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

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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  • Jim213

    Agree, it seems clueless management is okay with placing a mediocre team for next season. I’d grade the latest acquisitions a B- given that there’s still room for improvement. Many fans are upset/disappointed with the decisions that management has made this past year. However, even if the Lakers where to acquire L Odom I’d still see us as a lower top seed come playoff time. It also appears that Kobe will miss one or two months of play given his rehab.

    IMO, no one in the current roster could elevate their game to Kobe like status. Thus, no one could hold the fort down until Kobe’s return. Let’s not forget this game is still about wins and losses and given that the Lakers have passed on some recent solid acquisitions puts things into perspective. Yes, we’re aware of the cap limitations too but management could still attain solid players at a bargain price. IMO, management should’ve tried to attain Nate Robinson as an insurance policy for Kobe given that he’d be the only one to take a Kobeishh type of role to hold the fort down until Kobe’s return.

    But today it appears that Nate has agreed to join the Nuggets for a close to 2yr/$4 mil deal which happens to be in the Lakers price range. This acquisitions would’ve helped the Lakers playoff rank with a likely top lower seed spot while placing us in the lower mix of contenders. However, the teams defense, chemistry, and depth would’ve determined their future success come next season.

    The fans and (band wagoners) expect management to place a competitive team on the floor even with the cap limitations as 16 championships should inform management (not new) that they should have the knowledge to keeping the BRAND competitive. However, with some of these recent missed opportunities I believe that management is contempt with a mediocre team instead of putting the best competitive team possible to appease the masses as well as business partners.