Lakers Nation Debate: Win Projection For Next Year
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Topic: Now that the roster is basically set and the coach has been named, we wonder how many games fans believe the Los Angeles Lakers will win next season.

Context: The Los Angeles Lakers went through one of the worst seasons in the history of the franchise last season, and now they are hoping to turn things around.

Free agency started off slow for the Lakers, as they waited out the decision of Carmelo Anthony. Once it became apparent he would not be joining the Lakers next year, Mitch Kupchak and company went to work.

The team traded for point guard Jeremy Lin and also re-signed Jordan Hill and Nick Young to multi-year deals. They would then add big men Ed Davis and Carlos Boozer, before rounding out the roster by re-signing Ryan Kelly, Wesley Johnson, and Xavier Henry.

With draft picks Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, as well as Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Robert Sacre all under contract, the Lakers have 13 players on the roster, with little cap room to add anyone else.

Once the roster was taken care of, the Lakers finally announced that Byron Scott would be the team’s next head coach. At this point, fans now have a good idea of what the Lakers will look like next season.

Predicting results are always dangerous, but in looking at the roster and comparing it to what happened last season, fans can begin guessing as to how many games the Lakers could win next year.

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Verdict: We went to Twitter to ask our loyal followers at Lakers Nation how many games they believe the Lakers will win next season. These are some of the responses:

This debate was a definite eye opener for me personally. There were far more people predicting the Lakers would win 40 or more games and make the playoffs then I expected. The general fan consensus is that the Lakers will fall somewhere in the 44-50 win range.

As much as I would love that to be true, I think Lakers fans are thinking more with their heart in this instance.

A healthy Kobe will definitely help matters, but some fans seem to believe that Kobe is still at his ’06-’07 level. Kobe returning to his 2012 line of 25-5-5 would be an amazing accomplishment, but the rest of the team just doesn’t add up to 45-50 wins in my opinion.

The second best player on this roster might be Nick Young. As much as I enjoy Swaggy P, he shouldn’t be your second best player. That isn’t to say the roster isn’t better than last year, but it’s not that much better.

The other issue for the Lakers will be defense. There is no rim protector on the team. The closest thing to a defensive stopper is Wesley Johnson, and he didn’t exactly light the world on fire last season. Not to mention Jeremy Lin is far from a positive on that end.

Combine that with the depth of the Western Conference, and the Lakers are in a tough position. I believe they can improve by 8-10 wins next year. Anything more than that will be a major accomplishment.
Lakers Hire New Coach Byron Scott

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