January 26, 2013

NBA Fans, it's Time to Focus on Something Other Than the Underachieving Los Angeles Lakers

By - Jaquan Murphy

As the All-Star Game approaches, day in and day out, all the headlines in the National Basketball Association have something to do with the Los Angeles Lakers. While their season seems to be the hottest reality show on TV, let's remember that there's plenty of other interesting things going on in the NBA besides the Lake Show.

Photo by: Getty Images
The way most expected the Lakers to run away with the Western Conference is the same way people thought the Heat would run away with the East. But when you look at the standings, either Miami is not running fast enough, or the rest of the conference is running just as fast. The Heat only sit 2 games ahead of the Knicks for first place in the conference. In fact, the 1-6 seeds are only separated by 4.5 games. There is a fierce race to the finish shaping up in the East, but so much focus is on the Lakers that not many people are noticing.

One of the big storylines heading into this season was how good would the Nets be in their first year in Brooklyn. After a solid start, they went into a slump, which eventually led to the firing of Avery Johnson. Now the Nets are hot again, sitting in second place in the Atlantic Division and only 3.5 games out of first in the conference. But with all the focus on how Dwight Howard isn't happy with the amount of touches he gets, people are overlooking how well Brooklyn has played.

A team that always flies under the radar is doing so at an unprecedented level this year. The San Antonio Spurs continue to dominate in the West, sitting atop their division without anyone (but Spurs fans) noticing. The trio of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili continue to defy time and play like they are in their mid-20s. And while the Spurs are basically low-key every year, all the focus on Steve Nash's injuries and almost non-existent role in the Lakers offense has made San Antonio's season back page news.

With all eyes on Los Angeles, folks are overlooking what may be a changing of the guard in the West. The young teams like the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets are consistently proving that, as ESPN's analyst Jalen Rose often says, they may be young but they're ready. The Clippers are the Alpha Dogs of the Staples Center this year as they sit third in the West, only 2 games out of first. The Warriors and Nuggets sit fifth and sixth respectively and night in and night out play a hard, gritty, entertaining style of basketball that fans are coming to like and enjoy from their team. However, Kobe Bryant sound bites about anything from how bad the Lakers are playing to the Lakers age being an issue overshadows all that.

Last but not least, let's not forget the load of individual performances that are either not getting as much attention as they deserve, or not getting any attention at all. Carmelo Anthony is averaging 29 points and 6 boards to help lead the Knicks to the second spot in the East. James Harden is showing that he can be the go-to guy on a team, averaging 26 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds in his first season with the Rockets. Kyrie Irving is showing that he is the next big star point guard, averaging 24 points and 6 assists per contest for the Cavaliers. The effect these guys have on their teams should get more coverage, but Mike D'Antoni's effectiveness as a coach and questions debating if he is the right man for the job overshadows these standout performances.

NBA fans, it's time to dig deep and go further than the mainstream sports coverage of basketball this year, or the national coverage of the Lakers for that matter. Glance around and you will see that there are a lot of good things going on in the NBA this season; a very fun and competitive brand of basketball is being played league-wide.

So let's forget about the Lakers and focus in on some other teams and players who deserve the recognition, and start treating the group that's getting the most coverage like all the rest of the mediocre, dysfunctional teams in the league.


  1. I'm so sick of hearing about the Lakers that I could puke. The fact that they continue to get all this coverage and attention when they're lousy is ridiculous.

  2. The only thing better then seein Lebron get his ring last season is seein Kobe and the Lakers struggle this season. LOL

  3. Couldn't agree more. So much talk about the Lakers and their struggles when there's tons of other things going on in the NBA that the media could be focusing on.