As i stated in an earlier post Kobe, Nash, Gasol, Dwight and Mike D’antoni are the Lakers problems. Time after time they blame each other for the struggles. Here and there they’ll have times where one may own up, but most of the time they’ll just point the finger. Kobe, Nash, Dwight and Gasol have all been the leader at one point of time in their careers. Nash led the Suns, Dwight led the Magic and Gasol led the Grizzles once upon a time. Even Metta World Peace and Antwan Jamison were leaders for some of the teams they were on. As of right now the Lakers lack a true leader. The leader of the team doesn’t necessarily have to be the best player, but a guy who’s vocal, been in the league for awhile and knows how to get players to listen. That’s where guys like Derek Fisher, Jason Kidd and Chauncey Billups come in. When the Lakers won back to back titles Derek Fisher was their spokesman. When Pistons won the championship Billups was their leader. Right now for the Clippers Billups is their leader along with Chris Paul and Grant Hill. Jason Kidd did it for Dallas the Nets and is currently providing leadership for the Knicks. The Lakers lack guys like them. After the leadership issue chemistry becomes a problem. Due to injuries (Nash, Gasol, Dwight and D’Antoni, ) the Lakers haven’t been able to truly grasp the offense and get a good a feel on how to play with and off each other. out of the 40 games being played Dwight has missed (3) (plus got ejected in two), Gasol has missed (13) and Nash has missed (24). Failure or inability to stay on the court hurts when you’re trying to develop chemistry. Lack of chemistry results in turnovers. Turnovers result in easy baskets for the opposition. Kobe averages 3.4 turnovers and Nash averages 2.8. Not including everyone else their 6.2 turnovers typically results in 12 fastbreak points for the other team which puts the Lakers in a hole defensively. In the halfcourt set they continue to miss assignments. Dwight may be late coming over or Nash may not get back on defense in time or Kobe gets beat. When things like that continue to happen there is no way you can stop anybody. Despite the transition defense or halfcourt defense the Lakers are all ready in a disadvantage. When playing guards like Westbrook, Parker, Chris Paul, Deron Williams etc, Kobe has to waste and expend extra energy guarding those guys because Nash can’t do so. Another reason why the Lakers defense is lackadaisical is because they spend so much energy on offense. As of right now the Lakers are tied for 4th most points per game at 103.3 per game. When Mike D’Antoni first came he said he wants them to score at least 116 a game. After that he raved about how this team is going to be like showtime. Instead of developing a system that will help maximize the talents of Dwight and Gasol he develops a run and gun up tempo offense that has very little post-ups. In this system he has Gasol shooting 16 to 19ft jumpers all game long as if he’s Dirk or Kevin Garnett. The system has Nash and Dwight running the Pick and Roll that hasn’t been very effective. The only good thing this offense has done is produce a more efficient Kobe Bryant who leads the league in scoring at 29.6pts per game. But is that really a good thing. He averages 22.2 shots per game and makes 10 a game. Everytime he shoots and misses a long jumper it makes it harder for the Lakers to get back and defend. A couple days ago after losing to Miami Kobe came out and said he needs more help offensively. If Kobe decides to feed Dwight ( who averages 17pts on 10 attempts) and Gasol (12pts on 11 attempts) more he’d have more help. But then again when he feeds them they’ll either turn it over (Gasol 1.9 turnovers and Dwight 3.2 turnovers a game) or miss the shot as is the case with Gasol who is having his worst year offensively. Last but not least Dwight Howard and the teams horrid freethrow shooting has been a major concern. They rank 29th in the league at .694% ahead of only the Nuggets who sit at .681% . In the game against Miami, Dwight could’ve made two crucial freethrows that would’ve changed the complexion of the game. Instead of making them he missed them and ultimately the Lakers lost. When games get tight teams should be able to make the freethrows when they matter most but the Lakers have failed to do so on multiple occasions this season…. When it’s all said and done the Lakers’ worst problem is being able to contently look at themselves in the mirror thinking they have time.