2012-2013 NBA Season Preview – Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers’ fans have more reasons to be excited this year than they have in some time. This year they have a very legitimate shot to win the NBA championship and it isn’t going to all fall on Kobe’s shoulders. America’s Bookie has the Lakers at +175 to win the NBA championship and -125 to win the Western Conference.
If you don’t know about the offseason moves Los Angeles made this year you have either been living in a cave or don’t follow the NBA very closely. After much speculation over where he would end up for the coming season, the Lakers managed to put together the right trade and now have center Dwight Howard in the purple and yellow. They also picked up this point guard you might have heard of, Steve Nash.
It is going to be exciting to see Los Angeles play with a real point guard on the court. Derek Fisher had gotten old a couple of years before he left LA and Ramon Sessions was up and down at best. Now they will have a seasoned veteran in Steve Nash who is 5th on the all time assists list with 9916. Nash may be turning 39 during the season but he is in fantastic shape and works on keeping himself fit in the offseason. You have to go back to the days of Magic to find a point guard of this caliber on the Lakers.
With some of the pressure off of Kobe we might just see one of his best years in several seasons. Although I don’t think he will be as focused on his numbers as he will be on getting another ring. The Lakers should have the luxury of resting Kobe from time to time and he won’t be forced to play through major injuries like he did last year.
Metta World Peace is still a wild card to me at small forward. He still has attitude issues as far as I am concerned but 2 more superstars in the lineup should keep him in check. He has the skills and if he has the smarts he should get his head together and help strengthen this unit.
Dwight Howard comes into his first season with the Lakers coming off of back surgery. He has been rehabbing during the offseason and Los Angeles has used him sparingly in the preseason as of this writing. Obviously, a lot of Los Angeles success this year is going to depend on the big man. He is a 6 time all star and 3 time Defensive Player of the Year. But now he is in the big time where expectations are huge and he will live under a microscope. Although I haven’t been a big fan of his in the past, I look for him to thrive in LA.
We don’t want to forget Pau Gasol. Despite the change in the offense last year, Gasol still averaged 17 ppg and 10 rpg. He is a bit soft at time but will have plenty of muscle on the court surrounding him. Look for him to have a good year in maybe a lesser role than he is used to. The last piece of the puzzle is Coach Mike Brown. Is he going to be able to devise the scheme to most effectively use all of this abundant talent. The Lakers are without a doubt the buzz in the West, but don’t forget teams like the Thunder just to begin the list. The Western Conference is going to see several teams that are greatly improved. And the Lakers hometown rivals are not going to be too bad themselves.
Keep up with the action at NBA Scores and Odds.
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