It's pretty hard to be optimistic about anything at this point. Yes, the Lakers limped across the finish line and got the 7 seed, but at the cost of losing Kobe, possibly for good, as well as mounting injuries to virtually everyone else on the roster. You have Dwight Howard playing better and seemingly the healthiest he's been all season, and Earl Clark has been as good as we know him to be. Pau hasn't been bad but it's pretty clear that he's playing hurt as he seems to be very conscientious about when and how much effort he gives on any given possession. Metta doesn't seem to be 100% It just goes on and on.
It's sad and it's frustrating. I wonder how people will remember this season for LAL, will it be the season where the Lakers tried to assemble a superstar team only to have it backfire miserably? or will it be remembered as one of the worst injury ridden seasons in Lakers history? The sad part is that even if the team had been completely healthy, we saw so much evidence that they weren't properly prepared and weren't gelling as a team that it's hard to say with certainty things would have been much different regardless of the health status.
I guess, if I had to strain for some optimism, and this is really a stretch at this point, is that I feel good for guys like Earl Clark, Jordan hill, Darius Morris, even Goudelock because they got to have an opportunity to step up for their team and sure they didn't always make it work but still, it's always good to see the depth chart getting a shot.
Horrific season and the really sad part on top of everything else is that there is no guarantee we keep Dwight, there is no guarantee we get Kobe back to start next season, or that when he comes back he won't need 3-4 months to get back into form, or that he'll even ever get back into form. There's no guarantee Pau won't continue his slide into being something of a has-been, and seeing the issues Nash is dealing with lately make it seem like he'd be inclined to want to retire sooner than later if the future of the team isn't clear.
The team could very well blow up, but because LA has traded so many draft picks over the years, how is the FO going to be in a position to rebuild? It's surprisingly not difficult to see this season being the beginning of a dark ages for Lakers fans and for the franchise, and while I have every confidence that the FO and powers at be will mitigate that as much as possible, there's no way the Lakers go 20-odd years without anything to smile about(like the Celtics did) we very well might be staring down at least another 3 or 4 seasons of "We're the bobcats now" caliber basketball.
Which, as if that wasn't enough, this is while the Miami Heat have a golden carpet cakewalk to the Finals every season pretty much.
Basketball Gods giveth and taketh away...