I'm officially out of steam with the NBA previews, so I'm posting the last three teams in one post. This includes the Lakers, so have fun with it. (I'll still post the Pacific Links when I get a chance and collect the last few links)
Kurt: Forum Blue & Gold
3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses? The thing about these Lakers are less that there are glaring weaknesses than there are questions that need to be answered. Depending on the answer, it could be a weakness, but you can make an argument that the weaknesses exposed last year have been solved.
One of the most talked about is the defense/toughness issue. The Celtics manhandled the Lakers in the Finals. Some thought the Lakers needed to shake up the roster and bring in an Artest-like player to match up with Paul Pierce. (Really? Because Artest has shown how well he plays within a team system?) The Lakers think that the return of a healthy Andrew Bynum patrolling the paint, along with Gasol as another seven footer, solves that problem. At the end of the preseason, even with the defensively questionable Vladimir Radmanovic in the starting lineup, the Lakers defense looked good, and tough. But the question is still there when the games matter.
Josh Tucker: Respect Kobe
How will it all end?
With Phil Jackson’s tenth and Kobe Bryant’s fourth ring, in an extremely satisfying victory over the Celtics. While the East may have improved, I don’t see any other team beating the Celtics in a 7-game series yet, though the Cavs might have the best chance. Nor do I think any West Coast team can handle the Lakers at full strength, though the Hornets would give them a good fight. But I’m expecting the Lakers to really shore up their defense this year — partially by making it a bigger priority, and partially by incorporating better defensive players like Bynum and Ariza back into the rotation. With Bynum on the court and consistency bourne of experience from Vujacic and Farmar, the Lakers will be too much for an older, less motivated Celtics team this time around.
They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. Well, this dish has 82 games and three rounds off Playoffs to cool off before Kobe & Co. serve it up.
Trevor Smith: HoopsAddict
Don: With Malice... - Coming Soon
Phoenix Stan: Bright Side of the Sun
4. What are the goals for this team?
- Limit the number of restraining orders
- Adjust to Porter's new "work the clock" style
- Hold teams to under 44 FG% and about 98 points per game
- Avoid too many foot-in-mouth incidents
- Make it back to the Western Conference Finals (I give this about a 20% chance)
- Make Chad Ford eat his words
Tom Ziller: Sactown Royalty
What are the team’s biggest weaknesses? Pick one - defense, rebounding, athleticism, cohesion, Kenny Thomas. The youngsters on this team (Jason Thompson, Shelden Williams, Donte' Greene, Spencer Hawes) have a little bounce but lack experience, while the veterans (Brad Miller, Mikki Moore, Bobby Jackson) are crafty but not physically dynamic. The roles for many Kings players will change throughout the year, and that will make things double tough.