Jamfan - I never thought I would be starting off the new season with a headline like that. But it is an unusual start for the Lakers with a season that is blessed with so much promise. When you add that the Lakers schedule is front loaded with a lot of home games, one would think that we are off to a great start. Right?
Er.....uh.....well, we'll see. The most obvious stumble out of the gate is our Hall of Fame Coach Jackson, who didn't respond to rehab, and had to have hip replacement surgury a couple of days ago. He might miss the entire pre-season and is questionable for the season opener. He might show up to advise, but coaching on a new hip will take time. So, when you need a coach to fly faster than a speeding bullet, be able to leap tall building with a single bound, and replace a legend, you turn to none other than, SUPERMAN. Yes, Kurt Rambis, who earned his Superman reputation while playing forward for the Lakers in a studly manner back in the last century while sporting geek glasses. He is capable, has lots of coaching experience, and knows the Triangle very well. Moreover, he brings the same work eithic that he brought to the court when he played. No soft players aloud.
We continue to stumble into camp with injuries to key players as the result of surguries during the summer. Kobe missed out on representing the USA in the World Championships due to knee surgery. Chris Mihm is not as yet 100% healthy even after a long rehab. Brian Cook's hand is still questionable, but the Lakers are probably not worried long term because they are currently working on a contract extension for Cookie.
Everyone is worried about Lamar Odom. He always shows up with his slight Mona Lisa smile. But under the best of circumstances you worry about what really is going on inside when it comes to Lamar. And these are not the best of circumstances with the recent death of his son. We all hope and pray for Lamar and his family. Moreover, we hope he can overcome what he is going through and put together a great season for himself and the team.
The good news is that most of the key players are returning and have another year together performing the Triangle offense. Vlad Rad will probably start and will need to get up to speed quickly. We have a couple of new veteran back up guards in Mo Evans and Shammond Williams and rookie PG Jordan Farmar. After that the roster is set. We have several practice players coming to camp and two of them, Devin Green and JR Pinnock, are both worth keeping an eye on. My reports from summer league says that Devin Green is the guy with so much potential. In the Traingle, he could play the 1, 2, or 3, and is very athletic at 6"7". Unless they buy out Aaron Mckie's contract (pleeeeeeez) or make a 2 for 1 trade, there isn't room for anyone else. I would rather keep a young promising rookie around than let an aging Aaron Mckie sit on the end of the bench waiting for rigamortis set in.
With all this going on, a lot of home games early on sounds like a good idea. The only problem is somewhere down the line it means a lot games on the road. But with Coach in La La land and key players needing to mend, it is probably all for the best.
Current Depth Chart
PG- Parker, Williams, Farmer
SG- Bryant, Evans, Vujacic
SF- Radmanovic, Walton
PF- Odom, Cook, Turiaf
C- Brown, Bynum, Mihm
Benchwarmer in case somebody dies- McKie
Also in Camp- Green, Wafer, Pinnock, Douthhit, N'diaye
#1 Fan- JamFan