Lakers Developing Winning Formula


Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There won’t be any parade routes planned now that the Lakers finally have a signature victory. A lot more heavy lifting remains until any title talk can be resurrected. However the nature in which they beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday and the Utah Jazz last Friday certainly has shown the hoops world that the NBA’s biggest underachievers might have finally found a winning formula.

When Kobe Bryant said the approach needed to change in order for the Lake Show to notch more victories who could have imagined that meant Steve Nash would swap roles with KB24. That’s exactly what has happened during this modest yet much needed two game win streak.

Something else that might be changing for the better is Mike D’Antoni’s rotation as in he’s finally settling on one. Among the many complaints of the Lakers’ most vilified coach is that he’s been unwilling to commit to a consist rotation. Yesterday during the rousing win over OKC D’Antoni played nine players including giving Pau Gasol a healthy 35 minutes in his new role of sixth man.

With regards to Gasol’s new role it’s looking more likely he’s going to continue coming off the bench despite his very public protest. But if the wins keep coming it will be impossible to argue with D’Antoni’s most controversial decision to date.

It is also unlikely that Kobe will continue to compile double digit assist totals. At some point Mamba’s expertise in scoring will be more necessary than his playmaking. But there is no doubt that with Bryant handling distribution duties the Lakers are a deadly team to contend with.

While the last two wins have shown the world this team still has the ability to compete with anyone there are lingering issues that must be dealt with in order to keep the good times rolling.

Dwight Howard is shrinking with each game. His production is dipping despite the recent success of the team. That will have to improve in order for the Lakers winning ways to continue. D’Antoni’s struggles with establishing his post players is very problematic. So too is the fact that the Lakers are pretty much going away from everything the offensive minded coach has installed.

With two quality bigs like Howard and Gasol the Lakers are starting to play inside-out very much in contrast with D’Antoni’s ideals. Again, if that results in more wins then the D’Antoni Formula will just have to be revised on the fly. No matter what there is finally a blueprint for success. All that remains now is to refine the recipe and repeat it.