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All week long, our staff writers chime in on a series of topics, rumors and storylines leading up to the start of the season. In today’s edition of State of the Nation, they ask the question that everyone is asking… .

How many games will the Lakers win this season?

Alex Lambeth // @AlexLambeth:

46 games. Is that a little optimistic? Sure. But if the Lakers can stay relatively healthy, develop chemistry and Kobe returns to form, the Lakers have the pieces to compete in the Western Conference and make the playoffs.

Jon Gaffer // @jewelslamo:

Lakers should win 40 games IF they have committed themselves to playing better defense. The problem is, we know where defense ranks with their coach.

Mark Awad // @MarkeyTheBoss_:

I’d say between 42 and 52. The west is tough. They Lakers might just be an 8th seed again, but I could see them moving as high as the 5th seed. It all depends how this team will click.

Robert Benitez // @beeb0:

I say over .500… I’ll put them at 46 wins.

Ashkan Kargaran // @aakargaran

Completely depends on how many games Kobe will miss this season. My guess is that he’ll be back around Christmas, so I project the team to finish with about 35 wins and not make the playoffs.

Bummi Anderson // @BummiNAnderson

In a huge surprise, look for 46-50 wins.

Melvin Taylor // @MelvinTaylorII:

41 games. Not too high, not too low, but .500 is pretty good goal for this team. If they gel well enough, I could see them getting to 50-55 wins.

Oren Levy // @LakersOren:

50. The Lakers improved at every position, except for Center, during the off-season. In addition to integrating a new coach mid-season, last year the Lakers had terrible luck with injuries. Nash missed 32 games, Gasol 33. Key reserves Jordan Hill and Steve Blake missed a combined 90 games. Assuming the Lakers are healthy this year, their new length and depth on the wing (Nick Young, Wes Johnson, Xavier Henry, Jordan Farmar, Shawne Williams) will compensate for the downgrade from Howard to Kaman at Center, and then some.

Garrett Garcia // @GarrettGarcia:

The Lakers will realistically win 45 games if they don’t make any signficant moves and continue throughout the season with the same roster.

Anna Gonda // @AnnaLBG:

Optimism says the Lakers will win 50 games. A notch below optimism says they’ll probably win about 47.


Next Question Tomorrow: As currently constructed, how far can the Lakers go in the playoffs?