With the start of the NBA preseason almost upon us, it’s 19 days away to be exact, it seems like it’s time to start looking at some preview pieces for the Los Angeles Lakers upcoming season. Throughout the next few weeks I will be looking at a few key questions heading into one of the most anticipated Lakers seasons of all time, and giving out grades for the Lakers off-season moves and positions. With the new additions of superstars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, along with key bench players in Antawn Jamison, and Jodie Meeks, the Lakers have the sort of roster that is built to make a very deep playoff run.
1. Make It Nashty- When the Lakers acquired Nash from the Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade deal on the fourth of July, they knew what they were getting. A player who would solve the longest lasting issue on the Lakers, the need for a good point guard. While Derek Fisher and Ramon Sessions were certainly formidable in their role as game managers, what the Lakers have really lacked these last few years is a point guard who can take over a game offensively, handle the ball well, and create opportunities for his teammates, pretty much the epitome of Steve Nash.
The Lakers knew Nash wasn’t going to make any All-Defensive teams, but all the inconsistencies and weaknesses that Nash has will certainly be overlooked when teams realize that they will have to deal with Pau Gasol and Howard on the inside. TheLakers certainly have an explosive offensive roster, but the potential for them to be a defensive juggernaut is scary.
2. “November Spawned A Monster”- While the Lakers first regular season game is on October 30th, against the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center, their first true test will come in the month of November. With games against the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, and Brooklyn Nets, the Lakers will need to gel, and fast. The big three down in Miami started off their first season a little shaky, and after losing some questionable games in the first month, it seemed like the sky was falling for Heat fans around the world.
But, the Miami Heat got it together, had a great first season together, and built off that momentum to win the 2011-2012 NBA championship. If the Lakers can find a way to gel from the start, and that could definitely happen, then the rest of the league will be in for a heap of trouble, and could send the rest of the league into a slump. The Lakers do have some chemistry together so the adjustment period should not be too hard for them. If the Lakers gel by mid November then the NBA will have a monster to deal with.
3. Mike Brown’s Offensive Game Plan- The last question is one that came into play many times last season, and is still probably the biggest question mark, besides Dwight Howard’s back, heading into this season. Last season Gasol spent most of his time at the free-throw line, I guess Brown didn’t realize that he’s 7 feet tall. With players like Gasol and Howard, both 7 feet tall, and possessing the ability to dominate down-low, Brown will need to find a way to use both players effectively, that is if he wants to keep his job.
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