The Laker schedule release yesterday gives a better indication of how the Lakers may fare this upcoming season. People can look at talent and coaching, but other elements such as health and the season’s schedule affect the win and loss record.
Two of the TNT analysts, from the show “Inside the NBA,” provided their thoughts about the Lakers.
Shaq says Lakers are "going to have some talent issues…but you can never count the lakers out with a healthy Kobe" (on @ESPNLA710)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) August 14, 2014
Shaquille O’Neal, the former Laker, shows his respect to Kobe Bryant. Considering after all they had been through as a duo, he knows to never count out Kobe Bryant.
Charles Barkley, on the other hand, isn’t so optimistic about the Lakers’ chances for the playoffs.
Charles Barkley on NBA TV: "Kobe Bryant will save a lot of money on playoff tickets because the Lakers aren't making the playoffs."
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) August 13, 2014
While it is a tough upcoming season, it’s always tough in the Western Conference. The injury-plagued Laker team of last season still won 27 games. It doesn’t make sense to have a healthy Kobe Bryant, Jeremy Lin, and Carlos Boozer, and only have three more wins compared to last season. Our own Valerie Morales wrote about how ESPN is right half of the time with their preseason rankings.
#ESPNForecast predicts the Lakers to have a 30-52 record. Too high? Too low? Just right?
— Lake Show Life (@TheLakeShowLife) August 12, 2014
The upcoming season has a longer All-Star break, with the Laker team taking a full nine days off in the middle of the season. They have less three less back-to-back games compared to last season. Unlike last year, the roster is expected to be healthy at the beginning of training camp.
That hasn’t happened in what, two seasons?
It doesn’t make sense to enter the season with a healthier team, keeping the best players of last year, adding more talent in Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and Ed Davis, with an easier schedule, and account for only three more wins.
It is a superstar-driven NBA league, but the Lakers as an organization tend to overachieve when they are a borderline playoff team. Considering there are two, 20 point-per-game scorers in Nick Young and Kobe Bryant, with two, 15 point-per-game scorers in Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer, there’s a chance that Charles Barkley is way off base on this, and the Lakers make the playoffs.