Lakers Rumors & News Recap: Lakers’ Realistic Chances in the West

Lakers Rumors & News Recap: Lakers’ Realistic Chances in the West


Kobe, Gasol, NashHeading into the 2013-14 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers will be going with the aging core of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash. Although Kobe’s return date to the basketball floor and whether or not he’ll be the same player remains uncertain, the team expects him back in the first month or two of next season.

With these three aging stars in the twilight of their careers leading the way, the immediate future of this team is unclear to say the least. The Lakers could either prove to be much more of a force without Dwight Howard in the paint or become nothing more than another mediocre team in the Western Conference.

Despite a lot the doubt surrounding this team’s future moving forward, the Lakers’ front office may have been able to provide head coach Mike D’Antoni with the tools in order to compete in a highly competitive conference filled with talented young teams on the rise. GM Mitch Kupchak was able to bring in Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Farmar and Chris Kaman at considerable discounts to play in a season that won’t be driven by high expectations.

A lot of things have to come together in order for the Lakers to truly be a force in the West next season, but if they do come together, this team may be able to be a middle of the pack playoff squad.

Obviously, a lot of attention and concern has been directed to the recovery process of Kobe’s surgery on Achilles injury. This is not an injury many players are able to simply bounce back from and be the same player, but it’s hard to argue that Kobe isn’t another beast entirely in terms of playing through or recovering quickly from injuries.

Other concerns are whether or not this aging team can stay healthy. Nash and Gasol struggled with injuries all season long last year, and that may be a sign of things to come for these two veterans. If able to stay healthy and play at a high level once again, Nash and Gasol could prove to be forces to be reckoned with once again and may excel without Dwight clogging the paint.

It’ll be interesting to see how things will develop in the months to come. Even though many have written off this team already and believe the franchise may be better off tanking for a prospect like Andrew Wiggins, the Lakers may surprise a lot of people next season with a result that far exceeds last season’s Dwightmare disaster.

Lakers Nation News

Lakers Nation Tweets of the Week: Jordan Farmar Return, ESPY Awards

VIDEO: Kobe Bryant Vacations in Italy, Interviews with AC Milan

VIDEO: Lakers Nation Interviews Nick Young at Drew League

Lakers Nation Videos of the Week: New Players are Introduced

Summer League Recap: Lakers Fall to Warriors in Las Vegas Finale

Why the Lakers Will be Better Next Season than Last

Kobe’s Championship Rings Auctioned Off for $282K at Goldin Auction

NBA News: Metta World Peace Discusses Being Amnestied by the Lakers

Lakers News: Jordan Farmar Talks About Taking Pay Cut to Rejoin Lakers

Lakers Officially Add Mark Madsen and Larry Lewis to Coaching Staff

Lakers Rumors: Shawne Williams Invited to Lakers Training Camp

Kobe Sends Jordan Farmar Text Message Welcoming Him Back to Lakers

Lakers News: Jordan Farmar Excited to Play in Mike D’Antoni System

Lakers News: Jordan Farmar’s Emphasis Will Be on Defense

Lakers News

Metta World Peace Talks About Being Amnesited by the Los Angeles Lakers [Examiner]

Jordan Farmar Says he Felt he Belongs with Lakers [LA Times]

Expect Lakers to Provide Grins Rather than Glory [LA Times]

Undrafted Forward Elias Harris Dreaming of Chance with Lakers [LA Times]

Lakers’ Jim Buss Puts His Odds on Kobe Bryant Coming Back Early [LA Times]

Wesley Johnson Fulfills Dream Becoming a Laker [OC Register]

VIDEO: Are Free Agents Choosing Clippers Over Lakers? [OC Register]

CDR, Landry Discuss Their Summer League Experience [Silver Screen & Roll]

Jim Buss Can’t Repeat This Summer [Silver Screen & Roll]

CDR Likely to Receive Lakers Training Camp Invite [Silver Screen & Roll]

Lakers Lose In Summer League Quarterfinal Against Warriors [Forum Blue & Gold]

NBA News

NBA Rumors: Oklahoma City Thunder Frontrunner to Land Mike Miller [Sports City]

NBA Rumors: Baron Davis Eyeing Return to NBA This Season [Sports City]

