Lamar has recently shown a flicker of offensive spark but his Achilles heal has unfortunately always been his inconsistencies. You really never know which Lamar will suit up come game time. When he aggressively plays with purpose, he's deadly with what I call his slashing Triple L (Lethal Lengthy Left) but when he decides to suppress and hold back with the smallest bit of hesitation the entire team suffers.
When the opponent's bench scores 42 points vs the Lakers bench 12 (tonight) you can't help but point the finger towards those poor souls peeking their heads out from the bench warming gloom. The bench needs to have better shot selection and not take so many hasty shots to prove their on-court stay. Farmar is great when he shoots with confidence, in fact he usually is the instigator for the second string when he plays well but when he forgets to fundamentally stop and regroup, he misses shots and/or forces turnovers. It's tough to play well when minutes are scarce I know but Farmar has the capability to play great fast tempo basketball against the leagues quick PG's. He especially shoots well with that carried momentum.
No one will ever complain about Shannon's seeping energy onto the court, especially over the basket but Brown is not shooting well right now. He's great for radiating that needed fire off the bench but doesn't seem to really help out with production when Kobe is resting. He needs to play efficient with the minutes given as the team desperately needs something to happen with the second unit.
Artest is the teams defensive cannon however he needs to seriously put up more numbers in the points column when he's averaging about 35 minutes. He is the reason why I am always on the fence with trying to figure this team out. I would hate to pinpoint to just one Laker at fault when the Lakers lose but my E.T. finger seems to gravitate towards Artest or maybe to his hair. Hmm, I'll get back to you on that one. Typically when he scores in double figures, the team wins but tonight they still lost. I'm tossed.
Perimeter defense is the teams covered (or uncovered) blemish. They try to hide it but when opponents discover it, it's a very ugly scene. New Orleans definitely found this Lakers defensive gap and made ten open 3 pointers tonight in result. Lakers fans know the uncontested 3 point shot is as certain as Kobe's penetrating yell to the basket. It's funny you can literally hear the sighs from the Staples Center crowd when the outlet pass is made to the opposing player wide open behind the arc.
Its always tough to talk bad about D Fish but Derek had no chance with Chris Paul tonight. I think when D Fish is replaced with Farmar to help with any mismatch this throws Fisher's game off tremendously. Phil needs to try Tyler Perry's 80/20 rule when substituting at the PG position. Derek's 3 point shot is still my favorite on this Lakers squad and is really a thing of beauty but again as with all the other teammates the problem lies in individual player inconsistencies.
Listen, all the Lakers have had their inconsistent runs this season but recently Kobe and Pau have consistently produced team high numbers game in and game out. It's time for teammates to step up and end this season on a more collective note as a team entering the playoffs.