Now that the major off season moves have been made, Paul and I will take a closer look into some of the more interesting (or potentially bawful) franchises. What better team to get things rolling with, than the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Dwightmare has finally come to an end. Well, except for fans of the Orlando Magic. By now I’m sure most of you are well aware of the moving parts involved, so I won’t get too deep into the specifics for this piece. But I will say this. This trade will ensure the Magic will continue to be used as a farm system for Hall of Fame Centers to be harvested by the Lakers. The Magic suck themselves into the number 1 pick. They draft Nerlens Noel. He grows into an All Star and the best center in the NBA. Once he hits his prime (and free agency) he’ll bolt for Los Angeles. There he’ll go on to win two or three championships. No one will be surprised except for Magic season ticket holders. The Magic might want to consider taking Shabazz Muhammad just to break the cycle. We just witnessed three teams have their way with Orlando. I don’t want to type what this trade looks like, but I’ll just say it rhymes with “rang gape”. (Too harsh?)
Meanwhile, this guy chose to look the other way.
Alright, back to the Lakers…On paper they look like the best team in the Western Conference and should have no problems advancing to the Finals. Simply having Dwight and Gasol in the post makes you unstoppable to most teams in the Association. Throw in Nash at point, Kobe and Metta on the wings, and Jamison doing his best Vinnie Johnson impersonation and this is easily a championship contender. It seems as if the Magic have thrown the perfect lob to the Lakers and now all they have to do is finish. However, a few of the things that could potentially derail this Laker train include, but are not limited to,
Dwight’s back being in worse shape than expected.
Nash’s back being in worse shape than expected.
Kobe continuing his quest to become T-Mac vol 2.
Let’s keep the defense on their toes. This time, I want you to hand it
off to Dwight and let him throw the
lob to Nash.
All of those things considered, I feel this is the best team in the West. I know that Nash will be 39 when the playoffs start, however, his job should be much easier. Rather than being one of the first scoring options like last season, he’ll likely be the 4th option this year depending on the lineup. And as for defense, Dwight will ensure that anyone who wonders into the paint will have to dramatically change their shot. Also, if Kobe continues his shooting barrage from last year (which I’m sure he will) they now have a center that’s more than happy to chase down all those misses. Where Bynum would mail in performances, I expect Howard to thrive under the big lights. I mean you could
double team him, but that leaves Kobe, Pau, Nash or at times Metta. As much as I hate to say it…this starting five it almost too good.
Ugh, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
I’m hearing that Dwight may not be back in the lineup until January or February at the latest because of his back surgery. That could delay the impending doom that’s in place for rest of the league. With the recent signing of Antwan Jamison, the Lakers can start the season with Nash, Kobe, Metta, Jamison, and Gasol. Not the greatest of lineups, but still very solid. If I were a Laker fan, one of my concerns would be the bench. The Lakers managed to resign Jordan Hill who gave them solid contributions off the bench last year. They also picked up free agent Jodie Meeks on the cheap. Other than that, things are looking pretty thin until Dwight can make his way back. Last season the Lakers were ranked 13th in defensive efficiency. Nash and Jamison starting won’t improve those numbers. Because of this, I predict the Lakers will finish 2nd in the Conference with a final record of 58-24.