The Lakers ended their Grammy tour this week with three straight blowout losses to the Magic, Bobcats and Cavaliers. Some say there isn't cause for concern in Lakerland. I would beg to differ. There's some issues that need to get worked out.
The Lakers are having issues defending the rim and that starts with the pressure they are applying out front. PG Derek Fisher is a clutch player in the playoffs, but right now he isn't quick enough to keep up with athletic PGs. This is allowing PGs to penetrate and breakdown the Lakers defense for easy scores and assists. Fisher's backup, Steve Blake, isn't quick enough to contain opposing PGs either, so there's a huge hold the Lakers have to mend.
The Lakers also aren't protecting the rim like they are capable of either. The trio of Bynum, Gasol and Odom aren't getting it done. Gasol and Odom aren't going to do much anyway blocking shots, but Bynum has to be more of a consistent factor on the back end of the Laker defense. It seems like he's into the game at some points, but at other points he's disinterested.
The biggest issue with the Lakers is that they are playing complacent. The sense of urgency isn't where it needs to be. They are playing like they can turn it on and turn it off and they are finding out that it isn't possible. The fact is that they seem to be fat and happy being the Lakers instead of understanding that they are the defending champions and they will get every team's best shot.
The Lakers need to make a trade, but it isn't the trade that everyone is thinking about. The Lakers need a PG that can pressure the ball and make things happen. The Lakers need to trade for PG Kirk Heinrich. He's one of the best defenders in the league and he can also make plays on the offensive end. Matt Barnes is also scheduled to come back soon, so him coming back would be like making a trade without a trade being made. These two guys would give the Lakers what they need: defenders.
There's still time to work this out in Los Angeles. After all, they still are the defending champions and they still have all the pieces, but in order for them to get it done, some change may be necessary. Some pieces may need to be traded away and some new blood needs to be brought in. And no, that new blood they need right now isn't Carmelo Anthony.