Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lakers vs. Warriors Preview

The Lakers showed that they had the desire, experience and toughness to compete at the highest level. These facts are some of the reasons that the Los Angeles Lakers challenged for the title in 2008, won it all in 2009 and will repeat in 2010.

A versatile and talented roster from top to bottom that includes All Stars Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol has also meant a lot and Mitch Kupchak needs to be applauded for that. The roster number per game is 12; we all have a pretty good idea of who will be on the roster.

The only question here is about potential additions; The Lakers signed Tony Gaffney, Mickael Gelebale, David Monds, Michael Fey and Thomas Kelati. Gaffney and Monds played on the summer league team but the question is will any of them make the 15-man roster.

It is too early to tell, but Gaffney and Monds have a good understanding of the offense. In addition, both guys have the size that Coach Phil Jackson likes.

Gaffney is a solid defensive player who ranked third in the nation in blocked shots (3.8) in his senior season at UMASS en route to being name the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player the Year.

The drive to repeat officially starts 20 days from now but today the pre-season and the first of two exhibition games against the Golden State Warriors begins. The Warriors can put up points in bunches but have endured team turmoil all off-season.

Training camp and the pre-season are dress rehearsals for the regular season. Los Angeles needs to knock off the rust and develop some chemistry with new addition Ron Artest as the starter at the three spot.

I’m also interested in the development of Adam Morrison. He was one of the principles in the trade who brought Shannon Brown to the Lakers. He’s a guy who can score but needs to hit shots consistently, and he could become an outside scoring threat. The same can be said about Jordan Farmar.

Several people in the media have stated that the point guard position is the biggest weakness on the team. I can see the argument but I disagree.

What's important to keep in mind is that Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic had disappointing years but it was the addition of Shannon Brown that solidified the guard rotation. The clutch shooting and veteran leadership of Derek Fisher was also huge in bringing another championship to L.A. and that needs to be mentioned when the point guard position in L.A. is discussed.

The Lakers run the triangle offense and in said offense you don’t need a traditional point guard to run the show. The offense is predicated on ball movement, player movement and hitting the open man.

Tip-off: 7:00 PM PST
Television -
• Los Angeles: KCAL 9 (HD)
• Golden State: CSN (HD)
Radio -
• Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
• Golden State: KNBR 1050 (Tim Roye & Jim Barnett)
Injuries -
• None to report.
• PF Brandon Wright (Shoulder)
• PG C.J. Watson

Prediction: N/A in the Pre-Season

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