Any team that is talking openly about bringing Lamar Odom off the bench obviously has a lot of weapons, and in the Lakers' case it's not just in the starting five, either. While the Bryant-Gasol-Bynum-Odom quartet looms as one that no team in basketball can match, L.A. also has a devastating second unit.
The rising star of that bunch is Jordan Farmar, who had a big year off the bench in his second pro season and is still just a pup at 21. He seems poised to take Derek Fisher's starting gig if he just improves his defense a little, but with this group he may be just as effective piling up points off the pine since he can get more shots with the second unit.
Sasha Vujacic is another huge threat, especially if he can continue shooting the way he did last season. Even if he doesn't, he can defend, handle the ball and play all three perimeter spots, and despite his slim build he is the feistiest player on a team that has a rep for softness.
At forward, L.A. has an embarrassment of riches. Vladimir Radmanovic, if he doesn't start, is a flaky but dangerous long-range bomber who can play both forward spots, while Luke Walton is one of the best passers in the league. And don't sleep on Trevor Ariza. Though he hardly played last year due to injuries, he's played extremely well whenever he's had the chance, and he could steal a rotation spot with his athleticism on the wing.
Up front the Lakers aren't quite as loaded, but they still have Josh Powell and Chris Mihm -- a handy backup if he can overcome recent ankle troubles. Plus, with two 7-foot starters, it's easy to slide one to center and bring one of the forwards off the pine as a sub.
Their 10 "experts" have us winning the Pacific Division, and 8/10 think we're going to be #1 overall in the Western Conference, with two other thinking we're going to be #2.
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