2006 Los Angeles Lakers Preview
Welcome to the 2006 Los Angeles Lakers NBA Preview from Maddux Sports. The regular season opens up October 31st and now is the time to study up on this years teams. If you regularly wager on the NBA our handicappers for Expert NBA Picks and check out the NBA Spreads page to compare odds and increase your winning percentage this season.
2006 Los Angeles Lakers Basketball Season Preview
The Lakers are not a great team but they are a solid one. Last season, after going 45- 37 in the regular season, they lost to the Suns in the first round of the playoffs in seven games. It certainly could have gone the other way, with the Lakers going much deeper into the post-season. This is a young team and that should equal a bright future.
Shooting guard Kobe Bryant ( 35.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.5 APG, 45.0 FG%, 85.0 FT%) has proven over and over that he’s a player. He can pour in points, grab the loose ball and find the open man. He decides if this team wins or loses. At point guard, there’s a range of choices, including the young Smush Parker ( 11.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.7 APG, 44.7 FG%, 69.4 FT%), rookie Shammond Williams and draft pick Jordan Farmer (UCLA).
Small forward Vladimir Radmanovic ( 9.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.8 APG, 40.7 FG%, 81.6 FT%) has walked over from the Clippers, giving the Lakers more defense and deep scoring potential. Power forward Lamar Odom ( 14.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 5.5 APG, 48.1 FG%, 69.0 FT%) needs to be more aggressive and decisive.
At center, look for important contributions from both Chris Mihm ( 10.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 50.1 FG%, 71.6 FT%) and Kwame Brown ( 7.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, 52.6 FG%, 54.5 FT%). If utilized properly, they will be a potent one-two force.
After not making the playoffs in 2004 -05, Phil Jackson had the Lakers back in the mix in 2005-06. With this team, he’s undertaken a rebuilding project, something he’s never done before. The nine-time NBA championship coach proved to be a valuable mentor to his young players. Look for him to push the Lakers to be better defenders and much quicker up and down the court.
Just how fast some of the young talent can mature will determine how this team does in 2006- 07. Don’t expect them to make it to the finals yet, but they could possibly be in the second round.