Nearing the end of a whole litany of team previews that apparently have come off as more pessimistic than people had expected (all these games have to add up, dammit. Not everyone can win 60 games), this Lakers preview will probably serve as the most cautiously pessimistic version of the bunch. And I still have them down for a league-leading 57 wins. Or tied for it, at least.
Let’s start by saying that, while I don’t think this team’s defense is nearly as good as some of the all-time greats, or even that of their contemporaries, the potential for this team is limitless. If Phil Jackson could just work with skill alone and not have to deal with the brains and egos of this group of talents, then this team could be well on its way to 69 or 70 wins. And I know what it takes to pull out 69 wins in 82 tries. I’m familiar with the long haul. So’s Jackson, you might remember.
And the idea that Jackson tends to be sort of useful when it comes to massaging egos and working around brain cramps? Shake and shudder.
The depth, versatility, scoring punch, passing acumen, rebounding potential and overall talent of this team is scary, to me. Knowing what we know about Jackson’s offensive schemes, you can’t help but be giddy at the idea that Jackson is finally working with a cast and crew that fits the triangle offense perfectly. Assuming the players are on board, of course.
This Laker team is much more suited for the triangle than even the 1999-00 outfit, which featured heady players (Ron Harper, A.C. Green, Brian Shaw, Rick Fox) working alongside willing triple-post neophytes (Kobe and Shaq), and working around someone who obviously didn’t fit nor care to fit in Glen Rice. If the personalities decide to do the right thing, then the Lakers could romp.
Much more in link: http://sports.yahoo....?urn=nba,117514