Topic: Looking ahead to next season we wonder which player, besides Kobe Bryant, will be the most crucial to the Los Angeles Lakers’ success this season.
Context: Next season, the Lakers have a massive challenge ahead of them. In the always tough Western Conference, it takes about 50 wins just to make the playoffs, and the Lakers had only 27 last season.
In the Pacific Division alone, the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors are top contenders in the West while the Phoenix Suns were only one win away from the playoffs.
Most people are in agreement that a healthy Kobe Bryant will be the leader of this team and be the most important player on this team. But after him, who is next?
NBA veterans like Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin are likely to start and play major roles with the team. Jordan Hill makes $9 million this year which brings a lot of pressure, Steve Nash is trying to have one good year with the Lakers, and Nick Young is probably the best scorer next to Kobe.
The Lakers are also young and the development and potential of guys like Julius Randle, Ed Davis, and Jordan Clarkson will be important not just this season, but for the future of the team as well. Kobe Bryant expects to win every time he steps on the court, but which player will be most instrumental in helping him achieve that goal?
Verdict: We went to Twitter to ask the loyal Lakers Nation followers which player besides Kobe will be most important to the success of the Lakers. These are some of the responses:
— Michael Kim (@P_Mike04) August 3, 2014
— Mr Greenleaf (@MGLInc) August 3, 2014
— GuapFeen Peelo (@MacPeelo) August 3, 2014
— Arok (@ArokGW) August 3, 2014
— Jake Baldwin (@Jakkeeeup) August 3, 2014
@TheeCoreyH Probably Lin we gotta have good Point Guard play to survive in the West.
— Cjames (@TstarkTheBeast) August 3, 2014
— Jeff Stephens (@jffstphns3) August 3, 2014
With so many players who can potentially play a huge role on this Lakers team, the fact that the fans are pretty well split on this question makes perfect sense.
Lin and Boozer were probably mentioned the most, but there were also plenty of fans mentioning Nash, Randle, and Young. Needless to say, there are a lot of possibilities for the Lakers this year.
I’m personally torn on this subject. On one hand, point guard is the most important position on the floor, especially in the West with the likes of Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, and Damian Lillard around. But at the end of the day, I keep coming back to Jordan Hill.
Hill will almost definitely be the starter at center. He is being paid $9 million and will have to prove he can play more than 30 minutes a night while still providing the energy and rebounding everyone is used to. Additionally, the focus will be on defense and Hill will be the Lakers’ last line on that end. Hill must provide the rim protection the Lakers sorely needed last season.
If Hill’s numbers this year can be similar to his per-36 numbers last season (around 17 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks), the Lakers will be much better than expected.
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