Never mind the opponent. Forget about the circumstances. The facts are all that matters. This NBA schedule is brutal and hectic. That applies for every team this season. Still, there is no excuse whatsoever for the Lake Show to have posted just 2 wins in 9 road games this season.
No matter the reason for their road woes the Lakers need to find a fix now. Playing this way outside of Staples will guarantee an early exit from the playoffs if this team even makes it into the NBA title tournament.
With the Grammys set to take over Downtown L.A. the Lakers will hit the road for their annual February trip. Never has this portion of the season meant so much so early on.
Of course early is a relative term. With the reduced games we’re rapidly approaching the mid-point of the season. Whatever identity the Lakers are looking to forge the process must be accelerated sooner than later.
Make no mistake with this trip the Lakers have reached the crossroads. A disastrous trip could propel the franchise into rethinking the immediate future of the team. A successful swing will reignite the trade talks to help bolster any championship prospects.
Either way the season will be defined by the results of the coming week.
Currently Kobe Bryant is being asked to shoulder the load. He’s putting together one of the more impressive seasons of his career. But that alone is not enough. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum aren’t stepping up often enough during crucial moments. Bynum might be an All-Star but he disappeared against an All-NBA talent like Dwight Howard.
As for the Spaniard, Gasol isn’t playing anything close to his top form. He’s still looking for his place in the offense. Hopefully Pau and Mike Brown will find a rhythm on the road.
Also looking to find a rhythm is the second unit. Brown seems to change his rotation like Mr. Rodgers does his shoes and sweaters. Each game there is a change in the minutes handed out and the players coming in and out. There is just no way for the Lake Show to find success without a solid bench. Losing Steve Blake was crucial but rookie Andrew Goudelock is gaining confidence by the day. Will that continue in this road trip? Time will tell.
Each game we learn something new about this Laker squad. After this road trip we’ll know more about the team than the first month could reveal. This might be the moment everything comes together or it could be the instance in which everything falls apart. It is truly all or nothing for the Lakers on the Grammy trip, here’s hoping they hit nothing but high notes.