In order to win another championship, the Lakers will need to maintain their strengths (defense and rebounding) and continue to improve upon their weaknesses (quick point guard defense and outside shooting).
The combined length of Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum is what provides the Lakers with their advantage in interior defense and rebounding. They have more size combined with skill than any other team in the league, and they should only be better with Theo Ratliff and Derrick Caracter on board and hopefully contributing.
The Lakers have been an average three-point shooting team for the past several seasons. They lack an elite perimeter threat, however the Lakers do have many individual players who are decent outside shooters. With the addition of Steve Blake and Matt Barnes, expect the Lakers to be a better outside shooting team this season than in the past.
As I mentioned in my previous article, the landscape of the NBA has changed and the NBA has never been as point-guard focused as it is today. Take a look at the starting ball-handlers of the other teams in the western conference.
Baron Davis, Tyreke Evans, Steve Nash, Monta Ellis/Stephen Curry, Tony Parker, Jason Kidd, Aaron Brooks, Chris Paul, Mike Conley, Chauncey Billups, Andre Miller, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, Johnny Flynn
Notice something? Not a scrub in the bunch. Other than Mike Conley and Johnny Flynn, every single one of these point guards either has been or will be an all-star caliber guard in the league. The Lakers biggest weakness historically (I mean in the past two decades or so) has been their point guard defense. This is no knock on Derek Fisher, as it’s pretty much impossible to guard lightning quick point guards, but it would help if we had someone quicker guarding the Chris Paul’s and Russell Westbrooks of the league. Although Steve Blake is nowhere close to on their level, he is younger and longer than Derek Fisher, and he is considered a capable defender. Let’s hope the Lakers end their recent trend of getting burned by point guards.