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Special thanks to Jonathan Somers-Harris for writing this take and giving us the privilege to add it to TheLakersNation.com. Again, if you guys see anything Lakers related that you think deserves to be put up, just e-mail us at articles@TheLakersNation.com.

Even if stats don’t tell the whole story, they do help us to measure what kind of impact each player has and what to expect from them in any particular game. I’m going to give you the pertinent stats for the starting five last year just to give you a back drop for my projections for the Lakers starting five next year…

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What can we tell from these stats? The trio of Kobe, Lamar, and Luke all shoot, pass and rebound the ball reasonably well… there wasn’t a whole lot of post-offense being utilized… and Smush was pure garbage.

This chart, amazing though it is, should merely serve as the background for what I expect statistically from our Lakers starting five next year.

Note: For the sake of convenience I am assuming Bynum starting, LO at the 4 and D-fish only playing 25 minutes.

Lets start with Kobe. A lot of people have concluded that Kobe will play this season, and that he will do whatever Phil asks him to. And as Phil has been quoted saying he wants to use Kobe more in the facilitator position, I expect his shot attempts to go down slightly but his assists to go up, also his recent trend as a player has been towards higher shooting percentages, so I’m expecting a slight increase there as well, also I’m looking at Phil trying to keep Kobe to less than 40MPG to prolong his star player for their presumed deeper playoff run.

Jonny’s Prediction – 30PPG, 5Reb, 7 Ast, 47.5 FG%, 20FGA, 37MPG

Now let’s go to Lamar Odom. There are two ways to look at Odom this year. One is that he’s going to come good and be an All-Star, and two is that he’s going to plod along and put up mediocre (15/9/5) numbers again. I really feel that this could be his year… if he stays healthy… also last year he had a bad shooting percentage (46%) mostly due to injuries, I expect him to start shooting back at his previous level (48-9%).

Jonny’s Prediction – 19PPG, 9Reb, 7 Ast, 48.5 FG%, 15 FGA, 37, MPG

Luke had a solid year last year and looks to continue coming up this year as well… last year he looked to be a solid 13/5/5 guy before his injuries, hopefully he can achieve that level again this year.

Jonny’s Predictions – 12.5PPG, 5Reb, 5 Ast, 47 FG% 10 FGA, 33MPG

Bynum: The kid; the potential; the headache. He shows up glimpses of being the center Jim Buss imagined and then he shows us total ineptness. This year is different he says, this year is for real. To be fair to him Phil needs to incorporate him into the offense more, and to be fair to Phil and the other players, Bynum has to stop getting pushed out of good positions on offense. Apparently he’s developed a stronger core and is more confident about his ability to be in positions to create havoc… me personally would be thrilled with a 12/10.2 performance but would be more than happy to settle for a 10/8/1.5.

Jonny’s Prediction – 11PPG 9Reb, 2Blk, 58 FG%, 8.5 FGA, 30MPG

D-fish is a slight conundrum to predict because we don’t know how he’s going to mesh with the current Lakers statistically. To be honest there will probably be a lot of nights where he ends the game with at 4/0/2 on 2-7 but yet still influenced the game more than stats will ever tell. He does, however, make his free throws.

Jonny’s Prediction – 8PPG 1.5 Reb, 2.5 Ast, 40 FG% , 7FGA, 25MPG

That rounds out the starting five. . the only things that should be of note is that Luke Walton might lose his starting job and thus the assured 30MPG, but I’m pretty sure that no matter what happens he’s assured of at least 25MPG and thus his totals shouldn’t be affected too much

Let’s chart it and see how it compares to last year’s stats…

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This, to me, is totally doable and realistic. Of course people will disagree with me and that’s why there’s a comments section, but on the whole this is what I expect to see coming into the season and I am really looking forward to it.

Lakers Forever!

  • alvin

    this is REALLY optimistic.

  • kb24isthebestplayer

    yeah, this is way too optimistic. I would love to see this happen but kobe with 20 FG attempt and Lamar with 19/9/7 and bynum averaging 2 blocks? i dont know.

