5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby therealdeal on Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:09 am

http://www.ocregister.com/sports/lakers-373128-howard-nash.html
2012-13 preview: 5 questions about Lakers ADVERTISEMENT

More from this story
•Five questions about the Clippers
More from Lakers
•Ding: So far, Steve Nash is more of a Laker than Dwight Howard
•Whicker: Lakers coach ready for good and bad
•AEG sale may jeopardize NFL's return to L.A.
ADVERTISEMENT
BY KEVIN DING / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

The Lakers began last season without the grandest expectations, an unfamiliar feeling. Phil Jackson had moved on after a failed title defense, Mike Brown had minimal training camp to install his system, and the Lakers' age figured to be problematic in a lockout-compressed schedule.
Any higher expectations would not have been met. The Lakers wound up exiting in the playoffs' second round, 4-1, to Oklahoma City.

The Lakers hope new center Dwight Howard's shot-blocking ability will help make them one of the best teams in the league for 2012-13.
ROSE PALMISANO, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTERADVERTISEMENT Now, however, limitless expectations are back in Lakerland after a veritable Hall of Fame class of talent and an upgraded bench were assembled by Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss in the offseason. To meet all the renewed expectations, the Lakers – who open the 2012-13 season with media day Monday and their first practice Tuesday – had better answer five key questions in positive ways.

1. How will Dwight Howard fit in?
Howard comes to the Lakers somewhat humbled after his never-ending waffling and public-relations disasters in Orlando, also trying to recapture his physical dominance after April 20 spinal surgery marked the biggest injury of his eight-year career. The Lakers hope Howard's shot blocking in the paint and tremendous activity vs. pick and rolls will immediately make them one of the NBA's best teams at the less glorified end of the floor – despite limited athleticism elsewhere on the roster. Howard will also need to figure out an offensive role when Pau Gasol is a superior post-up player and better fit for the Princeton offense components the Lakers are installing.

2. Can Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash make each other better, not worse?
Neither NBA MVP has played alongside anyone in the backcourt who demands the ball as much as his new partner will. Historically an elite shooter from anywhere, Nash will have to thrive in spot-up situations at times instead of living off pick-and-roll sets, and the Lakers want his defensive effort to be dependable if he's not exerting himself so much on offense anymore. Bryant will certainly get some easy baskets courtesy of Nash's fancy passing eye, but it won't be as easy for Bryant to stand idly by at times just so that Nash and Howard can play the way they feel most comfortable.

3. Is Mike Brown cut out to be a championship-level coach with the Lakers?
In a rushed situation in his first season in L.A., Brown was given a pass inside the Lakers' executive offices for working hard but not possibly being able to have a team humming along in a familiar system the way Oklahoma City and San Antonio did in the West. There are no excuses now. There is a bolstered roster and a firmed-up coaching staff that includes Brown's mentor, Bernie Bickerstaff. If Brown's forte is defense and he was just hand-delivered the best defender in the sport (Howard), the Lakers had better be ready to throw a lot of blankets over a lot of scorers.

4. Do the role players know their roles (and can they still play)?
Championship teams invariably have glue guys who don't do a lot every game but do a little in very big games. The Lakers believe they have that again with an improved bench featuring free-agent signees Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks. Jamison and starting small forward Metta World Peace don't have to produce the way they did when one of them was named Ron Artest, but in the Lakers' ideal world Jamison gets them big baskets and World Peace gets them big stops when they're really needed. Jordan Hill needs to keep up his energy in the paint after getting rewarded with a new contract, and either Steve Blake or Chris Duhon must be stable considering how many minutes will be logged by the point guard backing up creaky-backed Nash, 38.

5. Are the Lakers hungrier to win than Oklahoma City and Miami?

The Thunder came so close last season and fell short; the Heat finally understands how incomparable it feels to win it all. The Lakers' talent will be best served if it is teamed with a desire that even exceeds what Oklahoma City and Miami can bring this season. Howard and Nash are seeking their first championships, but then so were Karl Malone and Gary Payton in 2003-04. If Bryant and Gasol are more driven and united to be crowned again than Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal were in '03-04, the Lakers will be awfully hard to beat.
Stu : "Yeah, that's an old fashioned whoopin'."
therealdeal
CL Global Moderator
 
Posts: 40333
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:03 pm

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby Tobias Funke on Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:27 am

Not to get on Ding because he's just doing what any other writer would, but I most of this a non issue.

