Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby abeer3 on Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:40 am

am i the only person who's thoroughly unimpressed by denver? not sure how they became the darling, but i thought only a loss of laker focus made that a series last year, and i'm not positive how iguodala really makes them a different looking team. first round fodder again.

i expect okc to steamroll most everyone to the 1 seed.

lakers should be 2, even given the new players/system/still underwhelming bench.

SA just has a winning system. at this point, it's a winning regular season system, but that's what we're talking about. no reason not to expect them to be in the mix for HCA in the first round. they cruised to the 1 seed last year with ginobili missing a fair amount of time and duncan's minutes being limited from day 1.

as for hollinger, there's really no reason to take him seriously. he's a stat guy who lacks basic understanding of statistics.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby kenzo on Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:54 am

Legendary wrote:lol.

lakerswiz wrote:Hollinger deserves to be spoken about as much as Skip Bayless.

puffyusaf#2 wrote:Who?

:mhihi:, :mhihi: and :mhihi:.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby therealdeal on Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:14 am

abeer3 wrote:am i the only person who's thoroughly unimpressed by denver? not sure how they became the darling, but i thought only a loss of laker focus made that a series last year, and i'm not positive how iguodala really makes them a different looking team. first round fodder again.


You're selling them low and us high with that attitude. Did we lose focus? Yes, but it took them taking control of the series for them to give us a run. You have to give them credit.

And how does Iguodala NOT make them a different looking team? You essentially traded Afflalo for Iguodala. Yes, Harrington goes too, but that just gave Randolph another opportunity to step up and get some minutes. He's younger, far more athletic, and can do some things on the floor that Harrington couldn't do. In fact, Al was an odd fit since he was not really athletic enough to keep up with that team.

Denver is looking like an upgrade over the team that took the Lakers deep in that first round. Are they going to be great? No and they won't really crack the top teams in the West, but that doesn't mean they aren't dangerous.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby Lakerman JSJ on Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:33 am

UPDATE: He did predict the Lakers to finish 4th in the West.

L.A. Lakers: 2012-13 Forecast
October 11, 2012, 10:19 AM ET
By John Hollinger

Overview

It's good to be the Lakers, as we learned once again when two more big-time players went out of their way to end up in forum blue and gold. Between financial advantages and the lure of L.A., the Lakers have options that most other teams simply don't, and to their credit, they continue to take maximum advantage of them.

At least, for now. Because the two avenues the Lakers used to lure in Steve Nash and Dwight Howard this summer may not necessarily be available to them going forward. Nash arrived in a sign-and-trade, which after this season will be verboten for luxury-tax-paying teams like the Lakers.

As for Howard, adding his salary to the others on board, as well as the other assorted flotsam L.A. took on in the trade, pushed the Lakers' payroll to $100 million. This season they can handle the tax hit, but going forward the more punitive tax is likely to result in a massive bill from the league. Even if the Lakers could stomach paying it from a strict profit-loss perspective, it's an open question whether they'd be willing to do it rather than stuff $50 million or so in their own pockets. Remember, the Lakers have cut salary wherever possible in recent seasons, and only reopened the financial floodgates when the opportunities to get Nash and Howard arose.

What makes this so interesting is that the Lakers can go in a number of directions very quickly. They have a $100 million payroll this season, yes, but they also have a $9 million payroll in 2013-14, when Nash is the only player on their books. Presumably Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and others will re-sign between now and then, but for a team with an aging roster the Lakers have to like how flexible they remain. And remember, unlike virtually every other team, this one can virtually guarantee that its cap space can be spent on a superstar, given that stars flock to L.A. even when the team has no space at all.

To the Lakers' credit, they've taken advantage of their good fortune and made the most of it, staying involved in the Nash and Howard pursuits even when their odds looked poor and mostly avoiding the kind of catastrophic splurges that have afflicted other big-spending teams (cough, Knicks, cough).

What they haven't done well, alas, is draft. That's partly because they're always picking 28th and have had no pick at all in several seasons, but the end result is that they have the most top-heavy roster in basketball. The Lakers have four huge stars, but at spots five through 12 this team is difficult to discern from the Bobcats. In a related story, L.A. has no good young players and hasn't for some time. At some point, this could turn out to be a genuine problem.

