What will be the deciding factor for the Lakers post All-Star break?

Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

John Gaffer // @jewelslamo:

Deciding factors for Lakers post All Stat break are simple: Winning 28 of their remaining 38 games, the 7th and 8th seeded teams need to go on extended losing streaks, and D’antoni pushes all the right coaching buttons. All easier said than done.

Felipe Amaral // @F_Amaral:

Defense. It’s impossible to be a good team if you concede 100 points in three quarters like the Lakers did last Thursday against the Clippers. The problem is that a solid defense requires energy, chemistry and commitment from all five players on the court, and that’s what the 2012-13 Lakers have been lacking the most since day one. 

Alex Lambeth // @AlexLambeth:

Chemistry. With only 28 games left in the season, the Lakers must come together quickly and start playing with a serious sense of urgency. It has become quite clear that the Lakers’ players are not the best of friends, but their chemistry on the court has to improve. Every Laker, including Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant, must sacrifice their displeasure and come together as a collective unit for the Lakers to even think about the playoffs.

Oren Levy // @LakersOren:

Attitude. Its put up, or shut up time (or in Dwight Howard’s case, shut up and put up). The Lakers began the season as a team that loses games they should have won. They have to become a team that wins games they should lose over the final 28 games of the year. No excuses. Just win.

Garrett Garcia // @GarrettGarcia:

As I’ve been preaching all season long, chemistry will be LA’s deciding factor.  Health of course is probably just as big, but they’re already in the hole with injuries so I feel chemistry is going to take the driver’s seat for now.  When a team likes, trusts, and supports one another it would take an awful lot from another team to beat The Lakers.  Let’s hope they get their act together and play more as a team where even the most formidable of teams would fear playing Los Angeles.

Melvin Taylor // @MelvinTaylorII:

Health. Chemistry. Defense are all what LA needs. If the rest of the team stays healthy, while developing chemistry, the defense will come. Yet if they cannot get in a groove due to people being in and out the lineup then you can call it a season here and now.

James Cypert // @JamesCypert:

Defense. While the knock on Mike D’Antoni-coached teams has always been on defense, the second oldest team in the NBA hasn’t given D’Antoni much to work with. Allowing a little over 100 points per game, the Lakers will need an inspired, defensive second half if they wish to make the playoffs and convince Dwight Howard to stay in Los Angeles.

Bummi Anderson // @BummiNAnderson:

The deciding factors post All-Star break will be defense, chemistry, and health. If Lakers fail to progress in all three areas, we all will be in for a long off-season. A fourth factor in it all is D12’s happiness, but I don’t have enough room to write that novel here.

Anna Gonda // @AnnaLBG:

The deciding factor for the Lakers post-All-Star break is Dwight Howard’s attitude. The coaching staff and his teammates (most notably Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant) have spent a good part of this season adjusting their game to his benefit, but he hasn’t budged an inch to complement theirs. It’s disappointing and discouraging for Howard to play an excellent game one night, and then appear disinterested in the next.

Robert Benitez // @Beeb0:

Defense. No question. This team can play ball and score. The issue is the other team scores too easily. When this team plays good defense they’ll be unstoppable. I’ll add making free throws a close second though.