The first two questions are really just issues that any other team in the league would kill to have. "How will I cope with all the talent on this roster. :man6: :man6: "

Brown is a genuine question mark, but atleast between him and Mitch they've tried to improve the assistants around him. The team is talented enough to overcome his goofs though. Spo won in Miami and Im not sure he's ever truly even gained his team's respect.

Meeks, Jamison and Hill all took less money to play here if Im not mistaken, and Metta has been busting his butt working hard in the off-season.

And as for hunger? Cmon. Meeks and Hill may be the least "hungry" for a title out of our top 8-9 players, and even then, they both took less money to be Lakers, so that says alot about how much this team collectively wants a title.
"Come hell or high water we're gonna be there again. Its just something about the Lakers organization. Mitch is really, really good at it, he's really really good man...."

- 24
User avatar
Tobias Funke

 
Posts: 5696
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:13 am

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby revgen on Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:38 am

How will Dwight Howard fit in?

1) Kobe, Pau, Artest, and Nash (via Shaq), all have experience playing with a traditional low-post big man. Fitting in shouldn't be an issue.
Can Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash make each other better, not worse?

2) If Kobe can play off CP3 and D-Will during the Olympics, he'll be fine with Nash.
Is Mike Brown cut out to be a championship-level coach with the Lakers?

3) No. But we have enough vets on the squad who know how to win so it's easy for them just to ignore him. And if he gets too "smart", we have ready, willing and able assistants with head coaching experience to take his place.
Do the role players know their roles (and can they still play)?

4) I think they do. Blake played in Jordan's system his 1st 2 years in Washington. Jamison knows the system too. Meeks played for Jordan for a couple months in Philly during the 2009-2010 season. Artest may have some issues (as he always seems to do on the offensive end), but he seems to be very motivated this season, so I have high hopes.
Are the Lakers hungrier to win than Oklahoma City and Miami?

5) Hungrier than OKC? No. But they have the experience & talent advantage. Hungrier than Miami? We'll see. Lebron IMO never played like he did during the 2012 postseason. He was on a mission like I've never seen him before. Will he repeat that performance next season or do what he did in his last season in Cleveland or his first year in Miami? I can't wait to find out.
"Every time he’s hurt, he always plays, he always comes through."

- Metta World Peace on teammate Kobe Bryant
revgen
HDTV/Multimedia Guru
 
Posts: 21729
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:53 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby therealdeal on Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:40 am

I'm really interested in #5 actually. I mean we as fans all want this so badly. That's why we reacted so much to this off-season.

Obviously these guys want a ring too. Dwight is excited to be here for that opportunity. Jamison, Nash, Meeks, and Hill all wanted to be here for that chance.

But do they want it more than OKC? Do they want it more than Miami or San Antonio? It's been 2 years since we've seen a Laker team that wanted it that badly. I really am eager to see if we get that out of this team. I think we will of course, but I'm excited to see it. It's been so long since we've seen it...
Stu : "Yeah, that's an old fashioned whoopin'."
therealdeal
CL Global Moderator
 
Posts: 40333
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:03 pm

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby Weezy on Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:48 am

Ding is my favorite Lakers writer, but they only have to answer one question for me, "will they win the championship?".
User avatar
Weezy
CL Global Moderator
 
Posts: 50944
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:14 am
Location: Anaheim, CA

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby abeer3 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:55 am

i think the nash/kobe dynamic is the most interesting. i could see it going several ways, too. kobe's only had short-term experience playing exclusively off the ball as he'll likely do much of this year. samples from the olympics and allstar games are really not informative here, so i'll be interested to watch his adjustment. i think he can and will do it, but it might not click right away.

same for nash: he's never played with anyone he could dump it to and then spot up to benefit from someone else's shot creation abilities. will he hit the stand still three as well as he hits them off the dribble, when he has rhythm and can step into the shot?

the other issues i think are pretty clear:

howard/gasol will be no more awkward than bynum/gasol on offense, and much better on defense.

brown's never shown me that he's in any way special as a coach. steve nash and kobe bryant are the coaches.

not at all worried about the role players.

not at all worried about desire.

again, the key to me is kobe and nash mutually and simultaneously elevating each other's games.
abeer3

 
Posts: 10398
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:15 pm

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby gcclaker on Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:33 am

abeer3 wrote:again, the key to me is kobe and nash mutually and simultaneously elevating each other's games.