But more on that later. The Lakers looked worn out the past two postseasons, and now are reborn, with Howard on hand to carry them into the post-Kobe era. Talent will always flock here, it seems; it's just an annual question of whether they can surround it with enough complementary players to mold a champion.

2011-12 Recap
Image
Last season's version of the Lakers wore its oldness on its sleeve at the defensive end, where Mike Brown instilled principles that made it fundamentally sound but not terribly threatening. How could it be, with such little athleticism on the perimeter?

Most notably, the Lakers were last in the NBA in forced turnovers (see chart), and it wasn't even a close last. Only 12 percent of opponent possessions ended with a turnover, and as a result the Lakers permitted more shots per possessions than any team in basketball -- even though they were a good rebounding team.

This is probably the biggest worry for the Lakers going forward; they added another guard who rarely forces miscues in Nash, and while Howard can protect the middle he's not going to do much to force turnovers on the perimeter. Similarly, the Lakers were already a strong rebounding team, so Howard won't remove more than a few second shots compared to Andrew Bynum.

In other words, the Lakers are likely to again look at a major shot deficit thanks to their inability to force turnovers. Where they have to make it up is by forcing those shots to miss, and on that item the Lakers graded out much better. In particular, they didn't foul. The Lakers had the league's lowest opponent free throw rate a season ago (see chart), and as a result only three teams permitted a lower true shooting percentage (TS%).

So the Lakers gave up a lot of shots, but most of them didn't go in. With Howard around, the latter trend should only be accentuated. Nonetheless, L.A.'s massive shot deficit a year ago left it just 13th in defensive efficiency; the hope is that Howard can lift the Lakers into the top 10, but he doesn't have a ton of help.

Instead, the Lakers' more likely path to world domination would be as an offensive juggernaut. The Lakers had a top-10 offense a year ago despite getting virtually nothing from two starters and the entire bench, working mostly in two-point increments behind Bryant's midrange post-ups and the work of Gasol and Bynum inside.

The Lakers also had a surprisingly high turnover rate for a good offensive team that didn't run much, largely because their secondary players were shockingly bad at taking care of the ball given their limited offensive roles. Guys who were just asked to spot up and make shots like Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, Jordan Hill and Josh McRoberts somehow still had turnover rates far beyond the league average at their positions; as a result, L.A.'s team turnover rate ranked just 21st.

The Lakers also didn't take much advantage of the 3-point line; well, except Bryant, who shouldn't have been. L.A. was 26th in accuracy and 22nd in total 3-pointers, which is pretty pathetic given its post threats and the fact it had an elite wing scorer to command double-teams. Metta World Peace, Blake, Barnes and Fisher combined to make fewer than a third of their 3s, despite the fact they were basically wide open the entire season.

Obviously, Nash changes the equations on both the 3s and the turnovers considerably, with the threat of his deadly shot being a particularly notable change from the fingers-crossed approach with last season's point guards.

Offseason moves
Image
As noted above, L.A. decided to finally take advantage of the money-printing concept known as the Lakers and spend its way back into contention.

Traded Josh McRoberts, Andrew Bynum, Christian Eyenga, a 2015 second-rounder and a protected 2017 first-rounder to Orlando for Dwight Howard, Earl Clark and Chris Duhon. Once this deal landed at its door it was a no-brainer for L.A. to follow through with it. The only question for the Lakers was whether the deal would cost them Gasol in addition to Bynum, and unbelievably it didn't. Better yet, the Lakers got protection on the draft picks, even the 2015 second-rounder (!), and gave up nothing of great importance aside from Bynum. As for Clark and Duhon, they're filler that came as a salary dump from Orlando, but Blake was bad enough a year ago that Duhon may win the backup point guard job from him.

Let Ramon Sessions go, traded first-round picks in 2013 and 2015 and second-round picks in 2013 and 2014 to Phoenix for Steve Nash (three years, $27 million) in a sign-and-trade. Again, a no-brainer deal for the Lakers once the opportunity arose. The first-round picks will almost certainly be in the late 20s, and the upgrade to a position of such weakness in recent seasons could not be more massive. There are concerns about Nash's age and durability, yes, but the Lakers were able to get him at a discounted price in addition to the discounted cost in trade assets. Given their win-now posture with Kobe at the end of his prime, this was another major coup.

