cthroatgtr wrote:Steven A is generally the loud voice of reason. I truly believe Kobe is fine with guys that take shots and make plays. What he hates is guys that are afraid to take shots and make plays. Steve Nash is a guy he immensely respects and has no issue with Nash running things. Kobe deferred in the Olympics as well.
I would also add everyone wants to mention the Heat saying it took them time to jell. This is more like the Celtics when the big 3 got together. Why? Because the pieces fit naturally without anyone changing their basketball personality. Kobe now has a PG that can run the offense and is as good a shooter in the league. Gasol played with Bynum so working with Howard will be a breeze. Howard may need to adjust some but that should be minor because Gasol will make it work. If MWP plays like he did in the second half of the season...look out.
Keys to the season...health and minutes for the older guys. They probably go hand and hand. If the Lakers are healthy come playoffs I don't think anyone can beat them. When I saw OKC/Miami what I saw was the two teams with the most talent not the best basketball teams. People need to remember that the Lakers should have beat OKC 2 other times but ran out of gas (can you say worst bench in the league). You take the same basic team from last year, add Nash, Jamison, Meeks and swap Howard for Bynum. OKC is in trouble...as long as the team is healthy. OKC's offense is all perimeter. Miami's offense is all slash. No post game.
It wasn't just more talent.. OKC is the best team in the league off screens.. They run that offense to perfection, & we were terrible at defending that. I think BBIQ alone makes Nash a better defender against those screens, & Dwight is obviously a huge upgrade from Bynum in that department. Pau will still struggle on screens, Kobe & Ron are both coming into this season lighter & presumably quicker.. Meeks is a capable defender off the bench & will help us limit Kobe in stretches, enabling him to play defense like he's capable of if we need him to shut down Harden or Westbrook. I also think the Nash to Dwight & Pau pick & rolls will kill them inside & we'll do a much better job of getting their bigs in foul trouble. overall I think we are much improved in our capability to deal with OKC.