Since the In-Season Tournament the Los Angeles Lakers are 3-8 in their last 11 games and currently find themselves at 17-17 on the season.
With a very competitive Western Conference, the Lakers' margin for error has seemingly become very minimal and changes certainly need to be made. In order for them to be viewed as a serious contender there are certain areas that need to be addressed.
5 ways the Los Angeles Lakers can regain consistency:
1. Make a move at the trade deadline
This offseason Rob Pelinka's goal was to improve the roster around the margins while keeping the core group. The talent brought in hasn't lived up to expectations so far and the Lakers need to pivot into another direction rather quickly.
Gabe Vincent has been the most disappointing newest acquisition as he's only played five games and recently got knee surgery which will require him to miss six to eight months. Cam Reddish has shown flashes defensively but his inability to consistently hit outside shots makes him a liability offensively. Jaxson Hayes has struggled as well, particularly on the defensive end and has seen his minutes decrease.
However, Taurean Prince has recently been shooting well averaging 46.3% from 3 in the month of December and Christian Wood continues to make an impact after being out of the rotation as of late. The Lakers are lacking perimeter shooting and with names such as Zach Lavine and Dejounte Murray being linked to them Rob Pelinka should certainly be working the phones come this deadline.
2. Fire Darvin Ham
When it comes to calling timeouts, rotations, lineups, and in-game adjustments Darvin Ham still makes head-scratching decisions. This is the hottest his seat has ever been and the team along with fans seem to be losing their patience with him. Ham signed a four-year multi-million dollar deal in 2022 and the Lakers might feel it's too early to give up on him with it only being his second year.
But the patterns of his decision-making are too detrimental to the team's success and change in this department is definitely needed. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have both been relatively healthy this year yet the team is .500 some of that definitely falls on coaching.
3. Find an identity
Through 34 games the Lakers still seem to be figuring out their identity and who they are as a team. After the win against the Charlotte Hornets on December 29th Austin Reaves elaborated on the fact that the Lakers are still trying to find their identity.
" I feel like we can be so versatile that sometimes it might hurt us a little bit because if we stick to one thing and just get really, really good at that one thing and then expand from that, I think we’ll become a huge problem. Like I said the other night, I believe that every time we step on the court, we can beat anybody we play. But just figuring out really what our identity is, in my opinion, the main thing, because we can be so good when we figure that out."
The sooner this gets figured out our questions regarding this team's potential can finally be answered.
4. Solidify a startling lineup
At this point of the season, head coaches seem to have a set starting lineup and rotations but the Lakers have gone through a plethora of lineups and a lot of them haven't made sense. Now injuries certainly haven't helped this case but the constant mixing and matchup lineups aren't doing the team a favor.
5. Dominate this upcoming stretch of home games
The good news is the Lakers next 10 of 12 games are at home where they are 11-4 on the season. So far they've played the most games (35), the most road games (20), and the most back-to-backs with 7.
To an extent scheduling and fatigue could be a reason why the team is sitting at .500 but they should be better than what their record shows. An ideal record over these next 12 games would be 8-4 which would put them at 25-21 and show positive trends.