. Too bad about Maynor he is solid but they still have enough depth.

  4. LarryD says:

    @80s90sBaller.. Thank you for your kind comment, and for reading the article. You are very correct about OKC’s bench, James Harden is arguably the best 6 man in the league, and OKC’s free throws down the stretch are clutch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *