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, our writers predict the Lakers’ record through the first seven games of the season (LAC, @GSW, SAS, ATL, @DAL, @HOU, @NO):
In their first 7 games, the Lakers will face six playoff teams, including two back-to-backs. What is your prediction through the first 7 games?
Felipe Amaral // @F_Amaral
2-5 is reasonable. It won’t be pretty and only three of those games will be played at STAPLES Center, so we should expect a slow start.
Jordan Grant // @JordanGrant90
3-4. To be honest I have tempered expectations for this season as well as our first few games. I think the team is still learning to gel together with all the new pieces in place.
Mark Awad // @MarkeyTheBoss_
7-0, why not? The league changes each and every year. We have new weapons and a new identity on both sides of the ball.
Robert Benitez // @beeb0
5-2 with Kobe, 3-4 without Kobe. Opening back-to-back against the Clippers and Warriors won’t be easy for the Lakers. But this entirely depends on if/when Kobe will be back. If he suits up for the season opener and plays the first seven games I believe they have a chance of going 5-2. However, without Kobe for those 7 games I don’t see them doing any better than 3-4.
Bummi Anderson // @BummiNAnderson
4-3. The team is younger with viable backups at each position.
Oren Levy // @LakersOren
4-3. Opening back-to-back against the Clippers and Golden State will be tough, but after that, the Lakers have Dallas, Atlanta, and New Orleans. Those should be wins. All they need to do is go 1-3 against the LAC, GS, SA, and HOU to stay above .500 early on.
Garret Garcia // @GarrettGarcia
3-4. The Lakers open up with a tough stretch against some challenging teams and 3-4 will be a nice record to escape with. The back-to-backs should not be as difficult as they used to be, due to the infusion of youth and athleticism, but nonetheless they will be difficult.
Melvin Taylor // @MelvinTaylorII
4-3. Not too high, not too low. Preseason is one thing, but the regular season means more in the long run. Having a tough task this early, however, can set the tone for the rest of the season. After last year’s performance, 4-3 seems like a dream come true this early.
Jory Dreher // @Jay_Laker
4-3. I think early on a few teams may look at them as “Kobe-less” and it’ll become a let down game, where the opposition fails to prepare properly.
Jon Gaffer // @jewelslamo
I have been saying it since last year. If the Lakers don’t play defense they could lose 6 of 7 games. If they clamp down and concentrate on actually stopping teams from getting easy baskets, they could win 3 of the first 7 games.
Alex Lambeth // @AlexLambeth
3-4. A difficult opening stretch, including two back-to-backs, should be the ultimate test for the Lakers right off the bat. Without Kobe, a record above .500 mark be somewhat surprising, as the Lakers battle some of the top teams in the Western Conference.
Next Question Tomorrow: With a full training camp under his belt, will coach D’Antoni receive a “fair shake” from the Lakers’ faithful this season?