2010-11 Season Preview: Los Angeles Lakers

The latest addition to the Top of the Staples Arena

Overview

Like it or not, the Lakers are still the prevalent power in the Western Conference, and likely will be until Phil Jackson retires. The question for the Lakers heading into this season is there are weaknesses developing that could be used to take them down. Can Jackson keep these egos together for the last drive for a fourth three peat?

Roster

Name Pos Yrs 2009-10 Stats
Ron Artest F 11 11.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG
Matt Barnes* F 7 8.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG
Steve Blake* G 7 7.3 PPG, 4.8 APG
Shannon Brown G 4 8.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG
Smoke Monster G 14 27.0 PPG, 5.0 APG
Andrew Bynum C 5 15.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG
Derek Caracter* F R
Devin Ebanks* F R
Derek Fisher G 14 7.5 PPG, 2.5 APG
Pau Gasol F-C 9 18.3 PPG, 11.3 RPG
Lamar Odom F 11 10.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG
Theo Ratliff F 11 3.6 PPG, 1.2 BPG
Sasha Vujacic G 6 2.8 PPG, 0.6 APG
Luke Walton F 7 2.4 PPG, 1.4 APG

* New to team

Head Coach: Phil Jackson
Assistant Coaches: Frank Hamblen, Brian Shaw, Jim Cleamons, Chuck Person

Meaningful Offseason Moves

  • Drafted Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter
  • Let Jordan Farmar go, signed Steve Blake for 4-years, $16 million
  • Re-signed Derek Fisher for 3-years, $10.5 million
  • Released Josh Powell
  • Signed Theo Ratliff for 1-year, veteran’s minimum
  • Signed Matt Barnes for 2-years, $3.6 million
  • Signed Shannon Brown for 2-years, $4.8 million

Why the Lakers are the West’s Gate Keepers

It’s important to remember that while we were all obsessing about our little free agency orgy, Smoke Monster was gathering strength. He was focused on convincing Phil Jackson to stick around for one more run, keeping Derek Fisher from leaving, and recruiting Matt Barnes and Raja Bell to join up to wear Laker gold this season (and how happy was I when Raja decided to come to Utah instead).

The Lakers are coming off of a championship season, and in the offseason, the only players they managed to lose/let go was Jordan Farmar and Josh Powell. They drafted Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter, added Steve Blake, Theo Ratliff and Matt Barnes and kept Shannon Brown, Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson.

Or to put it another way, they released their weaker players, found better players to replace them, and held onto everyone that was important to them.

And Smoke Monster still feels like he has things to prove.

Believe me, I don’t like it any more than you do, but the Lakers are the team to beat in the NBA this season.

Actually, I think that may be underselling things a little bit. Defeating the Lakers this season is a little bit like marching the Ring of Power deep into Mordor and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came.

Look, I’m excited about the Miami Heat too. I think they are going to provide a lot of exciting basketball this season. Not only that, but I do in fact believe that the Lakers can be beat.

But it’s going to be difficult.

Video

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~ by djepperson on October 26, 2010.

One Response to “2010-11 Season Preview: Los Angeles Lakers”

  1. […] I have to tip the balance of power back to the Lakers, again. As I pointed out in pre-season, the West belongs to the Lakers until someone takes it from them. In other news, the Thunder are looking awfully strong. Who […]

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