After an offseason filled with blockbuster trades, and signings galore, the Los Angles Lakers boast one of the most star-studded rosters to come to the league. However, the Lakers will not be as successful as many people believe in the 2012-2013 season.
With injury prone players taking the court, and chemistry being an issue with all revamped rosters, the Lakers will face obstacles on their way to the precipice of the NBA.
After one of the most productive offseasons in league history, the Lakers brought in drama-filled center Dwight Howard to catalyst the Los Angeles frontcourt with Pau Gasol. However, Howard is coming off of surgery on his ailing back, and despite positive reports, it is unknown how great a job Howard will do at bouncing back.
To add to the Howard trade, the Lakers went out and got Steve Nash, one of the best point guards to ever take the hardwood. Hoping he could find that with the Lakers, the 38 years young floor general is prepared for anything in Los Angeles. It could be a worry for the Lakers if age may finally catch up for Nash, who still plays at such a high-level-of-play, averaging over 31 minutes a game last season, can keep a consistent pace.
Alas, there is Kobe Bryant. At 34-years-old Kobe Bryant remains to have a killers mentality out on the court, but health may be an issue for the black mamba come the next few seasons. With an issue with his knees, it will be a challenge for Bryant to carry the Lakers through the treacherous 82-game schedule, and keep up his great play hroughout.
With issues facing their three most prominent players, the Lakers could be considered a big bust for this coming season.
It has been proven before, a la the Miami Heat of 2011 that these “super teams” do not always work out, especially in year one. With a lack of chemistry, and a bull’s eye on their back, the Lakers will face these issues like the Heat did before.
Teams similar to Miami have faced struggles in their opening campaign. With mass media scrutiny, and power struggle inside the locker room, the Heat were not focused enough to win the NBA Championship two seasons ago. Yes, they had more talent on paper then the Dallas Mavericks, but they were not a better team. That is the true term here, team. It is built over time, not in the months of July and August. Even teams who have tried to mimic Miami’s concept, like the New York Knicks, have faced the same troubles. Players like Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony faced troubles inside the locker room over who was taking the most shots, and got into frequent arguments with head coach Mike D’Antoni, who potentially resigned for his lack of control over the star-studded Knicks roster. The famous quote, “Rome was not built in a day,” completely relates to this statement, as teams that are built along the, “super team” concept have had troubles in year one.
A major difference with the team in South Beach, and the team in Hollywood though is that the Heat brought in three players about to break in their prime, Lebron, Wade, and Bosh, all still in their twenties. On the contrary, the Lakers brought in two players entering their final stretch of their illustrious careers, and a powerful center that is returning from surgery. The Lakers are not as much as a matchup nightmare as the Miami Heat were when they brought together their big 3.
Yes, the Lakers have arguably the most talent on the floor in any contest, but balanced teams like the Thunder, and up and coming power the Nuggets, will test the Lakers with their young and quick play. Even teams like the San Antonio Spurs, who like the Lakers have many veterans, but they have chemistry, which the Lakers do not yet as chemistry develops over time, not in one game.
With every team marking their schedules to face the Lakers, they will be preparing for a shot to beat the top dogs in the NBA. It will be a sight to see how poised veterans like Nash, Bryant, Howard, and Pau Gasol respond to such adversity from every NBA squad.
Now, the Lakers could very well dominate the entire league, with lethal shooter Kobe Bryant still putting up video game numbers every night, and Steve Nash still running the floor as quick as anybody, the Lakers may just debunk all my critiquing. However, they could prove every point correct.
With the bright lights back in Los Angeles, how will they respond? With such powerhouse teams being put together through free agency, it has been proven that year one in this phase does not always prosper the way the front office planned. So, will the Lakers change the course of this, or will they fall to the teams who build their team more naturally through the draft?
This season could be the difference maker in a very hot NBA debate right now, for should NBA front offices buy the best talent, or try and scout out the best talent and build from within.