HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby Kobe8Fan on Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:54 pm

ADDITIONS:
Earl Clark (Orlando), Chris Duhon (Orlando), Dwight Howard (Orlando), Antawn Jamison (Cleveland), Jodie Meeks (Philadelphia), Steve Nash (Phoenix), Reeves Nelson (UCLA), Robert Sacre (Gonzaga) and Greg Somogyi (California-Santa Barbara).

SUBTRACTIONS:
Matt Barnes, Andrew Bynum (Philadelphia), Christian Eyenga (Orlando), Josh McRoberts (Orlando), Troy Murphy and Ramon Sessions (Charlotte).

STRENGTHS:
Talent level is otherworldly ... Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard may be the best players at their positions ... Pau Gasol and Steve Nash are Top 5 at theirs ... Gasol and Howard should be a devastating duo in the paint ... Way too much size and skill for most teams ... Points around the basket will be hard to come by against that couple ... Three-point shooting, a weakness last year, will be greatly improved with the addition of Nash and Jodie Meeks ... Besides, there will be plenty of open shots to go around considering Nash runs the offense and Howard, Gasol and Bryant draw great attention ... Great frontcourt backups in Antawn Jamison and Jordan Hill ... L.A. has many veteran players used to dealing with pressure situations ... They should be one of the best crunch time teams in the league.

WEAKNESSES:
Age ... Questions about durability ... Howard comes off a serious injury ... Will he be fully recovered this season? ... Nash, Bryant and Gasol take good care of their bodies, but they are all in their 30's and Father Time could come calling ... The Lakers will have a hard time competing with elite squads like Oklahoma City and Miami in terms of athleticism ... Metta World Peace is not the lock-down defender he once was ... Backcourt depth is average at best ... Lots of stars and former stars in the locker room, so Mike Brown will have to do a fine ego-massaging job.

PROJECTION:
1st in the Pacific Division / 2nd in the Western Conference
PROJECTED STARTERS

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Kobe Bryant - SG - Likely to remain king of the team even with all the new additions. Incredibly skilled. A winner. A little selfish.

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Steve Nash - PG - One of the best point guards in NBA history. Unparalleled combination of passing and shooting skills. Doesn't play much defense.

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Dwight Howard - C- Best center in the game. Way too physical for most big men. Has added some polish to his offensive game over the years.

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Pau Gasol - PF - Huge body and All-Star talent. Average defender. More likely to defer to new teammates than Kobe Bryant.

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Metta World Peace - SF - Cut down the antics (for the most part). Not as crazy, but not as tough as a defender as he used to. Scoring gets worse every year.

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Antawn Jamison - Sixth Man - Jamison is a clear candidate for Sixth Man of the Year if he can stay effective with a smaller amount of shots per game.


http://hoopshype.com/previews/la_lakers.htm
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby therealdeal on Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:02 pm

Pretty pedestrian breakdown if you ask me. A little skeptical on the Kobe front and a little harsher on the Ron Artest front than it should have been. Is he the defender he once was? No, but he's still a fantastic defender, a game changer on that end, and he's apparently in the best shape he's been in for years.
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:11 pm

No reasons why they're projected 2nd in the west? And don't like the underhanded shots at our starters.
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby therealdeal on Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:34 pm

I don't mind being ranked second. I don't agree but I don't mind.
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby LTLakerFan on Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:54 pm

therealdeal wrote:Pretty pedestrian breakdown if you ask me. A little skeptical on the Kobe front and a little harsher on the Ron Artest front than it should have been. Is he the defender he once was? No, but he's still a fantastic defender, a game changer on that end, and he's apparently in the best shape he's been in for years.


Yeah I was thinking this is bulletin board material for Metta. They don't know how hungry and motivated he is to get back almost to what he was in his prime. He got a taste of it last year and loved it so much he damn near took Harden's head off in the middle of the adrenaline rush.
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby Ariza3 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:47 pm

LTLakerFan wrote:
therealdeal wrote:Pretty pedestrian breakdown if you ask me. A little skeptical on the Kobe front and a little harsher on the Ron Artest front than it should have been. Is he the defender he once was? No, but he's still a fantastic defender, a game changer on that end, and he's apparently in the best shape he's been in for years.


Yeah I was thinking this is bulletin board material for Metta. They don't know how hungry and motivated he is to get back almost to what he was in his prime. He got a taste of it last year and loved it so much he damn near took Harden's head off in the middle of the adrenaline rush.


