PDA

View Full Version : The team everyone seems to be pushing aside as contenders



Il Mago50
01-03-2012, 01:53 AM
First of all, I'm a Raptors fan so that's out of the way.

That aside, I personally think that people are greatly underestimating the LA Lakers as serious contenders if not favorites after the Miami Heat this season. Some of the things I'm about to say you may not agree with and that's fine, just throw a comment below and a discussion on it should begin.

First of all, in my opinion, if the man remains healthy, I believe that Andrew Bynum is the best NBA center in the league as an overall player. If anyone has been watching Drew the past few years when healthy, the man is a monster in the paint on both sides of the court, on defense and on the boards. Although he obviously isn't Dwight Howard on defense, his offense is far superior and isn't reliant as much on put-backs and others creating for him and is a better FT shooter. The man has baby hook from both sides, has a decent short range jumper, has a moves going both ways and doesn't need to finish with a dunk in order to be effective like Howard tends to more often then not.

If Bynum stays healthy, they have a 20-10-2 center that can create for himself in the post and can anchor the defense.

Next, people seem to be sleeping on Pau Gasol which baffles me. From a skill level standpoint, no big man in the league is more skilled then Pau, it's as simple as that. The man is a 20-10 type player that can spread the floor which makes Bynum that much more effective and he hits the boards hard and alters shots.

Lastly, you have Kobe Bryant. The man's legs are finally healthy to the point that he doesn't solely have to rely on his outside game for buckets. Although he has struggled the past few games, he is still a top 5-7 player and top 3-5 scorer in the league and provides the Lakers with that clutch jean at the end of games.

Past the big three, you have a plethora of role players. Metta World Peace is playing very well now that he has been established as more of a low post threat and his defense has bounced back to nearly the same level that made him so highly sought after a couple years ago. Matt Barnes is playing exceptional defense and with a year to gel with these guys that he didn't have last year, this team, along with the youth that Ebanks brings at the 3 for them, solidifies their perimeter defense.

After those five key guys, you have Josh McRoberts, who can block some shots, finish at the rim and scrap on the court, Troy Murphy (who has shown he can grab boards and spread the floor in his career), Steve Blake (aka corner three ball), Fisher (experience and toughness on the defensive end and knows where the ball needs to go) and Kapono (situational shooter ala Kyle Korver).

The personnel alone that they have make them a top three team in my opinion but if people have been watching their games, the team has really improved defensively, probably due to that being Mike Brown's specialty in his coaching career. They rotate hard, have 3-4 guys crashing the boards and have the players to give them a top flight defense (although obviously not in the Bulls' league on that end).

Most people seem to dub Miami, OKC and the Bulls as the three legit contenders for the title this year. A few speculate that Dallas could but they are finally showing their age at certain positions and their time will come again in 2012 when Deron and Dwight potentially team up with Dirk.

From these, I believe that the Bulls do not have the inside scoring presence to succeed and beat the Heat. Boozer downgrades their defense and plays more in the midrange, which eliminates a guy off of the offensive boards and limits their second chance opportunities when he's in the game. Rip Hamilton is not enough of an increase in order to be able to beat the Heat in the playoffs as come playoff time, Rose is the only one that can trully create anything off the dribble and stimulate the offense for that team besides what Luol Deng can do in terms of creating for himself on that end. Their defense is superior but I just don't think they have enough.

OKC is a team that is loaded with talent but I'm not sure if they have the right pieces. I believe that Westbrook hurts that team more then he helps it in the playoffs because he doesn't play under control and his bad decision making as a point guard essentially can cost them games on his own since he's at the head of the machine. Additionally, outside of Durant, Westbrook and Harden, the team really doesn't have anyone who could score, which puts pressure on those three to produce each night and puts them at a great disadvantage if the opposing team in the playoffs can eliminate on of their big two by way of a lockdown defender such as a Tony Allen. They are very close but I don't think they can beat the Lakers in a seven game series because the Lakers are just much more balanced and role oriented as a team.

Finally, you have the Heat. I have nothing to say about them since everyone knows what they're about. They are the favorite but I believe the Lakers should be considered right after them and with their combination of size, scoring, defense and coaching, as the biggest threat to their championship chances.

