Author: Mark Populus
Subject: Envisioned Future of the Purple and Gold
The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the greatest franchises in NBA history, arguably the best. This is why even though they made the playoffs as the seventh seed and lost in the first round, every Lakers fan worldwide is disappointed. The history, tradition and bankroll of this team and franchise creates these annual high expectations.
Obviously, the injuries that plagued the Lakers all season long, which culminating in three starters being out for all or most of the series against San Antonio, had a huge impact on the results of the 2012-2013 season for the Lakers.
However, the major questions remain. Will the Lakers contend for the title in the next one, two or three years? Will Kobe finally get number six? As a die hard Laker fan, unfortunately my answer is no.
We can’t compete with the speed and athleticism of the Thunder, the Heat, the Warriors, the Grizzlies, etc. Why? The style of play is evolving. Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol are perennial All-Stars, possibly both Hall-of-Famers. But they are unable to defend against athletes like Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, etc.
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What are the Lakers going to do this off-season to remedy that? The projected Lakers starting five as of now (health permitting of course) is Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. Yes Kobe, World Peace and Dwight are good defenders, but they are no longer great defenders.
Naturally they have lost a step due to age or injury or both. How will we guard teams like OKC? We will not be able to. The Lakers bench is not young and defense oriented either. Blake, Meeks, Clark, Jamison, Duhon, Morris…? Not one of them is known for their ability to create energy and effort defensively.
Lakers Nation needs to emphasize DEFENSE this off-season if a title can be seen in the near future. Kobe wants number six. We all want him to get number six. But I respectively disagree with him: The current Laker roster, even healthy for 82 games and the entire postseason, will not win an NBA title.
Ten years ago, they would probably three-peat. However, the landscape and the actual game itself has much evolved over the past few years especially. I love everything about purple and gold. I want a 6th ring for Kobe so bad. Let’s make it happen defensively first, and let’s make it happen this summer.
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