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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby LooN3y on Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:05 pm

seems like a laker hater, that tried to be unbiased for the sake of the website.


lol, back court depth is average at best?

i mean we have kobe and nash, there isnt much or if any backcourt pair that can compare, closest being deron and JOJO. lol, yea blake isnt i deal and if we had sessions we would of been THEE elite backcourt with meeks at the back up 2, but we don thave him, and its fine. lol i mean who in the world has a good backcourt consisting of good starters and back ups?

lol i mean there was what? ridnour, beno, or barea? in tandem with a jennings or rubio? lmao saying we're an average backcourt is blunt hate.

kobe being selfish? did you see the playoffs for the last 2 years? i think i can just end my discussion there, the only person i give a bit of a pass is bynum, and it isnt much of a pass either.


nash, howard, gasol, and jamison breakdowns..... are you serious? can this guy even be more of a captain obvious? i mean if your going to do a breakdown wouldnt u want to explain stuff that the AVERAGE FAN DOESNT KNOW?


and on ron ron, thats just hate man. i mean its retarded, the past season, he was just a catch and shoot 3pt shooter basically, liek what 70-80% of his shots we're 3s. and thats what became of him, playing with so much talent. he wasnt a knockout shooter but we diddnt have much choice. his FG% was actually OK for someone that shot basically only 3pters.

lol what does this writer want from ron ron? to post up 08-09 houston numbers when the offense was ran through him?


and god, not the lock down defender he once was? hes still a top 5 perimeter defender in the league
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:13 am

This past finals, Harden had no chance against LeBron. Let's see how LeBron does against Ron in a seven-game series.
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby lakersStan24 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:34 am

therealdeal wrote:Pretty pedestrian breakdown if you ask me. A little skeptical on the Kobe front and a little harsher on the Ron Artest front than it should have been. Is he the defender he once was? No, but he's still a fantastic defender, a game changer on that end, and he's apparently in the best shape he's been in for years.


I Agree Artest finished the season in great shope phically and was scoring 10+ ppg
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby LakerFan1980 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:35 am

I'm ready to get the season started!
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby Thenextgreat on Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:19 am

"Kobe Bryant - SG - Likely to remain king of the team even with all the new additions. Incredibly skilled. A winner. A little selfish." :man10:
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby kray28 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:39 am

Kobe's just a little selfish...which invalidates everything else, and provides ample justification for this prediction I am now pulling out of my rectal cavity.
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby Doc Brown on Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:15 am

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Put in Meeks' head instead of Mike Brown's and that is as good of a 9 man rotation as you can get.
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby therealdeal on Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:27 am

Age ... Questions about durability ... Howard comes off a serious injury ... Will he be fully recovered this season? ... Nash, Bryant and Gasol take good care of their bodies, but they are all in their 30's and Father Time could come calling ... The Lakers will have a hard time competing with elite squads like Oklahoma City and Miami in terms of athleticism ... Metta World Peace is not the lock-down defender he once was ... Backcourt depth is average at best ... Lots of stars and former stars in the locker room, so Mike Brown will have to do a fine ego-massaging job.

I've been thinking about these weaknesses a lot because as fans we're going to be more inclined to assume the Lakers are the best without looking at their weaknesses. I wanted to take a look at them and see which of these are real concerns.

I think age and durability is a BIG concern. In our starting lineup, Howard is the only one under 32 (Ron turns 33 in Nov, Pau just turned 32, Kobe is 34, and Nash is turning 39 in Feb). That's not good. Even Mitch said he wishes each of these guys was 25 because at their age, there's going to be injury concerns and concerns with how many minutes they can play. We all know Kobe is a warrior and he'll miss limited time even with a serious injury. Steve takes great care of his body and knows how to stay healthy, but even so, he's going to play limited minutes anyway and might still miss a few games because of his back alone. Pau is more of a fighter when it comes to his health than people give him credit for in LA. In the last 4 years he has only missed significant time once (17 games in 09-10’).

Age and durability will be the number one factor for our team’s success (or lack thereof).

Athleticism is something that most other teams are going to have on us. Teams like Oklahoma City, Miami, and San Antonio are going to want to out run us in the open court. They’re going to try to force turnovers and then get out on the break. They’re all much younger and much faster than we are. A team like Miami who plays great defense and then turns the game into a track meet is still going to cause problems for us. That hasn’t changed.

The acquisition of the league’s most athletic big man helps, as does adding Jodie Meeks to the backup 2 instead of Goudelock. Keeping Jordan Hill and Devin Ebanks will also make a difference, but none of those guys are particularly fast and that’s where our problem will be. The challenge for our team will be to slow the game down, make it a half court struggle, and then using Steve Nash to run an offense that is extremely efficient and limits turnovers. Turnovers to fast teams lead to fast breaks that no one is going to catch up to. The good news is that Steve Nash is one of the league’s best offensive weapon maybe ever and he’ll be able to do a good job of making the team take good shots and limit bad possessions.