  • lakerfan81

    I agree with alvin.

  • fatty

    Slightly optimistic by my take.

    In fact I think Bynum could get 2 blocks, if he gets the minutes.

    If Fish and Vladimir are contributing, Kobe trusts his team’s shooting, then 20 shots would be realistic. Kobe at 7 assists if true means we are a solid team. He’s never going to be Nash, but Kobe with 7 would be hard to believe, unless Kobe changes his game style.

    I have no problem with Odom’s line, except his assists, maybe 5-6

  • http://cokespill.com/english/band/jonny.html joninjapan

    well i don’t disagree that it’s optomistic, and i really debated lamar at 7 asts. . 6 seemed more reasonable

    but as for kobe at 7 thats just one more assist a game for him. . and if you look at the total number of rebounds from everyone it doesn’t change that much from last year from the starting 5 it only increases by one. .

    also 20FGA is only 3 less shots a game for kobe. . if he truely is going to be he facilitator on this team then his shots would go down slightly and his assists would go up as well. . plus his rebounding would probably suffer abit if he doesnt drive into the lane as much

  • http://cokespill.com/english/band/jonny.html joninjapan

    (he averaged 1 Offensive rebound a game last year)

  • fatty

    Hi Joninjapan,

    If we go up tempo like some are predicting, it would really skew all the writers stats. Look what uptempo does for Nash’s stats. More chances for scoring, more layups, means lots of Nash assists.

    Could mean more for Kobe, plus a higher shooting percentage. If you saw the game, Kobe was trying to be too cute with his passes and made way too many TO’s.

  • Shawn

    Guys, we going to be a better team due to the fact that that cancer (Smush)is out of LA and with Shaq and Flash in Miami. I think we all should give D-Fish more credit than 8 pts..He may be asked to score at least in double figures. I’m also still trying to figure out why Phil wants to make Kobe into a facilitator, when it’s clear the MAN insist know for have 81 assist. Kobe was born a scorer, while people like Magic, Stockton, and Nash were born to pass the ball. And finally, the key to the Lakers success, other than staying healthy, is LO. LO has to average that 19/9/6 or 7 that you guys are saying. Where LO goes, the Lakers go. I’m out!

  • ab4sure

    Now did Jonny interject his name in their so many times for his own benefit???lol…anyways it is fairly realistic…don’t forget we will get bench production this year with our hot new rookie Critt and more experience from the younger players. ONe thing I would like to see though. I would like to see kobe score only 25 pts a game. he can get 15-20 pts in his sleep and then if needed in crunch time he can go off and will have the energy to do so. Putting him at guard will help toward that end…I don’t know if he likes it though. The energy he saves by scoring only 25 pts. I would love to see him play defense again like he use to. He can stop the top scorer who might avg. 25 pts. a game and hold them to 10-12. That is the winning combination. It starts with defense which will lead to baskets and not put so much pressure to score. Also I would like to see Kobe shoot above 50% for the first time in his career. He can if he is more selective in his shots. What made MJ truly great is he was defensive MVP and he would shoot over 50% many times. Kobe can too.

  • BEC

    Kobes never going to shoot over 50%, unless he changes his style of play. Jordan shot over 50% many times because he went to the basket more often and went down in the post, rather than shooting jumpshots. Kobe on the other hand is a jump shooter, thats his style of play, and unless he goes to the basket more, hes not going to be able to shoot over 50%. Kobe said it himself in an interview, if his hands were bigger so he could palm the ball like julius or mj, he would go to the basket more, but since he cant palm “palm” a bball he shoots jumpshots more and hes insanely good at it.

    The stats are easily doable to average in a season, i dont think its that optimistic at all but what concerns me most is consistency and performing when it really counts. Performing down the stretch, so Kobe doesnt have to shoot over three guys everytime, because people cant make a basket when it counts the most. Most of are guys seem to die out when games are tight and especially in post-season play.

  • TheLAunit

    The Lakers will be a better team this year becuz, where not injured this season. Player will step up this season due to them being healthy.