Preseason 2008-2009: Lakers record: 6-2
Postseason result: Won NBA Championship
The Los Angeles Lakers had two consecutive seasons where they went 6-2 in the preseason, and ironically they won the NBA championship both times. After losing to the Boston Celtics in six games during the 2008 Finals, the Lakers were determined to not face defeat again.
Kobe Bryant was motivated to lead his team to a championship in 2009, and that journey began in the preseason. Despite losing the first two exhibition games, one to the Jazz and the other to the Clippers, the Lakers finished the preseason winners of six straight games.
Once again, Los Angeles had a 75 percent winning steak in the preseason and they ended up going an incredible 65-17, which was an amazing .793 winning percentage. It was the first full season Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol had together, and they proved to be a dynamic duo. Their success in the preseason translated to wins later on in the season, proving that exhibition game results can provide insight into how a team performs.
Preseason 2007-2008: Lakers record: 3-6
Postseason result: Lost in NBA Finals
The Los Angeles Lakers began the 2007-2008 preseason with a sub-par roster. At that point, the Lakers were not title contenders and a trip to the postseason would have been celebrated. Kobe Bryant was really the only star on the team and even his heroics couldn’t lead the Lakers to a championship.
Los Angeles ended up going 3-6 in the preseason, but it was hard to predict the Lakers’ season based on exhibition games. Right before the trade deadline, the Lakers ended up pulling off one of the biggest trades in franchise history by landing Pau Gasol.
Gasol changed the Lakers overnight and he helped guide the team to the 2008 Finals. Although the Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics in six games, the team became title contenders overnight. With Bryant and Gasol at the nucleus, the Lakers ended up winning the next two league titles.
Next Page: 2006-2007 Preseason