The biggest questions surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers center around aging star Kobe Bryant and his comeback from last year’s injury. Are the Lakers good enough to be a playoff team just a year after having a top-10 pick? Can Steve Nash play at his former MVP level or will he be suiting up in an actual suit and tie as the result of another injury? The acquisitions of Ed Davis, Jeremy Lin, and Julius Randle will help to answer all these questions, along with the arrival of veteran head coach Byron Scott.
- KEY ADDITIONS: Jeremy Lin (PG), Ed Davis (PF), Julius Randle (PF), Carlos Boozer (PF)
- KEY LOSSES: Pau Gasol (PF), Kendall Marshall (PG), Jodie Meeks (SG)
My Starting Five
- Projected Win-Loss Record: 45-37
With all these new added pieces in L.A., the coaching vacancy had to be filled with a more than competent man NOT named Mike Brown or Mike D’Antoni. The Lakers did just that by hiring the very seasoned Byron Scott. Scott’s been coaching in the NBA for a while now including stints with New Orleans and Cleveland. He’s known more so for his ability to connect to players, particularly point guards. Scott helped launch the careers of both Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, and also played most of his entire playing career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
I firmly believe Jeremy Lin will play a huge role in the potential success of this team. Lin will be learning under future Hall of Famers Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant and will probably play a role similar to the one he played in Houston as Bryant operates a lot like James Harden offensively. The additions of Ed Davis, Julius Randle, and Carlos Boozer will do more than enough to fill the departure of Pau Gasol. There’s a small possibility that the Lakers could make a surprise playoff run as you can never count a Kobe Bryant led team out.
Kobe is coming off a bad injury and this team doesn’t have the talent it’s used to having. In an insanely powerful Western Conference, that is not a good formula for success. Steve Nash will likely be day to day for the entire season with the nagging injuries he’s had since coming to the Lakers. If Nash gets seriously injured again it will be solely up to Lin to operate this team, though there’s really no such thing as a point guard operating a Kobe Bryant led squad.
The Lakers led the league last year in missed games due to injury, and that needs to be cut way down in order for this team to contend. Randle seems like too raw of a talent, but is in a good spot to develop as not many people are expecting the Lakers to do big things this year.So far this preseason, the Lakers have looked abysmal. Even though they’ve won two games, they’ve also lost four by an average of nearly 24 points per loss. This team needs improvement in durability, three point shooting, and most likely several other categories we haven’t discovered just yet. Expect the Lakers to finish just outside the 8th seed.