The Skateboard-Loving Cav With a Master’s Degree [SB Nation]

Pierre Jackson’s Wild Week [SB Nation]

Paul Pierce Happy as Nets’ ‘Glorified Role Player’ [SB Nation]

Clippers Could Re-Sign Odom, White Eyes Europe [SB Nation]

Celtics GM Ainge Eyes Opening Night Return for Rajon Rondo [Pro Basketball Talk]

Lots of Interest in Mike Miller, with Durant, Marc Gasol Recruiting Him [Pro Basketball Talk]

Kevin Martin Says He Considered Returning to the Thunder for Less Money [Pro Basketball Talk]

  • Jim213

    Agree, but I’m not sure whether management has done enough to place the best available competitive team on the floor given the cap situation to excite or calm many frustrated fans. Yes they’ve acquired some solid acquisitions that will hopefully benefit us in the future too but given last year’s injuries with other vets and along with Kobe’s comeback expected around late November or December management seems to be settling for a mediocre type of season. IMO

    Aside of more required depth, DEFENSE, chemistry, and the well being of players may determine the success of the team next season. Kobe may not play at the beginning of the season and given that it’s about wins and losses many don’t believe that Nash or Gasol could hold the fort down. IMO, we shouldn’t expect Kobe to be himself when he returns as it’ll likely take some time to bring his game up to the high level many expect. Thus, I believe the team should pursue a player or two that can solidly contribute on both ends to better the odds of winning come Nov/Dec/Jan of next season.

    • Eddie Lazaro

      IMO, when Kobe get back (90%), the best way he can contribute is playing point guard. He can teach them the work ethics that worked best for him, same with playing with intensity and dedication. Though in paper they looked no chance at all (and everyone is counting us out) for being so young, This kids can ball. Joining and taking pay cuts just shows we have a great chemistry in the making plus a complete training camp that they missed last year is a big plus. Expectations are low for there is no timetable on Kobe’s return, but hopes are high. Also, We do not have anymore disruptions and can work on the more relevant issues at hand. Another positive is Gasol, He will be back to his old self, stress free, knowing he is out of the trading block and playing the position he is most comfortable with. My main concern is the coaching part, as I keep on saying over and over. MDA needs to keep a deeper rotation (9-11) and reduce the stars playing minutes to avoid injuries and keeping them fresh. If the team Gel as I expected them to be, there will be no telling how potent this roster can be. With capable outside shooters of Kobe, Nash, Farmar, Kelly, Young, Johnson and Blake, they can lit the downtown evernight. If they defend outside shots, any of these guys can slash and penetrate, or do Pick n Roll or Pick n Pop to the biggs of Pau, Hill, Kaman, Kelly, even alley hoops to Kobe. They are young and have enough fresh legs to do Run n Gun, D’Antoni’s Favorite. We need to pursue Rambis to be in charged of the defensive end and a couple more bodies with defensive mentality that can control the boards. Though he’s not my favorite, can not help but embrace the guy being already here. Just hope he apply a little more common sense on his rotation and time management in dealing with his Sr. Citizens.

      • Jim213

        A deeper rotation should be obvious for Dumbtoni given the past injuries and years of play for some players. But IMO the defense itself will likely have the biggest impact come next season as they can’t repeat the same type of play as last season in giving up close to 100+ points a night.

        • Eddie Lazaro

          I do believe you are right. Even in the history books, it will say Defense win the game. Controlling the board, limiting opponent shots in the paint: defending pick n rolls, pick n pop, alley hoops and dunks. Those are all high percentage shots. No single player win the game, he can dominate but still need 4 coordinated moving pieces to support the assault, and if the dominant player can’t be stopped, you stop the rest with a team defense in which D’Antoni never has. Kobe lost a lot of steps, majority of them on defense. We also lost MWP, who nowadays, can’t keep up with fresh younger legs and keeping that 7-8 player rotation will just be another deficiency added to the already breaking down system. That is why a couple of mentally defensive bodies are a important. We may have a lot of shooters now with the team, but acquisition of Kurt or a defensive Coach is essentially as important. No team, big or small will win the Championship without a defensive stop. Bulls, Pistons and Celtics even brought in Brawlers to be their defensive stoppers. We can have all the shooting greats playing together, without the defense, will not win any Championships.