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No joy in Laker Land these days

If the Lakers are going to turn things around, it will have to be with defense

Updated: January 26, 2014, 2:21 AM ET
By Dave McMenamin | ESPNLosAngeles.com

NEW YORK -- Mitch Kupchak is about as buttoned up as they come. If there was ever some kind of meter fashioned to read the Los Angeles Lakers general manager's homeostasis level, it would surely show Kupchak in a constant state of anywhere from 4 to 6. Never too high. Never too low.

With that in mind, it was almost jarring to hear (by Kupchak's standards) unbridled optimism from the GM a couple weeks ago when the team was mired in a stretch of eight losses in nine games.

"I ...

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