Now that the Lakers’ roster is set for the upcoming 2012-13 NBA season, the expectations are now set.
Those expectations are back to where they were two years ago: For the Lakers to be in the NBA Finals and, as a result, hanging banner number 17.
Of course, these weren’t the expectations in 2012. After this often-listless team was trounced by the Mavs in 2011, no one had the Lakers pegged to beat out the Thunder or Heat, and even after the 66-game season ended, many thought they had an “outside chance” to come out of the Western conference.
This year, though, with the roster being overturned to accomodate the likes of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, the hype has returned. The Lakers, now, are damn near clear favorites to not only come out of the West, but also win an NBA championship.
And if you have forgotten, the vitriol sent Mike Brown’s way for apparently “losing” the Thunder series for the Lakers (despite Kobe doing what Kobe does is and putting the opposition in position to make furious comebacks) was intense from Lakers fans.
These kinds of expectations will only make the fan-base more impatient of Brown.
But at what point will Twitter trend with #FireMikeBrown again?
Obviously, anything short of the Western Conference Finals would be a massive upset for these Lakers. While the West is stacked with talented teams — young and old — the Lakers are clearly the most talented team in the conference. Their biggest test on that front, though, is quite clearly the Thunder, who are just marginally less talented than L.A. is.
But if the Lakers get bounced out of the Conference Finals to the Thunder (and no one else)? Then things get sticky.
Because while L.A. is still a better team, OKC has cohesion and youth. No fan would be mad if L.A. lost to the Thunder because the team just gets better every year.
Except … wait … weren’t fans asking for Brown’s firing … after the Lakers lost to the Thunder in 2012?
I’m confused. You got me, fellow Lakers fans. How about helping us figure out what you want by voting on the poll below: