Originally Posted by Walton_04
I guess a lot of you are right. 5th place is kind of a reach. I was just going by last years team which, in my opinion, should've won 52 games if they hadn't lost
40+ games from Odom and Walton.
Losing Kwame for 40+ games is not insignificant either. At least he wouldn't have allowed Eddie Curry torch the Lakers with 27 points. Kwame's injuries cost at least 4 games.
But I'm confident that this current roster (without major injury) is better than the 45-37 roster of 05-06, or last years 42-40 record.
Is 48 wins realistic?
Getting 48 wins or the 5th seed is possible, but not likely. Last year's Lakers could have easily been a 5th seed; however, too many teams have improved significantly to likely do so this year. I bet even teams like the Mavs, Suns, and Spurs won't win 60 games this season. They will still be the teams to beat, but there is a lot more paridy in the West than there was in that past few seasons.
Fortunately the Lakers were beating the elite teams at the start of last season, so they absolutely have a chance to do fairly well. However, teams like the Rockets, Nuggets, Warriors, and Hornets are significantly better than they were last season and the Jazz seem to have found their mojo again. So getting a lot of wins will be tough for everyone. How we stack up against these teams will be the difference.
could legitimately be scary if they continue to build on how they were playing at the end of last season.
If the Rockets
can stay healthy, they could emerge as a real conteder, not just a good playoff team. Adding Steve Francis and Scola is huge. And the return of Bonzi Wells gives them a bench with punch. And lastly, Rick Ademan is the perfect coach for this team. Let's just hope it takes them a little while to gel in the new offense; because talentwise, they are EASILY a 4th seed.
aren't likely to waste half their season again like they did last year. So recordwise, they could be better than they were last year.
are flat out a good team. Before Paul and Peja went down w/ injuries, they were really starting to gel. I still think the Lakers are a cut above them, but I wouldn't be entirely surprised if they made some noise this year.
has the possibility to end anywhere from 5 to 10. Although they will feel the loss of JR, the new euro rookie looks great and is PERFECT for Nelly ball. Like the Rockets and Lakers, how they do may ultimately come down to how healthy they are.
were VERY good last year when healthy and proved they could beat even the elite teams before LO went down.
This year they have a nice upgrade at PG with Fish and a more seasoned Famar. VRad can potentially be very effective off the bench (we'll see). Mihm's return could really be a factor. It's not that I expect great numbers from him, it's more that all 3 of our centers are foul prone; so it's nice to know we will always have a "decent" center out there. But the biggest potential for improvement is that EVERYONE on the squad should really know the triangle. As many of us know, the triangle really only works well when EVERYONE knows what to do. This will be that first season in a long while we have this situation. Is it enough? Hmmmmm, difficult to tell.
So the Lakers are competing with the group above for the 4th through 8th seeds. I actually believe the Lakers have enough talent to make the 5th seed. Unfortunately, I am just not so sure they can be consistent enough game in and game out to come out on top of this group of veteran teams. As such, I predict 6 or 7 seed.