The 2012 tip-off is just around the corner and this might be one of the most anticipated seasons that we had in the past few years. Lakers made some big moves in the off-season by adding an all-star point guard Steve Nash and arguably the best center in the league – Dwight Howard. They also acquired few very solid bench players like Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks. They might have the best team on paper right now in the NBA, but after 8 losses in 8 preseason games, people started doubting their chemistry. Once the season begins it should all click, because the players are quite experienced and when you have a guy like Steve Nash as your point guard, who made Marcin Gortat a double-double player last year, you shouldn’t be worried about that.
The Dallas team, that Lakers are facing tonight, is almost a totally new team from last season’s. There is no Jason Terry, they waived Delonte West a day ago and Dirk Nowitzki won’t be playing, because of his knee injury. This doesn’t mean the Lakers are allowed to underestimate them, it only means that they could have a little easier opponent for the season opener. Mavericks still have some good players such as Chris Kaman, O.J. Mayo and Shawn Marion.
What can we expect from the Lakers tonight? First of all, everyone who thinks Kobe isn’t going to play is wrong. He will play. He stated that he is 85% ready to play, which should be enough for Kobe. What you can expect is a lot of dunks from Dwight Howard. He is going to be pumped up and ready to go, ready to excite the Laker fans. We can also expect a lot of different scorers for the Lakers, because of Steve Nash’s contribution to his new team. Steve has finally found a team where he has serious chances of winning his first NBA title. He has already got used to Hollywood, just look at his new haircut. Metta World Peace is excited about his new teammates and is said to be in the best condition since his Indiana days. It seems like everything’s coming together for the Lakers this year. The only concern is if they can stay healthy throughout the whole season and mostly in the playoffs.
The best thing they can do is just play relaxed and not care about the pressure media are putting on them. We don’t want to see them play like Miami in the 2010-11 season when they were just trying to show everyone that they aren’t the league’s villain. The only thing they should care about is their game. If they do that, they’ll be fine.
So, let the quest for the 17th title begin!