To put it bluntly, the Los Angeles Lakers are strug-gulling. The Lakers dropped their fourth straight game Wednesday night, falling to the Houston Rockets 109-99. After a blistering 13-2 start, Phil Jackson’s bunch is now down to 13-6.
While Kobe Bryant had 27 points, four rebounds and four assists, and Lamar Odom had a season-high 25 points and 11 rebounds, the Lakers just couldn’t hold off the Rockets in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers have now lost to Utah (on the road), Indiana (at home), Memphis (on the road) and Houston (on the road) in consecutive games. That’s, uh, that’s not good.
So what gives? Well, the Lakers are clearly missing depth on the interior. Someone needs to be able to spell Pau Gasol for stretches in games while Andrew Bynum recovers for his knee surgery.
In the offseason Theo Ratliff was brought in to give Gasol breaks until Bynum recovered or rookie Derrick Caracter developed into a solid role player.
In the Lakers last five games, Gasol has scored 12, 21, 13, 15 and 8 points. In those games he has played 42, 45, 46, 45 and 39 minutes. Clearly the guy is getting worn out and his offense has slipped considerably.
The key to the triangle offense is balance and Gasol needs to be fresh and ready to dominate if the Lakers hope to be successful. Over the past four games, he hasn’t been fresh or dominant.
Someone on the Lakers’ bench needs to step up and help the guy out.