Why the Lakers Will Not Repeat

Watching the Los Angeles Lakers this year, you can already begin to some trends developing with this team.

Even though it is still very early in the year, if these things are not corrected the Lakers will not be able to repeat as NBA Champions.

So far, the most glaring difference between this year’s team and the last year’s Champions is the position of Small Forward.

The Lakers lost Trevor Ariza to free agency when he wanted more money and left for Houston.

So, to replace him, the Lakers signed league bad-boy Ron Artest.

While many Laker fans were thrilled with the swap after seeing how well Artest defended Kobe in the playoffs last year, but I maintain that Ariza brought much more to the team.

Ariza was a better 3-point shot, better defensively, more clutch, and did not have a bad reputation with all the league’s referees.

Artest is also 30 years old and Trevor Ariza is a spry 25.

Another thing that is preventing the Lakers from being a better team is how Phil Jackson is still relying on Derek Fisher.

Fisher is 35 years old and while experience is always good the Point Guard position, he is can not play as many minutes and his shooting is not as consistent as it used to be.

The Lakers have options at the Point with Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar, the problem is that both players are considered to be more of scoring type players instead of being true Point Guards.

It is not that Brown and Farmar can not be true Point Guards, it is just that it is not their strengths and Phil would much rather prefer true Point Guards who can feed the ball to Kobe.

True, through the first two games the Lakers have been without Center/Power Forward Pau Gasol, but Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, and Ron Artest are expensive enough as a front court to not need Gasol to be solid.

Right now the Lakers are not poised to make a run at the title, but you can not forget the arguably most important piece to last year’s championship team, General Manager Mitch Kupchack.

Two years ago, Kupchack made the trade for Gasol and got rid of under-achieving Kwame Brown.

Last year Kupchack traded away the inconsistent playing Vladimir Radmonovic in a deal for Shannon Brown.

If the Lakers are going to make a run at repeating this year, Kupchak will need to make another miracle deal.


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