Let Troy Murphy go, signed Antawn Jamison for one year, minimum. The Lakers went for the only player in captivity who defends worse than Murphy, but did so to get the benefit of Jamison's legitimate offensive spark. A flowing-type player who struggles a bit in iso systems (see his Cleveland tenure with LeBron and Shaq), Jamison may benefit from the Lakers' Princeton offense (one he used in Washington) if he becomes the go-to guy for the second unit. But if things devolve into isos for Kobe and the post players, he may struggle. You can't argue with the price, that's for sure.

Let Matt Barnes go, signed Jodie Meeks for two years, $3 million. Barnes was L.A.'s best sub a year ago and his loss will be felt, but Meeks is an important pickup because he addressed the lack of shooting that stymied the Lakers a year ago. Meeks also came at a very friendly price given his track record of success with the long ball; while he's limited in other areas, he should be a nice fit on this roster.

Drafted Darius Johnson-Odom and Robert Sacre. The Lakers had two late second-round picks and there's a good chance both will make the team. Keep an eye on Sacre, especially, a 7-footer who could give them some frontcourt minutes. Johnson-Odom is more the classic low-skill, end-of-the-bench energy guy, and may spend much of his time with their D-League club.

2012-13 Outlook
Image
Like everyone else, I expect the Lakers to make the conference finals and contend for a championship. Unlike everyone else, I don't expect them to be particularly imposing in the regular season, for a number of reasons.

For starters, their situation is a bit like Miami's was two years ago -- they're going to need a bit of time to figure everything out. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash in particular need to strike a balance between the hero-ball stuff that the Lakers have run the past few years and the pick-and-roll-centered attack that Nash operated. File away this stat from NBA.com's whiz-bang tool: The Suns' offensive efficiency with Nash on the court last season was 106.5, even with fairly pedestrian surrounding talent; the Lakers' with Bryant on the floor was 103.9. In other words, Nash has a much stronger case to be the offensive focal point than Bryant. I'm not sure that's how it will work out in reality.

Other small issues peck at L.A.'s projected win total. Howard had back surgery last spring and is still recovering; at best he'll be rusty, and he may even miss some time to start the year. Nash and Bryant are no spring chickens either, so the prudent course is going to be to keep their minutes in the low 30s and leave them fresh for the postseason.

All that means the Lakers' supporting cast has to play a lot of minutes, and that cast still isn't very good. Meeks answers the need for shooting and Jamison will provide some points (for both teams), but their best bench player from a year ago (Barnes) left, and they still have replacement-level or worse situations at backup point guard (Blake/Duhon) and backup small forward (likely Devin Ebanks). Their best sub at this point is probably Jordan Hill, but even he pales in comparison to the third big man on most rosters.

All those minutes count, and between that and what may be some early-season bumps while they figure things out, I don't expect the Lakers to challenge for the West's top seed.

What I do expect is for them to be fairly terrifying by playoff time. It's likely they'll add another player at the trade deadline, and that some random veteran will wash up on their shores via waivers. Come postseason, they'll be able to ramp up the minutes for their four stars and rely considerably less on the riffraff, and as with the Thunder that will make them far more potent in the playoffs than in the regular season.

That's cause for legitimate excitement in L.A., and I get it. But as far as the regular season goes, I'd temper my expectations a bit.

Prediction: 53-29, first in Pacific Division, 4th in Western Conference


http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/preview2012/story/_/page/hollinger-lal-forecast/los-angeles-lakers-outlook
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby Daloyalfan18 on Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:48 am

After reading his article, I can buy his reasoning for us finishing 4th even if I don't necessarily agree. He does state he expects the Lakers to be "fairly terrifying" and deep in the title hunt by playoff time.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby wcsoldier81 on Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:07 am

His 2012-2013 outlook article is on point ( even if he'll probably be wrong about us finishing 4th but his arguments are valid )

I totally disagree with the Hill comments though ... he's a top 10 3rd big man in this league without a doubt
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby abeer3 on Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:22 am

i like the veiled jab at kobe as an offensive focal point; typical hollinger.

i also find it funny that he mentions the loss of barnes more than once. i barely noticed that guy on the floor last year.

he's right that it will take time to figure things out, but unless you're assuming injury, i expect them to exceed 53 wins and finish higher than 4th in the regular season.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby 24K GOLD on Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:29 am

