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Lakers: Week 7 in review

December 17, 2012|By Eric Pincus
  • Kobe Bryant celebrates during the closing minutes of the Lakers' 102-96 win over the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center.
Kobe Bryant celebrates during the closing minutes of the Lakers'… (Rob Carr / Getty Images )

The Lakers seemingly hit rock bottom with a four-game losing streak but pulled out with two consecutive  wins on the road to finish Week 7.  With help on the way (Pau Gasol and Steve Nash), are the Lakers through the worst of it?

Despite the record, statistically the Lakers have a lot of positives, including field-goal percentage, rebounding and point differential.  Where the team struggled most was on defense.

With losing came finger-pointing.  Were the Lakers not giving the right amount of effort? Could it just be simply the talent gap because of injuries?

Dwight Howard admitted he still wasn't quite himself after off-season surgery. Andrew Bynum, the center the Lakers gave up to get Howard, has yet to play a single game this season because of knee troubles. Although the team's 11-14 record isn't impressive, where would the Lakers be if they still had Bynum?

To that end, Howard told critics to settle down.

Despite the record, the Lakers were still listed by Bovada as a top-three favorite to win the NBA title.  Of course if the team doesn't make the playoffs altogether, the Phoenix Suns will get the Lakers' lottery pick.

The Lakers lost to the Cavaliers along the way, which already made a top-five pick in the West possibly out of reach.  Soon after, their rally fell short in New York against the Knicks.

Devin Ebanks started to get a look from Coach Mike D'Antoni after barely playing for most of the season, playing his best game in the loss to the Knicks.

While waiting for Nash, the Lakers were linked by Marc Stein of ESPN.com to Delonte West.  If the team is looking to make moves, most trade restrictions expired on Dec. 15.

Next year's luxury tax is so hefty, the Lakers may be compelled to make moves this season.

Kobe Bryant opened up to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, discussing the Lakers' struggles, Pau Gasol, Mike D'Antoni and the team's futureMike Brown said Bryant made him a better coach.

Bryant was also the Western Conference's leading vote-getter for the All-Star game, behind just LeBron James league-wide. Howard also got enough early votes to be a probable starter.

Bryant also got invited by the Globetrotters to play an exhibition against the Washington Generals.  The Lakers did manage to take out the Washington Wizards.

Jodie Meeks had his best game against Washington, scoring 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting.  The Lakers finished the week with a win in Philadelphia over the 76ers.

Meanwhile rookie Darius Johnson-Odom, on assignment in the D-League, has played well for the D-Fenders.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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