Summertime… and the livin’ is easy.
At least, that’s what Lakerfans have to be hearing at the moment. Because, oh boy, what a summer that was. Mitch Kupchak stated at the start of the off-season that he was out looking to hit a home-run, and I think it’s more than fair to say he did (Andy/Brian Kametzky described it as more a “grand slam” – I think that’s accurate!).
With the acquistions of Steve Nash/Dwight Howard (and that’s ignoring everyone else that joined LA too), Jim Buss also put to rest any fears that he wasn’t prepared to spend to win. He spent big, and expectations are that LA could win big.
Is there a starting rotation better than the Lakers with Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Howard?
That’s not to say that anything’s a given thing. Hell, if it were a sure bet I’d go somewhere to get the best odds!) … but nothing’s quite that easy.
However, the Mitch/Jim have taken the biggest deficiencies on the Lakers and turned them around. Completely.
Point guard problems? Add Steve Nash.
Struggling on defense? Bring in the best defensive player in the game, Dwight Howard.
Having issues on the bench? Re-sign Jordan Hill… add Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks.
Outside shooting deficiencies? How about one of the best shooters of all time – Steve Nash, and sharp-shooting Jodie Meeks?
Folks? That is how to hit a home-run.
Now… fans of other teams are in a mad scramble to find fault with the team. “Age”… “chemistry”… “injuries”… – you’ll see those trotted out on a regular basis.
Just saying it doesn’t make it true tho’. The reality is that the vast majority of teams would commit homicide to experience the *problems* the Lakers have.
Injuries: players get injured. Nash has managed his particular issues for years. According to all experts concerned, Howard’s back is coming along nicely. I honestly don’t believe this will be much of an issue come season’s start.
Chemistry: for all the gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands on this, there’s not much true concern. On ESPN’s Forecast: 2012-13 Team Turmoi (100 of ESPN’s best basketball minds made the decision – there’s a contradiction in terms if every I’ve heard one!), the Lakers only accrued the sum total of 2 votes. Compare that to the league-leading Knicks (41), Magic (15), Kings (10)… and even the Mavs (3).
Nope, 2 votes. Exactly the same as Atlanta and Memphis.
Age: perhaps the only one that could possibly be considered a concern. Yes, it would be great for the key guys to be younger. But given the track record of who we’re talking (Bryant/Nash), I’m quietly confident that they will continue to perform at the very top levels of the NBA.
Still – no surprises I guess, people are just praying that LA will fall on their sword, and never better if it’s a sword of their own smithing.
I have serious doubts of that happening tho’. Yet again: good to be a Lakerfan.
Oh… and Mitch Kupchak is better than your GM.