No question, things do not look rosy right now for the purple and gold in ways going far beyond the current three-game losing streak. At the same time, it's worth taking a few seconds to appreciate exactly how good the Lakers have been over the last two-plus years to avoid dropping three in a row. Notes ESPN.com's Marc Stein in today's Power Rankings:
"The Lakers had gone a whopping 185 games without enduring a three-game losing skid before Sunday's loss in Orlando. The new longest active streak? Denver has played a mere 30 games without a three-game skid."
This is impressive stuff. Kobe Bryant ascribed the long run to luck -- no doubt there's an element of that in play -- but Derek Fisher had a more concise explanation Monday afternoon in El Segundo:
"Being really, really good. We've had really, really good basketball teams, so more nights than not you're going to be the best team on the floor. We've done a great job over the last two years," he said.
So what's different now?
"Some trips at certain times of the year, or certain matchups against certain teams at a certain point of the season where you're more vulnerable," Fish continued. "Particularly on the road more so than at home, we've gotten vulnerable on the road in terms of our inefficiency and the way we're playing, and the turnovers. So those are things that if we can correct, we can get to where we need to be in terms of closing out the regular season and getting ready for postseason play."
I'll have plenty more to say about the "things" to which Fish refers later in the day. In the meantime, take at least, oh, 35 seconds to appreciate the quality of the streak ending Sunday afternoon.
Okay. You may now return to your regularly scheduled angst.