ESPN: The biggest surprise is the way all the offseason talk about a Kobe Bryant trade really galvanized this team. With no major changes to the roster — although they did bring back Derek Fisher — this team has responded with a 23-11 start.
Andrew Bynum, who hadn’t shown signs that this kind of improvement was coming, has been a dominant force for the team, averaging 12.9 points and 10 rebounds per game with an NBA second-best 62.8 field goal percentage. Jordan Farmar has played very well, and Trevor Ariza was a terrific early-season addition from the Magic.
I really expected, considering the way Kobe came in to the season, that there would be major distractions. Instead, the Lakers have been tremendous offensively, and Phil Jackson is doing the best coaching job he’s ever done.