SportsAndrew25
01-03-2012, 01:56 AM
The Lakers are always a contender for the NBA Championship in my opinion with players like Kobe, Gasol, Bynum and Fisher.

Raph12
01-03-2012, 02:24 AM
You have no idea what you're talking about, Dwight has created more baskets for himself than any big in the league last season that scored over 20ppg... As for the Lakers being overlooked, they're a good team, but not favs.

Bulls_fan90
01-03-2012, 02:25 AM
Bynum has been beasting. If only he could stay healthy..

shep33
01-03-2012, 02:53 AM
If Bynum continues to play at this level and stay healthy, we have a shot for sure. No team really has our size... but we need a pg so badly. Every night we're at a disadvantage there.

PrettyBoyJ
01-03-2012, 03:09 AM
I agree with OP, I think Lakers are legit contenders, and its mainly cause of Bynum.. Ppl are forgetting Lakers still have that length Which is a problem for most teams.. If Bynum stays healthy he can dominate the post with Gasol.. I think getting rid of Odom was a blessing in disguise.. Yeah Odom was versatile and was a key part of what the Lakers championship runs, but More min for Bynum = more productivity. The guy can ball and that might be what puts them over the hump...

shep33
01-03-2012, 03:11 AM
What's impressive about Bynum is that he's so damn huge. Like he towers over Dwight and really most centers.

However... nothing matters until he stays healthy for a full year. Last year he really didn't get hurt, it was more of him having surgery so late that made him miss the beginning of the season (first 26 games or so). We'll see, he has to stay healthy. And a pg would help

KBfrom8to24
01-03-2012, 04:01 AM
You have no idea what you're talking about, Dwight has created more baskets for himself than any big in the league last season that scored over 20ppg... As for the Lakers being overlooked, they're a good team, but not favs.

Lakers being overlooked because ESPN really hates them but obviously over-hyping the likes of LBJ, DWade, KD, CP3, & B.Griffin

LakersIn5
01-03-2012, 04:02 AM
not everyone, i actually have the lakers as no.3 championship contender behind miami and okc :D

lkingratedr
01-03-2012, 04:15 AM
Lakers are contenders as long as they got the black mamba...

Cfrey
01-03-2012, 04:30 AM
I think everyone is really overlooking the Timberwolves. They could be 5-0. Had the toughest schedule in the league over the first 5 games. Kevin Love is a top 8 player in the league and has an outside chance at MVP and Ricky Rubio is the savior of all saviors and will become the best PG in the league.

-Kobe24-TJ19-
01-03-2012, 04:40 AM
I think everyone is really overlooking the Timberwolves. They could be 5-0. Had the toughest schedule in the league over the first 5 games. Kevin Love is a top 8 player in the league and has an outside chance at MVP and Ricky Rubio is the savior of all saviors and will become the best PG in the league.

CousinsEvansDuo? Minnesota style?

Mudvayne91
01-03-2012, 04:54 AM
Nugs really should've beat them twice instead of just the once. I don't count them out by any means, just saying....

John Walls Era
01-03-2012, 05:01 AM
I think everyone is really overlooking the Timberwolves. They could be 5-0. Had the toughest schedule in the league over the first 5 games. Kevin Love is a top 8 player in the league and has an outside chance at MVP and Ricky Rubio is the savior of all saviors and will become the best PG in the league.


CousinsEvansDuo? Minnesota style?

Seems about right.

Joshtd1
01-03-2012, 05:01 AM
I actually think the Blazers are a darkhorse contender.

Not saying the Lakers aren't contenders though because they are, specially with the west being open, but after last year's loss I don't think its unreasonable for people not to believe in them.

lakerboy
01-03-2012, 05:14 AM
After 3 years of high expectations and a summer filled with drama, it's nice not to be in the spotlight. I like it this way, my Lakers are flying under ther adar.

miller
01-03-2012, 11:26 AM
Can't count Lakers out. Players have moved on but the replacements aren't D-league bums, they are experienced NBA vets. Maybe not quite the same level as the Champion 2009 and 2010 teams but they still have plenty of talent and still have that core who have been there and done it all.

