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Los Angeles Lakers: How Far Can This New Team Go?

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Kobe Bryant Mike D'Antoni

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Los Angeles Lakers seem to have more of an idea of what their roster will consist of next season, it’s time to predict how they will do. With Kobe Bryant coming off his Achilles injury, it would be unrealistic to think that they are title contenders this upcoming season. However, they still have a team capable of being competitive with additions of Chris KamanNick YoungWesley JohnsonJordan Farmar along with rookie Ryan Kelly. These five players will give the Lakers a much deeper bench than they had last year, which was third-worst in bench scoring. They also will get back Jordan Hill, who missed 53 games last season to a hip injury.

Mike D’Antoni loves the new players the Lakers have signed. Young, Johnson, Farmar and Kelly each can stretch the floor and shoot the three-ball. This is the style D’Antoni likes his teams to play. Their starting lineup will likely be Steve Nash, Bryant, Young, Pau Gasol and Kaman. Jodie Meeks would likely start in place of Kobe if he was to miss any time. Despite all of the Dwight Howard drama, the Lakers starting lineup is still one of the best in the league.

Realistically, the Lakers couldn’t be disappointed if they were to get a No. 5 or No. 6 seed in the Western Conference this upcoming season. If they are able to achieve this, they will likely avoid the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, who nobody wants to play. That being said, the Lakers should be content if they can make it past the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

 

Follow Tyler Schwab on twitter. @tschwab35 

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