Los Angeles Lakers 2017/18 Season Preview
2016-17 Results 26-56 14th in the Western Conference. Missed the playoffs (duh) landed the number 2 overall pick in the draft.
Players that left
D’Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov, Tarik Black, Jose Calderon, David Nwaba, Lou Williams, Nick Young
Metta World Peace , Marcelo Huertas, Thomas Robinson
Lonzo Ball, Andrew Bogut, Thomas Bryant, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma
Projected Starters: Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Brook Lopez.
Bench Mob. Jordan Clarkson, Corey Brewer, Larry Nance Jr, Kyle Kuzma, Andrew Bogut, Josh Hart, Luo Deng, Ivica Zubac, Tyler Ennis, Josh Hart.
Is SHOWTIME back in the city of Angels? Umm not yet my friends. The Pandas are back and have reloaded adding two summer league stars to the roster in Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma, rookie guard Josh Hart and veteran guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Except for a couple old guys Brewer, Deng, Bogut and Lopez the Lakers seem ready to go full speed ahead in their youth movement. New GM Rob Pelinka and president of basketball operations Magic Johnson have made a ton of changes to the roster since taking over in mid-February.
Well in his second year as head coach Luke Walton has a roster complete with three point shooters, pick and roll guys, a couple of bruisers and even a few defenders. This Lakers team has plenty of bodies and has the ability to play both in the open court and in the half court as well. And after watching the first two pre-season games there finally seems to be reason for optimism as the guys look to actually enjoy playing together and making plays for each other maybe the Lonzo effect is real. The question here is will it carry over into the regular season and how will this team handle the ups and downs of the long NBA season.
The question on everyone’s mind though is the core group of guys that will finally break through and bring the Lakers at least back to the playoffs or are they just place holders for future free agents (LeBron James, Paul George)? Well Lakers Fans (Panda Posse) this is not the year. While much improved the Western Conference is just really, really, really good from top to bottom this year and we could possibly see a team with 45 or more wins not make the playoffs.
What we should be looking for is continued growth from our young guys. Does Julius Randle earn that second contract with the Lakers? Has Brandon Ingram found a reliable jump shot? Can Lonzo Ball really become the next Jason Kidd? Is Kyle Kuzma the steal of the draft? Will Laker fans truly appreciate the growth and maturity Jordan Clarkson has shown working his way from 2nd round draft pick to sometimes starter but really valuable 6th man? Who will Larry Nance Jr dunk on next?
Last year the Pandas finished with a record of 26-56 and this year I can see them pushing towards that 35 win mark remember Rome nor the Warriors were built in a day. This season is totally about the development of the Pandas and maintaining cap space for the summer just in case a few stars like what Magic and Rob are cooking, so enjoy the victories and the highlight dunks and passes but don’t sulk after the losses the arrow is finally pointing up in L.A.
Projected Record 35 – 47