Under the radar never hurts when the team is as good as the Lakers are. Lakers as a team also has a point to prove. Hard to believe a back-to-back Champion team simply takes elimination from the playoffs and accepts their window to win is closed. Even harder to accept a Kobe Bryant led team accepts its over. They are still a dangerous team especially now that they are a wounded and maybe even underestimated team.

Greet
01-03-2012, 11:48 AM
I actually think the Blazers are a darkhorse contender.

Not saying the Lakers aren't contenders though because they are, specially with the west being open, but after last year's loss I don't think its unreasonable for people not to believe in them.

I think the Thunder are better than them at this point.

Chronz
01-03-2012, 11:59 AM
So if Bynum stays healthy, should I expect alot more of these fans who claim to have been privy to his dominance long before now?

Greet
01-03-2012, 12:02 PM
So if Bynum stays healthy, should I expect alot more of these fans who claim to have been privy to his dominance long before now?

That's a big IF there mister.

Hellcrooner
01-03-2012, 12:05 PM
1 im a Laker Fan

2 I dont believe in tooth fairy, miracles, Santa or in Magic Bullets .

3 Bynums knees CANT support having the tear and wear of shooting enough to make 20 ppg

4 Bynum will end up injured again, ( hopefully in an magic jersey)

5 Gasol has checked out mentally, no matter what he told to the media, his heart is no longer in L.A and its showing in his game he is playing like the dumb brohter of Tony Kukoc instead of doing his work.

6 Bryant is not ready to lay down the pipe and understand he cant be the king of mambo any lonter

7 Bryant is shooting abismaly, taking bad decisions and losing games to the team ( more frequently than before , i mean , its not new, but it used to be 1 game out of 5, now its 1 game out of 2)

8 Brown is an horrible coach.

9 Brown has NO HUEVOS to stand up before kobe and make him smell the coffe.

10 Jim Buss and Mitch kupchat in comparison to Jerry Buss and Jerry West is like trying to compare Kelly Osbourne to Black Sabbath.

So , nope, dont expect anything from Lakers this next new years.

ChicagoJ
01-03-2012, 12:14 PM
After watching the lakers play the bulls on Christmas day they looked like legit contenders to me. Just have to see what condition they are in at the end of the season.

d nuggets fan
01-03-2012, 02:00 PM
It's early season, but I just watched both Den/LA games and LA did not look like contenders. Bynum was beast no matter what we threw at him, World Peace looked good at times when he wasn't a total weirdo, but the rest of the team - peew stinky. Last I saw takes 5 guys playing as a team - Denver should have had two wins but walked away with a split thanks mostly to the star studded whistle.

LA isn't a contender, nor is Denver.

Il Mago50
01-03-2012, 09:07 PM
You have no idea what you're talking about, Dwight has created more baskets for himself than any big in the league last season that scored over 20ppg... As for the Lakers being overlooked, they're a good team, but not favs.

Dwight's offense up until last year came off of lobs, put backs and a quick first step that lead to a dunk. Last year, he added that bank shot and his running right hook became much better. Outside of that, he really has remained the same player he has always been on that end of the floor. Bynum does what he does on offense, but with much more polish and a larger variety of moves.

Il Mago50
01-03-2012, 09:10 PM
I think everyone is really overlooking the Timberwolves. They could be 5-0. Had the toughest schedule in the league over the first 5 games. Kevin Love is a top 8 player in the league and has an outside chance at MVP and Ricky Rubio is the savior of all saviors and will become the best PG in the league.

...No. Love is a shorter Pau Gasol who rebounds better and doesn't intimidate on defense.

Outside of Love, they do not have any star-level players and really don't have anyone close. Beasley is a headcase that will never reach his Carmelo ceiling, D-Will is a highly overrated, Rubio is still an inexperienced rookie, Wesley Johnson is somewhat of a bust, Darko is a one trick pony and Anthony Randolph is a complete waste of flesh and skill. I'm just hoping they are better then my Raptors so we get a higher pick.