The champagne has dried. The memories of celebration and glory are now nothing more than historical relics in the mind of every NBA player. Today marks the beginning of a new quest.
For the Lakers heading into the 2010-2011 pre-season, the game is the same. Championship. However, many of the pieces are different. The pre-season is going to be an adjustment period for the defending champions, as they must integrate several new players into a previously championship-caliber roster.
Luckily for the Lakers the pre-season holds about as much stock as a Brett Favre retirement. Even better for the Lakers, they open the pre-season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Last season the Timberwolves struggled mightily, finishing 15-67. The Lakers won more games in the playoffs alone (16) than Minnesota did in the entire regular season. Los Angeles figures to have the edge heading into today’s match-up.
Several interesting stories do surround the game though. The first of which being the obvious, the beginning of a new season for the now 16-time world champions. Other than the integration of the new players, the Lakers will be working to find a groove without starting center Andrew Bynum, who is out until December with a knee injury suffered during last season’s playoffs.
With pre-season play, you can also expect to see some play from the rookies drafted by Los Angeles during last June’s draft. Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter were both surprising roster additions, and are looking to make a splash for Phil Jackson’s team. While both will see very limited playing time once the games begin to count, they may get a chance to prove their worth early in the pre-season.
While this game means next to nothing in terms of the large picture, it is still exciting knowing the NBA season is nearly upon us. Check below for the details to this afternoon’s pre-season opener between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Lakers vs. Timberwolves
Mon, Oct. 4 2010 – 12:00 PM
TV: NBA TV – 12pm pst LIVE / KCAL – 7pm pst Delayed
Radio: 710/1330 AM ESPN Radio 12pm pst LIVE