Preseason predictions are always tough. New faces, new playstyles, and altered games of the returnees are impossible to predict. So when the Lakers had such a large roster turnover during the off-season, it was understandable that our expectations were varied. Our own staff varied on win-loss predictions, ranging from 50 wins to 30 wins in our preseason roundtable
But at mid-season, we know what we’re getting with this Lakers team. This is a sub-par team at best, which struggles defensively, lacks a true leader, and has been decimated by injuries. We’ve seen the emergence of a handful of youngsters, from Xavier Henry, Wes Johnson, and Ryan Kelly, to the most recent in Kendall Marshall.
But it’s what we haven’t seen that will dominate the story lines, and that’s the duo of Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. Combined, they’ve played just 12 games, and none saw them play together. Their returns are currently set for the late January, early February game, but each have admitted that even they aren’t sure when their returns will be.
Their lengthy absences have furthered escalated the tanking debate. It’s clear this team is not a title contender, and likely aren’t a playoff contender either. But should such a storied franchise commit to losing? Will they lose even if they aren’t trying? Who is most likely to be traded? We answer all that here!