Athleticism is a concern, but not nearly as large of one.

Metta World Peace’s defense has really been called into question lately and I’m not sure why. Is it because of his elbow on Harden? Or the way he picks on people in general on the court? I’m not sure, but according to Synergy Sports.com, he limits his opposition to 40% or under in every category that they address. This includes pick-and-roll (as both the roller and the ball-handler), spot-up, isolations, post ups, and off of screens. The only time when opponents are fairly successful against him is off of screens (40.5%) and that’s the best they can do. In isolations the opposition only scores 35.3% of the time and overall the opponent only shoots 37% against him. Now, Synergy Sports.com only has him ranked 147, but by comparison Tony Allen is ranked 108 and I think both of those guys are in the top 10 defensive category in the league, so I’m not sure what their ranking system is based on.

Has Metta’s defense dropped since his ’04 days? Sure, of course it has. But in his ’04 days he could guard almost anybody in the league and do it effectively. These days he’s more limited in scope, but he’s still a terrific defender and can be an absolute game changer on the perimeter defensively. Just ask Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant. Metta World Peace is still a great defender and pairing him with the league’s best defender is going to do wonders for him.

Our backcourt depth is definitely average; I wouldn’t say average at best. At best it’s good, at worst it’s below average. But in general our bench depth at the guard spot is average. After our ridiculous starting lineup, we have Steve Blake, Chris Duhon, and Jodie Meeks. While Steve and Chris are not very good, Meeks is actually very good. Meeks started in 40 games last season for the Sixers who were a playoff team. Blake is below average, there’s no getting around that. He ranks near the bottom for backup PGs statistically and while he’s a nice guy he’s not very good. Duhon is possibly the worst PG in the league statistically and there’s not a whole lot to say about his character either.

I’d say our depth is an issue at PG, but at SG we’re actually very well set. Meeks is capable of logging big minutes and he’s a good change of pace to what Kobe brings to the table.

As for the ego statement, I see that as being a complete non-issue. There’s 3 things working in our favor here: 1) everyone in our rotation has experience around the league, 2) all of our acquisitions came here for an opportunity that they valued over money so they are willing to work for the team, and 3) we have Steve Nash who is one of maybe 3 names that everyone in the entire league wants to play with because he makes offense easy.

With experience comes patience, our team isn’t going to expect more than what they’re here for. Jamison isn’t going to expect the same number of shots he got last season. Meeks isn’t going to expect to start. Howard isn’t going to expect to be the number one option every night. Everyone here knows their place, why they were brought here, and what they need to do to win.

Everyone who came here, came here to win. Jordan Hill, Antawn Jamison, Jodie Meeks, and Steve Nash all had bigger offers elsewhere and they turned them down for the opportunity to play here. Howard wanted out and got what he wanted. Devin Ebanks wouldn’t sign a contract until he knew for sure he’d stay a Laker. That kind of appreciation goes a long way and these guys aren’t going to raise a ruckus after sacrificing to be here.

Playing with Steve Nash heals all wounds. What’s the most frequent complaint? Probably playing time, but after that it’s shot attempts. Well Steve Nash heals that wound pretty easily. He turns guys into superstars, just ask Stoudemire’s paycheck. But more importantly he turns average to below average guys into serviceable players that are able to contribute. Just ask Jared Dudley, Robin Lopez, and Channing Frye.
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby LAKEROC on Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:58 am

Can anyone tell me when the Pro Basketball magazines will be out(Lindy's, Inside Hoops)? I always love getting those, and reading them cover to cover. Preseason starts in early October, so, around that time? Not a fan of the Slam, or those kinds of magazines, but always love getting the Basketball preview magazines every year.
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby trodgers on Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:45 pm

Emplay tweeted that he was assigned the LA preview, but his name isn't on this one. Is it his?
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby wallangong on Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:21 pm

^ isn't Emplay HoopsWorld?
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby trodgers on Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:00 pm

^ Yeah; he is. I went and checked his Twitter as soon as I posted here. Not him.
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Re: HoopsHype's Los Angeles Lakers' Season Preview

Postby ben_ready on Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:18 am

I'm still wishing for barbosa and mcquire and dump blake and damn Denver for getting Randolph. This guy is upset, I bet he's still wondering how we got nash and still feeling the sting of that powerful Mitch-slapping he received yell™
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