- Peter Keating
DESPITE A POST-ALL-STAR BREAK warm streak that has many fans and talking heads chirping about a playoff run, the Lakers are the biggest underachievers in all of sports. Certainly there are statistical reasons the team's fortunes are likely to improve -- the Lakers were unlucky in the first half, when they outscored opponents yet lost more than they won, and their second-half schedule is considerably easier. Still, LA's fundamental chemistry remains poor. Personality clashes aren't solely responsible for this, and neither are injuries. The numbers scream that the Lakers are less than the sum of their parts because of how Mike D'Antoni builds lineups.
In ESPN The Magazine, Peter Keating explains that if the Lakers miss the playoffs, the primary blame won't lie with clashing egos or injuries but with the man who sets the lineup.