2007 Los Angeles Lakers Season Preview
Kobe Bryant may still be traded before the season begins or as it begins. You never know. Then again chances are he will be on the Lakers for the entire 2007- 2008 season. Of course, you’d think that any team would want the point-producing superstar, but Bryant’s attitude and subversive personality are enough to tax any coach, even the likes of Phil Jackson.
Power forward Lamar Odom (.468 FG%, .297 3P%, .700 FT%, 9.8 RPG, 4.8 APG, 15.9 PPG) is a huge piece of this team and must stay healthy, while opposite him small forward Luke Walton (.474 FG%, .387 3P%, .745 FT%, 5.0 RPG, 4.3 APG, 11.4 PPG) brings fine defensive skills and a good shooting hand from inside and out. The third player up-front last season was second-year center Andrew Bynum (.558 FG%, .000 3P%, .669 FT%, 5.9 RPG, 1.1 APG, 7.8 PPG), who looked good at the start of the year but seemed to lose focus and confidence as the season wore on. Kwame Brown (.591 FG%, .000 3P%, .440 FT%, 6.0 RPG, 1.8 APG, 8.4 PPG), who is coming back from shoulder surgery, will probably share time with Bynum.
Kobe Bryant (.463 FG%, .344 3P%, .868 FT%, 5.7 RPG, 5.4 APG, 31.6 PPG), now in his 12th season, is a scoring legend. Playing almost 41 minutes a game, he’s a workhorse player devoted to winning. Opposite Bryant is Derek Fisher (.382 FG%, .308 3P%, .853 FT%, 1.8 RPG, 3.3 APG, 10.1 PPG), a former Laker who went to Utah and in the off-season resigned with Los Angeles. Fisher is a smart veteran who will man the point ably, getting the ball to Bryant and creating key scoring chances.
With perhaps the best coach in the NBA, great scoring potential and some decent defense, the Lakers should be in the hunt for the big prize. But just how serious a hunt it will be will come down to team dynamics. Fashioning a true team from all of these separate, talented parts will be tough to do. The playoffs should be easy to make, getting out of round one will be extremely difficult for this Laker team.