Almost a quarter of the way through the season, the Lakers are 9-9: a .500 team. That’s on pace for a 41-41 season. The highest win total that could be required of the Lakers to make the Western playoffs will be around 50 games. They are nine off that pace. There’s a few reasons why they’re going to demolish that pace and finish with around 56 wins.
1.) Kobe. Is. Returning.
That’s it. You know it, I know it. The best player from 2002–2008 is coming back. He’s a deadly shooter, a great athlete, a leader, a winner, all those things.
2.) We are losing to great teams.
Check this out: 7 of L.A.’s 9 losses are to WESTERN conference playoff teams. Of the other 2, one is to the Wizards (top 1/2 of East) and the other is to the Pelicans, who can be pretty darn good. Who expected the Lakers to beat the Spurs, Grizzlies, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Mavericks, Warriors, and newly dominant Trailblazers? That’s a tall order. (Especially without Kobe). Once the schedule eases up, we’re rising above that .500 mark.
3.) Young and explosive beats old and divided.
Remember last season when 4 Hall Of Famers got swept in a 1-8 matchup with the Spurs? (3 actually, since Kobe was out). That season set a new bar for underachieving. Now we’re (gasp) overachieving with young, hungry, explosive players like Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, Nick Young, Jodie Meeks. If Kobe jumps on board this train, their ceiling skys.
Not this season, but still…Jodie Meeks!
Wrong team, wrong year…but Nick Young!
Stats from ESPN.com
Picture from Wikimedia commons copyright CC.
Dreyden Philip is a contributing writer for Trending Hoops.