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What's Ailing The Lakers?

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It seems as if the Lakers are inventing new ways to lose of late. Last night’s double overtime loss to Minnesota included some beauties –- including failing to throw the ball in bounds to the open man, something successfully pulled off by junior high teams. Laker veteran Aaron McKie couldn’t see Brian Cook waiting for the ball with a wide-open shot to win the game.

Then, on top of it all, Kobe has been suspended for tonight’s game in Milwaukee (5 p.m., KCAL 9) for the same thing that got him suspended in New York earlier this season. You can all but chalk up another loss –- the Lakers three leading scorers are out.

Fans are frustrated. It feels like the downward spiral the Lakers had two seasons ago, the year between Phil Jackson’s stints as coach -- when Shaq was gone, Rudy Tomjonovic quit as coach and the team floundered.

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But it’s not -– fans need to remember this slide is all about the injuries. And the Lakers have a lot of them. McKie should not be making inbounds passes, Luke Walton should (but ankle tendonitis is keeping him sidelined). He would have seen Cook standing unbelievably wide open with the chance to win the game in Minnesota. But, you say, Cook could not throw a pea in the ocean in that game ((thanks Chick), even if he had gotten the ball he would have missed. But Phil Jackson didn’t have Vladimir Radmanovic to turn to as the hotter hand that night because Radmanovic went snowboarding last month.