I stopped reading at Hollinger, so I'm not upset.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby ZenMaster4President on Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:37 am

Like hell we are losing 29 games. No way in the world that happens.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby Lakerjones on Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:50 am

Yeah, I'm with the others posters here - I get it at least now after reading his article. I don't think we'll have that low of a win total though. Not with Howard and Nash here. Mike Brown pushes pretty hard during the regular season, too. His Cavs teams always had great regular season records. I can see us ending up 3rd, just maybe, behind OKC and SA but that's the lowest. I do like that he said he sees us in the Conference Finals. I agree.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby 24K GOLD on Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:51 am

We'll end 1 or 2. San Antonio's days as regular season champs are over.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby Tobias Funke on Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:57 am

I do think that the regular season will be more about meshing, and once it all comes together then it will be more about getting into the playoffs healthy and rested. Obviously they'll want HCA throughout, but I believe this team would rather play a series or two without HCA than wear themselves out to get it. I do believe that they'll be good enough once they mesh that they'll win alot of games rather comfortably though.

I also find it funny that Hollinger phrased it as "Barnes left" to aid his point, when in actually the Lakers let him walk (much to his displeasure Id assume).
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby JoelMyersScrotalSack on Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:13 am

We were basically a 51 win team last season when you adjust for a full season. I get his reasoning, but 53 wins is just wayyyyy too low. Even if we struggle to mesh and coast through the regular season I say we still win a minimum of 55 games. If everyone stays relatively healthy I predict 58 wins.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby dane99 on Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:36 am

Utah and the clippers will finish above Denver. Denver is a 6th, 7th or 8th seed. mark my word.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby Juronimo on Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:42 am

I do think there will be some growing pains with this team but we'll win at least 57 games this season. The only way we win less than that if there are a bunch of injuries to key people.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby retro_nights on Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:58 pm

To be fair, in my 2K13 season, the Lakers finished 4th and were eliminated 4-1 by the Clippers in the first round.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby trodgers on Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Dude trollin'
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby GNC on Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:18 pm

I cannot help but laugh at this :man10: :man10:
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby LakerFanIam on Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:35 pm

Let's be honest... The West is MUCH Deeper than the East once again.

LAL, LAC, OKC, SAS, DEN, MEM, DAL & POR are all tough opponents.


That being said... To not have the Lakers in the top 3 is simply denial & hatred.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:45 pm

lakerswiz wrote:He puts Lakers at #1 - no one bats an eye.

Drop em to #4 - $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


SO you are saying you agree with him then?

I could see your point if this was the Kobe-Parker-Brown Lakers that would be crazy but we are talking about the Kobe-Nash-Dwight-Pau-Metta Lakers....

You know what I think I just realized what you are (Actually) saying... I'll keep my initial response just so I can laugh at myself later. Yes, I agree putting the Lakers at 4 means more hits for the stat guy. Makes it hard to even give credit to his points when its blatantly obvious he has an agenda.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby Alcindor on Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:50 pm

Interesting, he expects basically about the same win % as last year based on the team needing "a bit of time to figure everything out".

Last season we brought in a brand new coaching staff to the organization, new system, no camp or preseason to speak of and far less talent, an older team with almost no consecutive days off, a starting point guard change up mid-season, trade rumors with our bigs rampant, MWP was MIA until March and a team that was 6 players deep at best but Mr. Calculator figures this season should go about the same wins-wise.

I for one think something like 65 wins is a long shot but 53 is a bit low ball h8.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby Snakell Beast on Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:22 pm

Their best sub at this point is probably Jordan Hill, but even he pales in comparison to the third big man on most rosters.


3rd Bigs on Lakers Biggest Threats:
Tiago Splitter (SAS), Hasheem Thabeet (OKC), Timofey Mosgov (DEN), Joel Anthony (MIA), Lamar Odom (LAC)

Odom is the only player on this list that COULD BE considered better than Jordan Hill at this point, IF he is anywhere near where he was two years ago...and that is a BIG IF, considering that he looks to be way out of shape to start camp. Even assuming Lamar is back to being close to what he was (in an albeit smaller role with LAC), Hill certainly doesn't "Pale in comparison" to Odom at this point :disagree:

I imagine if I went through every team in the league, as opposed to the most threatening teams to the Lakers title chances, I would find a handful of better 3rd bigs, but I doubt it would be "MOST ROSTERS" since I just named all of our Western threats AND the team most likely to come out of the East and no one can even be compared as EQUAL to Hill...in fact, a few PALE IN COMPARISON to what we already KNOW Hill can provide us... Ignance is Bliss My Hatin' braw :man3:
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby JGC on Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:02 pm

JGC wrote:
Lakerman JSJ wrote:...The top 3 seeds in the Western Conference will be
1) San Antonio
2) Denver
3) OKC

He's releasing his season preview of each team in order of how he thinks they'll finish in the conference seedings (one team per day from each conference).

