It has been an interesting season for the Los Angeles Lakers with plenty of ups and downs in Mike Brown’s first year taking over for the league’s most successful head coach, Phil Jackson. First there was a drawn out NBA lockout followed by the highly controversial blockbuster trade for Chris Paul that was vetoed. The failed trade had its consequences as it left Lamar Odom wanting out and Pau Gasol on edge with endless trade rumors involving the Spanish forward.
Fortunately, despite the numerous bumps in the road up to this point in the shortened NBA season, the Lakers have bounced back and are currently the three seed in the Western Conference behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs. Los Angeles was able to get back on track with Andrew Bynum continuing to have a breakout season and the team starting to come together.
A trade for up-and-coming point guard Ramon Sessions has also added to the Lakers’ success as they have now acquired the missing piece to the puzzle. With Sessions playing consistently well, Los Angeles has brought a new dynamic to the table and might have a better chance of competing in the West this season.
Kobe Bryant recently talked about the Los Angeles Lakers’ chances of competing for a title this season reported by Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“We are a championship-caliber team,” Bryant said. “I’ve never understood the talk about us not being a contender. I’ve never understood it from the start of the season until now. You have myself, you have Andrew (Bynum) and you have Pau. Who has three players like that on one roster? And then you have Metta (World Peace) and you have (Matt) Barnes.
“So I hear all this talk and all these conversations and here we are two games out of the second seed in the Western Conference despite our struggles on the road and with the new coaching staff and the new system and new personnel. I always believed we were contenders but we just had to be quiet about it.”
As long as the Los Angeles Lakers continue to improve and get consistent play from the ‘Big 3’ and Ramon Sessions, the 16-time NBA champions will be a force to be reckoned with from here on out. Derek Fisher’s new team, the Oklahoma City Thunder will most likely be the Lakers toughest competition moving forward. These two Western Conference heavyweights will do battle next week March 29 when Derek Fisher returns to the Staples Center for the first time since being traded.