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…
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…
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.