2005 Los Angeles Lakers Preview
At the time of publish the NBA regular season is around the corner. What better way to get you locked and loaded for a winning season than a free season preview from Maddux Sports. We remind you that MadduxSports.com is an expert NBA handicapper and offers NBA Picks against the point spread. For more information on this years basketball package click here. Onto the individual team preview for this years Los Angeles Lakers.
2005 Los Angeles Lakers Team Preview
Phil Jackson’s return to the Staples Center may be seen as the Second Coming by some. Many in LA call Jackson, who comes with a $30 million price tag, a miracle worker. But can he really perform a true miracle and turn the former NBA Champion and now hapless Lakers into a contender?
The fact is Jackson won’t be playing, he’ll be coaching and in a division as competitive as the Pacific you need more than one money player. The single superstar the Lakers’ possess is Kobe Bryant. Bryant dumped in a lot of baskets last year (27.6 per game) and had a strong foul shooting percentage (81.6). But those figures are down for Bryant, who had an off year hitting only 43.3% from the court. In fact over the past three years his shooting percentage has steadily dropped from a personal best of 46.9% in 2001-02 to its present level. Additionally, Bryant was hobbled by an ankle injury last season. For the Lakers to be effective he has to be healthy, focused, and shoot less and pass more.
There’s also a big question regarding the Bryant-Jackson mix? Can this player and this coach coexist, especially after Jackson’s ravaging of Bryant in his book ironically entitled The Last Season? Another query on everyone’s mind concerns Bryant and Shaquille? Shaquille can definitely win with out Bryant, but can Bryant win without Shaq?
Other key players include forward Lamar Odom and forward/center Kwame Brown. Odom, who missed 18 games last season due to a shoulder problem, needs to be a consistent contributor for the Lakers to win. For this to happen there has to be more give and take between he and Bryant, with Bryant giving more and Odom taking more. Odom has the talent to be a Scotty Pippen-esque point forward, giving Los Angeles a great and potent one-two threat when he combines with Bryant.
Then there’s Kwame Brown—known as the “biggest gamble in Lakers’ history.” Can Jackson parlay Brown’s potential and talent and make him a team asset, an on-court presence, and an effective center? Can Brown finally get motivated? (If Michael Jordan couldn’t motivate Brown, who can?)
In the end the big question isn’t can this former dynasty reclaim prominence? What everyone should be asking is what will be sufficient progress for a team that has been floundering the past few seasons? Is it getting to 500? Making the playoffs? Just playing good basketball? What can you expect from a miracle worker?
For more information on the 2005 Los Angeles Lakers Team, click here to visit their official team website.