This is part two of a two part article. This section previews the Lakers’ 2010-2011 season.
The Lakers will open the season against the Houston Rockets, after receiving their 2009-2010 championship rings. Rockets’ center Yao Ming will also make his return that same game, which means Pau Gasol will have his hands full on opening night.
After the opening night showdown with the Rockets, the Lakers will play two more games in October. One against the Phoenix Suns in the US Airways Center, and the other a Sunday night home game against the Warriors.
November will be a little more challenging month for the Lakers, as they will play teams like the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, and Milwaukee Bucks on their home court.
However, the Lakers have fairly “easy” opponents in the first few weeks of the month, as they will square up with the Kings, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, and Pistons just to name a few.
Some highlight matchups include hosting the Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, and the new-look Chicago Bulls. The Lakers will not be 100% early on in the season, since injuries are plaguing the team.
Center Andrew Bynum may not be back until late November, and star Kobe Bryant is still trying to get back in shape after his knee surgery in the off-season.
Kobe may see limited minutes early on in the season, which means Pau Gasol will have to carry the team for the first few months. Kobe may not be able to score effectively, so expect Gasol to be leading the team in the scoring category.
Since Bynum will absent the paint will belong to Gasol, and so will all the rebounds and blocks. Don’t be surprised to see Gasol put up MVP type numbers early on in the season.
As December rolls around, the players should be returning and getting closer to 100%. The new guys will most likely establish a good understanding of the Triangle Offense, and the Lakers should “catch fire.”
December is headlined by the Christmas Day showdown with the Miami Heat. The entire world will be watching the new-look Heat take on the defending champions, and let’s hope this season’s Christmas Day game is better than last season’s.