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The Los Angeles Lakers are starting to look like the defending champions once again. The Lakers elevated their play this week, while Shannon Brown continued to prove why he is the Lakers most consistent role player. The Lakers played five games, and were victorious in four of those contests. The most impressive victory came in the form a 55 point blowout against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Brown averaged 11.2 points for the week and shot over 50 percent from the field. The Lakers lead the Pacific Division with a 30-12 record.

 

Jason Richardson’s consistent play for the Magic continued, while the team somewhat struggled. The team embarked on a four game road trip which featured stops in Minnesota, Dallas, Oklahoma City and New Orleans. Richardson averaged 20.2 points and shot 53 percent from the field. Despite these impressive statistics, the Magic lost two highly competitive games against the Hornets and Thunder. Orlando allowed 217 points in both losses. If the Magic want to return to the NBA finals, their defense will have to improve. The Magic are second place in their division. Their record is 26-14.

 

Zach Randolph continued his stellar play this week, and continues to prove why he is the most underrated power forward in the NBA. In three games Randolph averaged 24 points and 17 rebounds. Despite Randolph’s excellent week, the Grizzlies continue to struggle as a team. They are 19-21 and lost to the Charlotte Bobcats. With All-Star break approaching, one has to wonder will this team make good on its owner’s guarantee that they will make the playoffs.

 

Morris Peterson remained inactive. He has not played in a game since December 13th.

 

Charlie Bell remained inactive. He has not played in a game since December 13th.

 

Drew Naymick and Idong Ibok continue to try and find their way in the D-League. Ibok is averaging 1.4 ppg with the New Mexico Thunderbirds. Drew Naymick is averaging 5.7 ppg with Bakersfield Jam.