Originally posted on With Malice  |  Last updated 2/2/13
It's getting damn difficult to predict which LA team will turn up on a nightly basis.  Will it be the Lakers that looked fantastic within a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder?  Or will it be the Lakers that showed up for a loss vs the somewhat depleted Toronto Raptors... Hell, last week in the game vs the Phoenix Suns, both teams showed up - with LA looking completely dominant for most of the game, only have to have the "vs-Raptors" team show up for the last 14 minutes.  Unfortunately, those Lakers prevailed, and thus... so did the Suns.    Even a much-vaunted (and rightly so) re-invention by Kobe Bryant hasn't been enough to completely stem the tide.  Black Mamba's incredible 56 assists in 5 games is a dramatic change from his usual 4-5 dimes per.  And it's come with the result of everyone being more involved... and thus more vested in the game's outcome.  Unfortunately, even that hasn't been enough.  During the win over Minnesota, LA still managed to squander a large lead and ended up winning by a somewhat-less-than-expected 11 points. So... next game continues the Grammy road-trip, and in Detroit.  A Pistons team that's recently been fueled by their own set of dominant bigs - Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond really starting to assert themselves - and the recent addition of Gasol's countryman Jose Calderon.  Play to capabilities (and should Dwight be available), then this could be a cakewalk for LA.  Play to what we've seen from them all season... and it could get ugly.  Very ugly. What are the odds the good team show up?  I dunno.  You tell me.
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