|2011-12 Team Rating|
|10th Overall||13th Overall|
2011-12 Season Stats
The Lakers went from the second-best center in the league, Andrew Bynum, to the best. Now they need to see to the health of Dwight Howard's back. Pau Gasol remains one of the better power forwards. Metta World Peace remains Metta World Peace.
Steve Nash as the second-best guard on the team? Yeah, that'll do. Nash remains such a good passer and shooter at age 38 that he will take a lot of the load from Kobe Bryant and reduce Bryant's wear.
The Lakers are good with the chance to get much better with the Howard acquisition. They make another jump if World Peace regains past form. Nash does not help, but is not much worse than Ramon Sessions.
A real sore spot last season may be less of a hindrance now. Antawn Jamison will help the front line, as will re-signing Jordan Hill if he plays close to his playoff level.
Mike Brown did an exemplary job of refusing to be rattled by life in the Lakers' fishbowl. Now he's asking for another adjustment period by adding the Princeton offense. The man does love risk.
You again? It's a different version of the Lakers with Howard and Nash, but their offseason moves have L.A. back in the championship conversation, just when the rest of the league had its hopes up that consecutive second-round losses meant the end of the era.
The difference between talk and actual championship teeters on the same mysteries as before. Can Gasol exert himself to be the positive difference maker of old? How is Howard's back? Can World Peace be dependable on at least one end of the court? (OK: Can he be dependable, period?) The Lakers have new players, but many of the same old storylines.
-- Scott Howard-Cooper
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||A|
|New Jersey Nets||A|
|New Orleans Hornets||B+|
|New York Knicks||C|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||C-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B|