Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Thoughts on the Lakers Before the 2014-2015 NBA Season Starts

This off-season was no blockbuster for Lakerdom.  Yes, I understood that it was fairly unlikely for the Lakers to acquire LeBron James, but I was of course hoping for the Lakers to significantly improve the roster.  After having my most disappointing season as a Laker fan (2012-2013 season), followed by the most dreadful season in franchise history (2013-2014 season), it would be nice to have the Lakers in a position to win again. 

But that’s not to be so. 

No LeBron James in Lakers jersey.  No Kevin Love or Kyrie Irving neither.  Those are names I’ve been musing of wearing the purple and gold.  Instead, those three teamed up in Cleveland.  Bummer.    


Heck, Lakers didn’t even manage to keep Pau Gasol.  And as a Pau fan, retaining him was the top priority.  I have no bitterness in Pau’s decision to leave.  But I have a bit of gripe on the Lakers front office’s lack of effort of wooing him.  Back in the 2013 offseason, I was astonished and appalled by how the Lakers put up billboards that practically begged Dwight Howard to stay – that is so not the Lakers I’ve been accustomed with.  For me, Pau is far more deserving of a billboard.  A little show of love would have been nice.          

Pau looks cool in this photo.  But seeing him another jersey is a bit upsetting.  

However, given the circumstance of available free agents, I think the Lakers did satisfactory work.  Valuable contributors like Jordan Hill and Nick Young will be back.  Rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson look promising.  And, most significantly...

To be honest, I am probably more excited of seeing Jeremy Lin in Laker uniform than of having LeBron James.  Really.  Lin’s Christ-centered basketball philosophy impresses me, and I think he really has the potential to be a basketball star and a fan favorite.  He was my favorite non-Laker player back then, and I’ve even prayed that he’ll become a Laker.  And now he is!  For me, this is a silver lining for the Lakers’ lack of impactful off-season moves.

Nonetheless, on paper, the roster assembled for this upcoming season doesn’t look impressive.  I’m just being realistic here.  Unless Kobe plays like the Kobe Bryant we got spoiled with, Jeremy Lin dramatically evolves into a legitimate superstar, Nick Young has a “Sixth Man of the Year”-quality season, Ed Davis has a break-out season, Julius Randle turns out to be a basketball phenom, Jordan Clarkson proves to be the next Manu Ginobili or Gilbert Arenas, Jordan Hill becomes Dennis Rodman-esque, Carlos Boozer miraculously returns to his former Utah Jazz form, Steve Nash miraculously returns to his former Phoenix Sun form, and new coach Byron Scott figures out how to make the Lakers play more efficiently than the well-oiled San Antonio Spurs, there’s no chance for this 2014-2015 Los Angeles Lakers to win the championship. 

I’m also a bit worried and intrigued how a line-up consisting of Kobe, Lin, and Young would fare.  These are all players that thrive best when the ball spends significant time in their hands.  To me, it looks like ball movement and ball distribution are going to have some problems. 

I’m not going to expect for a championship (though unexpectedly winning another one would be nice).  But I hope there will be a lot of fun, notable moments this season for the Lakers.  And that the result of the Lakers’ performance in this season will put Lakerdom in an ideal position of winning the championship soon.  Hopefully, before Kobe retires.  

Let’s go, Lakers! 

The 2015 NBA champs... hey, one can dream.

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