Los Angeles Lakers seem to be one, if not THE one, team to beat in the Western Conference; The NBA Mistress asked @TheNoLookPass 6 burrning questions about the Lakers.
1. What are your personal predictions and expectations for the Los Angeles Lakers this season?
After OKC made that deal, I think that puts them as the #1 seed in the West. Will they win 73 with this star-studded line-up? Ludicrous. I think they’d even have a hard time winning 60; the West is really tough. I’ll go with 59-23. And I think they win the NBA title.
2. Outside of health, what are some other concerns you have for the Lakers?
Obviously, the bench. But health IS the #1 concern for this team. Steve Nash is no longer with that fantastic Phoenix Suns training staff. Kobe is 34 and will continue to decline with his barrage of injuries. There’s still Dwight Howard and his back, too. If one of them misses a significant part of the year, this could be difficult.Also, a little concerned about how Pau will do, too. On paper, he should be great. But games aren’t played on paper.
3. There are plenty of Kobe detractors, along with Stat nerds, that believe — right now — Kobe is overrated. Thoughts?
I think people overlook his production despite his inefficiency. He still managed to get a 28-5-5 line in the year. And when the other guys didn’t bring it in the Playoffs, he did. It’s always a tough time when he has to go at it 1-on-5. He’s still a Top 5 player in the league. People that are saying he’s NOT Top 10 either hate him or are enamored with new blood. The guy is still really, really good.
4. Is anything less than an NBA Finals appearance a disappoint for you this season considering the talent the Lakers have?
It should be a disappointment. You see the starting line-up. That’s one of the best point guards, a hall-of-famer in Kobe Bryant, possibly the best 4 in the game today, the best center in the game, AND one of the better defensive guys in the perimeter with a Def. Player of the Year award under his belt. Some teams have Big Threes but the Lakers have a Fantastic Four. Chew on that for a little bit.
5. How will the Lakers’ second-unit compare to deeper benches in the league (Clippers, Nuggets, Jazz)?
Their roles are different. They’re there to rest the guys and help maintain the lead. The bench won’t be asked to do any more than that. There’s no question they’re not as deep a team as the Nuggets or the Clippers but no team is as top-heavy as the Lakers.
6. A Non-Los Angeles Lakers Question: Thoughts on the James Harden trade?
It’s the business side that nobody likes. Harden gambled and he lost. But he didn’t really lose because he gets an estimated $25 million more in Houston. So you can’t blame him for holding out for more money. Certainly I would have.