Thursday's Number: 10

This represents L.A.'s rank in defensive efficiency since the All-Star break, according to John Hollinger (Insider required).

Given the problems they've had throughout the year on the other side of the ball, the Lakers can't afford to give up any ground defensively. Unfortunately, that's been the trend of late. HoopData.com has the purple and gold ranked fourth in the NBA at 100.2 points allowed per 100 possessions, but only twice in the last 13 games have the Lakers managed to keep an opponent under that level of production (at home vs. Minnesota, at San Antonio).

For most of the season, I've noted the team's relative success keeping points off the board. The numbers still look good, but they're slipping. It's something the Lakers need to fix, and fast.