As I am eagerly awaiting an opportunity to check the season opener between the Lakers and the Mavericks, I figured I would write some brief thoughts regarding the lakers roster. Check it out for now until I can punch out another entry on the match.
Steve Nash- Aside from providing entertaining movie renditions starring himself, Nash will immediately revitalize the laker offense with his playmaking and incredible court vision and awareness. The constant knock on his abilities has been his lack of defense, but with Dwight’s skills as a post guardian this deficiency will be largely diminished. Nash currently sits 5th all time on the assist ladder, a little over 200 assists shy of none other than Magic Johnson. With his supporting cast, Nash should easily catapult to 3rd, trailing only Jason Kidd and the John Stockton.
Kobe Bryant- The Black Mamba looked to be in solid form, entering the game and hitting a standard double clutch fadeaway over a taller defender. Though he was recently hampered by an injury, I fully expect Kobe to play in the opener without missing a beat.
Metta World Peace- Peace came into camp in great shape, and quickly demonstrated it on the court as he was quite active and looked more mobile than before. That is, until this happened and reminded us of his old ways. But jokes aside, he looks solid and his superb conditioning and more freedom to operate around the post should pay dividends to the artist formerly known as Ron Artest.
Pau Gasol- There will be a ton of pressure on the Spaniard’s shoulders. Kung Pao will have to prove that he deserves to stay on this team after being in the midst of rampant trade rumors, one which sent him out for CP3 but was recalled at the last moment. Sorry to bring up bad memories Laker fans, but hey we got the big guy and the Canadian breakdancer so all is good right? Gasol was probably the most ecstatic about the Dwight trade as it gives him that constant pass option and additional help in the post since Pau plays a team-first style of ball.
Dwight Howard- It still seems a bit surreal to see Dwight rocking the purple and gold, but it brings a smile to my face every time. Just thinking about how many lobs he will receive due to the focus on the backcourt of Nash’s ball wizardry and Kobe’s assassin like scoring abilitiy has me salivating in anticipation. It should also amp up the LA crosstown matches, with Blake Griffon and D12 creating an NBA Jam atmosphere that is sure to please the crowd.
Antawn Jamison- Hmm, what happened to the former sixth man of the year? Many are speculating that he is saving the tank for the “real” games as the old man joins a championship contender for the first time in his career. Hopefully this is true as so far I have been extremely unimpressed with lack of defense and a highly erratic jumpshot.
Darius Johnson-Odom- Say what? Hopefully he proves to be a fusion of two of the three laker players that are included in his ridiculously cool name. At the very least, I’m really liking his hustle and all out effort on the court. With some tutelage by Nash, he could prove to be a very serviceable backup guard.
Jodie Meeks- Finally, a legitimate three point threat. Meeks has also proven to be a relatively capable defender but I would like to see him develop a few more moves or the ability to drive as opposed to being solely a spot up shooter.
Darius Morris- Morris came into camp looking bulkier and stronger than before. Add into that equation the fact that he has been working on his J extensively, and he could prove to be a more than capable addition to the Laker’s frontcourt.
Steve Blake- This dude has been a major disappointment since he joined the squad. The offense really stalls as a whole once him and the second unit take their places on the hardwood. Of course, it’s unfair to place the blame solely on him but he lacks the proper tools to be an effective backup to Nash. If only we could have kept Ramon Sessions as the backup. And no, please don’t mention Derek Fisher. Laker fans love him dearly but the sun has set on the Bulldog’s solid career.
Devin Ebanks- Looked promising and is shaping up to be a solid defender. Even managed to guard Durant relatively well for stretches during the playoffs, so I have high hopes for him. Jump shot is improving and his slashing ability can really help the second unit’s as of yet stagnant offense.
Robert Sacre- Sacre looked pretty solid in his preseason showings, demonstrating capable rebounding abilities and an interior presence. He still has a lot to learn and will go through growing pains much like any other rookie. Sacre should see some minutes here and there filling in for the frontcourt bigs and make contributions to the team cause.
Earl Clark- Didn’t really see him impact the game much, if at all.
Chris Duhon- ditto, but at least he could potentially be used as trade bait.