Believe it or not the Laker fans are worried about their team. They went 0-8 in the pre-season and now are 0-1 in the regular season at the hands of the Mavericks sans Dirk Nowitzki. There is no need to worry, because they’ve only played one full game together with their regular rotation. Unfortunately, the Laker fans have to now start thinking a little more realistically then their previous dreams of beating the 72-9 record that the Bulls posted in the ’95-’96 season. This is exactly what the Miami Heat fans were thinking their first season together but to be honest the Lakers are going to be just like Miami in their first season. I think they’ll take eve more time than the Heat to gel.
The Miami Heat were put together out of the blue and took a lot of time to start to gel and play together as a team, if you remember correctly they started out 9-8. And the Heat were combining three players, two of which are some of the best passers in the league. This Laker team is putting together three players, 2 of which have been isolation franchise players for their whole careers. That’s why it will only be harder with this Laker team. The thought of worrying so quickly is crazy, but the thought of being realistic and lowering expectations will only be a good thing for the Laker fans, who have to realize success doesn’t come overnight. A team on paper doesn’t mean success in real life. Just look at the Bulls for proof.
The problem with the team now is that their completely out of sync, they don’t know how to play with each other. They don’t know who to get the ball to. I think they have to start running a lot more, they scored 7 fast break points last night. Not only will fast-breaking improve their offense but it will limit the amount of possessions that they need to set up in. That’s where they’re having their troubles, they have Steve Nash one of the best passers EVER and Dwight Howard the best big man in the game and the most athletic so why not get it and go every time down the floor. As soon as Dwight gets deep in the middle on the break either he’ll get the ball and get fouled, either he’ll dunk or he’ll get bear hugged and the Lakers get the ball back. Nash will find him.
While I’m here i’ll just talk about the Mavericks, who beat the Lakers last night without Dirk. I think the word to describe their roster is interesting. I’m intrigued by their roster. They’re not atop the conference anymore but they have very interesting pieces from the top of the roster to the bottom. Of course Dirk leads the team, and you can always expect a good 20-23 points from him every game. Supporting him on the offensive end is Vince Carter; a veteran on the Mavericks. Elton Brand and Chris Kaman; two veteran big men hoping to provide a post presence. OJ Mayo and Darren Collison; two young guards both getting their first starting opportunities of their careers. Rodrigue Beaubois and Shawn Marion; both veterans to the Maverick team. One a defensive stopper, the other a young and talented point guard. Dahntay Jones; a new pickup from Indiana and Jae Crowder; a very promising young rookie. I say interesting because most of these players strike me as streaky or inconsistent. OJ Mayo and Vince Carter are very streaky shooters. With Elton Brand and Chris Kaman you never know which player to expect, the player of 10 years ago or the aging veteran of now. I think they will definitely score a lot of points and I think they should be able to go places in the Western Conference. They have to surprise teams, they have to step up, everybody from Dirk scoring a few extra points here and there to Elton Brand having a few flashbacks to 2000. That’s the way that they will be able to beat teams like the Lakers, which they did last night.