Lakers ’10-11 Preview
30 teams in 30 days.
by Myles Brown / @mdotbrown
Is this really necessary?
We all know the situation. Adding Steve Blake, Matt Barnes & Theo Ratliff solidified the rotation. A rested Pau Gasol will be invaluable while Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum are on the mend. Lamar Odom won yet another championship and as of yet, Ron Artest hasn’t lost his mind. Plainly put, the West got weaker and the Champs got better. Oh, and Sasha got engaged. There. Now can we talk about something important?
This is the end.
Phil is leaving, LeBron is coming and Kobe is almost gone. This is the last year the Los Angeles Lakers will be championship favorites. Now the pomp and circumstance normally involved with such a sendoff has been usurped by the Miami Heat welcoming committee, but maybe that’s for the best. Because in the end, the Lakers don’t need to win 70 games, they just need to win more games than anyone else.
It’s not an option this time, it’s a necessity. We may not even be discussing them as defending champions had the Boston Celtics not eliminated the two teams who would’ve held home court advantage over L.A. No, this time despite the inevitable injuries, the temptation of complacency and the malaise of February, the Lakers have to come out on top. Otherwise, they’ll have to come to Boston or Miami for games 6 & 7, a far more daunting task than handling business in a seemingly meaningless mid-March matchup with Milwaukee.
Presumptuous? Yes. Probable? Yes again. That’s the problem. For all the excitment surrounding South Beach’s Superfriends, the Big Leprachaun or Phil’s last dance, much of it will be treated as a formality. We’re all just waiting for June. But if all of Phil Jackson’s teachings could be summarized with a single lesson, it would be to live in the moment. And in this, his final season, it’s imperative that his team performs as though every moment counts. Because it honestly is that simple. In order to win later, they have to win now.
This may seem-no, it is-quite short, but it’s because we’ve been here before. We know the new guys will occasionally struggle with the offense, the bench will struggle with consistency, Bynum will struggle with his recovery and Kobe will continue to struggle with his ego. We also know there will be nights when they put it all together and contraction won’t sound like a bad idea for some of their opponents. This isn’t news, we know everything about this team already. Well, everything except the ending.
And that’s the preview that matters. So come back in about eight months and we’ll do this again.
Prediction? 60-22, Conference Champs. See you in June, bitches.