Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Lakers Can’t Afford An Off-Night In New Orleans

We’ve been here far too often with this team. One minute they’re making a statement win, the next they’re suffering an inexplicable loss. Just when you think Mike Brown has got his team to turn the corner they turn around and start going the wrong way down a one-way street.

The time for adjustment is over. All the excuses of learning a new system, adjusting to new teammates and becoming acquainted with the new coaching staff are more tired than Dwight Howard trade talk.

Enough already!

The playoffs push has begun and the Lakers are in prime position to climb atop the Western Conference. You heard right. A couple weeks ago that seemed as likely as Tim Tebow winning a Super Bowl. But all of a sudden the Lake Show is sitting third in West, two back in the loss column to San Antonio and six back of Oklahoma City.

Now catching OKC will require a lot of help but sliding past the Spurs is very possible.

If the Lakers are looking for help then they need only gaze in the mirror of whatever hotel they’re staying at away from Staples. That’s where the real assistance will come from.

L.A.’s road form has been the biggest hurdle standing in their way to the title. Last night’s double OT performance in Memphis is hopefully the chemistry building moment this team needed. But we won’t know that until we see the type of effort they put forth in New Orleans tonight.

Kobe Bryant has already said fatigue won’t be a factor for him after logging a ridiculous 52 minutes in Memphis. Is he writing a check his legs can’t cash or is this the real-deal-Holyfield talk of a champion?

The last time the Lake Show hit the road we thought they’d notch a couple of wins over lesser competition. Detroit and Washington had other plans. Tonight they’ll get another shot at an NBA bottom dweller. All due respect to the Hornets but they’re an NBA team built on D-League talent (talking to you too, Trevor Ariza. Not so much you, Eric Gordon).

Nothing gets teams more excited than seeing a premier franchise like Los Angeles roll into town so Coach Brown should know what to expect. An easy win should never be expected but a champion’s effort is mandatory every game from here out. After all, it’s not like we’re talking about a team learning to win. This Laker squad has a championship pedigree. A lot of that was lost in last season’s embarrassing playoff exit. Believe it or not they can regain some of that by showing real heart against a struggling team like New Orleans. It’s all about building on recent success instead of starting the process all over again.

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Tags: Eric Gordon Kobe Bryant Mike Brown New Orleans Hornets Trevor Ariza

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