|2010-11 Team Rating|
|3rd Overall||8th Overall|
Stats through Jan. 15
The return of Andrew Bynum has been a meaningful boost, especially on defense, and renewed depth as Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom play well and Ron Artest remains inconsistent.
Two words: Kobe Bryant. But every time a quick point guard picks the Lakers apart, concern re-ignites over Derek Fisher in the playoffs. Same as last season, in other words.
The Lakers did well without Bynum and have seen enough good moments early in his return to believe they will get better still. The defensive boards are a concern, though.
Lamar Odom, a starter early but targeted for a reserve role all along, has been terrific, and the Matt Barnes signing was going well before surgery. Now Luke Walton needs to step up.
He's still Phil Jackson, tweaking his own guys and annoying a bunch of other teams while piling up wins. That means success or failure is about the postseason, not the first few months.
What a mess. Or maybe, just maybe, there's enough time for the Lakers to recover from the same holiday malaise that struck a year ago. How did that season turn out?
They're fine. It hasn't been a breeze of a season, or lately even the strange under-the-radar feel that welcomed them to training camp, but the Lakers have never been ones for permanent calm. They are definitely imperfect, but so is everyone else. They are also still good enough to make everyone chase them again.
-- Scott Howard-Cooper
Explanation of Marking System