This. They should make the game easier for each other.
No siggie...
User avatar
gcclaker
CL Global Moderator
 
Posts: 15202
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 9:35 am
Location: Laker Cyber Space

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby Punk-101 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:21 pm

1. Not worried
2. Kobe played very well off the ball on Team USA for the most part, but there were some stretches where he went 1-on-5. Overall it wasn't a big problem because ISO 1-on-5 Kobe can be good in doses. Not really concerned (much).
3. Not worried
4. Not worried
5. Only hunger worry I have is Gasol. I'm pretty confident in him though.
Image
“Action has meaning only in relationship; and without understanding relationship, action on any level will only breed conflict. The understanding of relationship is infinitely more important than the search for any plan of action.”
-Jiddu Krishnamurti
User avatar
Punk-101

 
Posts: 13264
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:24 pm
Location: Orange, CA

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby lakersyunowin on Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:24 pm

5 answers :man13:
Image
the artist formerly known as fklukewalton, fksteveblake, and fkmikebrown
User avatar
lakersyunowin

 
Posts: 10404
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:19 pm

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby Phil XI on Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:25 pm

#3 is my only real question of those 5. Can Brown get out of his own way and let Nash n Kobe coach this team to the title?

Will Dwight return to his old self, dpoy-allstar-mvp level by April? That is the on court question imo.
Get 17!!
User avatar
Phil XI

 
Posts: 1680
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:23 pm
Location: Thanks Ron for Gm7! You'll always be a Laker Legend!

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby Texas Lakers Fan on Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:29 pm

Those questions will be answered very, very soon. :man12:
Image
User avatar
Texas Lakers Fan

 
Posts: 5438
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:26 am

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:37 pm

I'm not worried about Nash and Kobe. Nash is a great pg, and he'll be happy to have such a talented scorer that is easy to set up. I see Nash adjusting his game to maximize Kobe.

It's egos I worry about, and that would be Kobe versus Dwight. How will Dwight adjust to not being the man?
Vi Veri Vniversum Vivus Vici
V.V.V.V.V.

 
Posts: 3135
Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 11:59 pm
Location: Hollywood

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby lakersyunowin on Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:42 pm

V.V.V.V.V. wrote:I'm not worried about Nash and Kobe. Nash is a great pg, and he'll be happy to have such a talented scorer that is easy to set up. I see Nash adjusting his game to maximize Kobe.

It's egos I worry about, and that would be Kobe versus Dwight. How will Dwight adjust to not being the man?


he was just on mason and ireland and basically said that they've all got the individual accolades they wanted so that's great, but now it's about the team and winning, and everyone (including him) will make sacrifices to win. if he believes what he's saying, then i'm not worried.

i actually think steve nash will be a great glue guy. he can be serious/leaderly with kobe, goofy with dwight, and crazy with ron. and he can practice his spanish with pau :man10:
the artist formerly known as fklukewalton, fksteveblake, and fkmikebrown
User avatar
lakersyunowin

 
Posts: 10404
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:19 pm

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby John3:16 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:43 pm

I am slightly worried about #1. I didn't think Bynum got the # of touches he should have and fear Howard won't either. Will it stop us from winning the ring? It shouldn't. Offense really isn't our problem. But I do wonder if Howard can live up to the offensive expectations if he's not getting the ball very often.
Image
User avatar
John3:16
CL Global Moderator
 
Posts: 31869
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:23 am
Location: Anywhere but LD after a loss.

Re: 5 Questions That the Lakers Must Answer

Postby v1n5anity on Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:02 pm

John3:16 wrote:I am slightly worried about #1. I didn't think Bynum got the # of touches he should have and fear Howard won't either. Will it stop us from winning the ring? It shouldn't. Offense really isn't our problem. But I do wonder if Howard can live up to the offensive expectations if he's not getting the ball very often.


I think Dwight get plenty of touches with Nash running the high pick and roll with him. Also, with less defensive attention, Dwight has an opportunity to get even more putback/hustle points than before.
User avatar
v1n5anity

 
Posts: 507
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:33 pm


Return to Lakers Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: l8kerstud and 10 guests

cron
Advertise Here | Privacy Policy | ©2008 Sculu Sports. Come Strong.