Since he's only released those 3 team pages as of today, I'm going to have to assume he's got the Lakers finishing 4th and will be posting their preview tomorrow. We all know this guy draws heavily from his stats & metrics, but this seems like a pretty odd prediction. I'm curious to find out the basis of such a modest prediction for a team with such a balanced roster and excellent starting 5.

I'm not one to be a "blind homer", but even I don't see how we don't have a better record than the aging Spurs or Nuggets without getting very unlucky with injuries.

And, maybe I'm being presumptuous. He might not even think we'll finish 4th. Guess we'll find out tomorrow.


Well, there's a couple of reasons why it is certainly possible. For one, we're an older team with injuries we're already dealing with to key players. The other is that we will probably not really care about the regular season and will instead focus on positioning ourselves for a postseason run. Another is that we haven't seen this team on the court together yet really and so maybe there is an assumption that there will be a ramp up time before everything starts to come together.

Now, if he said we're a second round playoff team, then I'd be really surprised because our team is really built for a postseason run more than an 82 game marathon.

I think there is some merit to the injury concerns. It seems like Kobe constantly has to play through injuries, D12's back is a question mark. Would it shock me if we finished 4th? It will if everyone stays relatively healthy from the get go, but if they don't, then 4th or worse is a very real possibility.


I pretty much figured out his logic BEFORE he wrote the article. He said exactly what I thought.

I'm wondering if anyone is upset about the comment that we'll be terrifying come playoff time, or JUST the 4th seed in regular season part.

I won't be at all surprised if we aren't the #1 seed in the West.
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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby lakerfan2 on Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:20 pm

Snakell Beast wrote:
Their best sub at this point is probably Jordan Hill, but even he pales in comparison to the third big man on most rosters.


3rd Bigs on Lakers Biggest Threats:
Tiago Splitter (SAS), Hasheem Thabeet (OKC), Timofey Mosgov (DEN), Joel Anthony (MIA), Lamar Odom (LAC)

Odom is the only player on this list that COULD BE considered better than Jordan Hill at this point, IF he is anywhere near where he was two years ago...and that is a BIG IF, considering that he looks to be way out of shape to start camp. Even assuming Lamar is back to being close to what he was (in an albeit smaller role with LAC), Hill certainly doesn't "Pale in comparison" to Odom at this point :disagree:

I imagine if I went through every team in the league, as opposed to the most threatening teams to the Lakers title chances, I would find a handful of better 3rd bigs, but I doubt it would be "MOST ROSTERS" since I just named all of our Western threats AND the team most likely to come out of the East and no one can even be compared as EQUAL to Hill...in fact, a few PALE IN COMPARISON to what we already KNOW Hill can provide us... Ignance is Bliss My Hatin' braw :man3:


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Re: Sooo, John Hollinger Predicts...

Postby Rooscooter on Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:46 pm

A NBA partner's employee stirring up the pot before the season starts..... and most of you fell for it....

These guys at ESPN plan this crap.... the Lakers are the most liked and most hated at the same time..... so more people care about a "controversial" article about them.... see the dots here?.... they end at a pot of $$$ for the NBA Partner... These guys and the ones at TNT are not journalists or even "reporters" any longer because the bulk of their companies earnings for the next 9 months is directly tied to hyping the NBA and they share in the profits.....

As for what this clown said......I'd say the Lakers improved their roster quite a bit this offseason..... maybe more than anyone. Denver lost over 30 points a game and replace that with 14 or so. For a team that needs to score to win (no A.I. isn't going to make them a walk it up defensive team) that's a huge hit. SA didn't get any better and OKC is the same team that folded against Miami so we need to prove ourselves but if we play injury free for the most part we will be better than SA and Denver for sure....
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