The Los Angeles Lakers come into the 2013-2014 NBA season lacking the gusto and flare that basketball fans have come to expect from the franchise. With the departure of Dwight Howard, the uncertainty surrounding Kobe Bryant’s Achilles injury and return, and their morbid salary cap situation this summer, the Lakers aren’t in a position that they’re accustomed to.
Another unfamiliar territory that this Lakers team is in is that they could potentially have a rough go of it in the 2013-2014 NBA season. Not only do Howard and Kobe figure into that equation, but the Lakers also have assemble a lackluster group of role players to go along with an aging and starting-to-break-down Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, who also showed decline in health and performance last season. To go along with all of that, the team is still saddled with head coach Mike D’Antoni, whose first year in L.A. didn’t go well at all.
With all of these things going on with the Lakers, things could get ugly. Sean Highkin of USA Today seems to realize this as, in his latest installment of “NBA Watchability Rankings,” placed the Lakers as only the 24th most watchable team in the league.
In my opinion, Highkin got it right; this team could be abysmal to watch this season. Sure, it’ll be interesting to see how Kobe looks when he does return from his injury and to see him chase after the all-time career scoring mark, but that can only go so far in terms of entertainment. Other than that, we get to watch a team play in an offense they don’t particular run well or like and get to watch Nick Young do Swaggy P things. That’s not exactly what you want in terms of entertainment in a basketball game.
Despite all of this, the Lakers still are among the leaders in the league in terms of nationally televised games. It’s hard to argue with that; they’re the most storied franchise in the league and people are going to watch them, whether it’s to watch them win or to revel in their potential failure. All in all, though, this Lakers season likely isn’t going to be pretty, whether they’re on national TV or not.
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