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Top 5 Reasons For and Against the Lakers Repeating – Part Two

LA Lakers

August 25, 2009 – Allen Moll

Allen Moll is an avid NBA and College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen is a regular columnist for thehoopdoctors.com, Bleacherreport.com, Fanhuddle.com as a NY Knicks and Wizards correspondent, and his own blog, Hoops Haven.

The LA Lakers are a very talented team that made some changes to their roster this offseason in an attempt to repeat as World Champions. They will undoubtedly encounter a few obstacles in order to win their 16th NBA title. While they proved to have unquestioned supreme talent by winning it all last year, this is a new season and they will have to prove themselves against the league’s elite teams once again. Here are a few reasons favoring the Lakers repeating in ’09-’10:

1)They still have Kobe – All due respect to LBJ, but at age 30, Kobe is still the best player in the game. Maybe he didn’t lead the league in scoring or have the most rim rocking dunks but he is the most complete player in the NBA. Now that his defensive arch nemesis, Ron Artest, is on his team, there are very few players who can guard him one on one. He is so confident in his ability to lead that he is an extension of the coaching staff out on the court. There is no other player who I would rather have the ball in there hands with the game on the line. He’s been healthy, playing all 82 reg season games since the start of the ’07-’08 season, and has career averages of 25.1 points, 5.3 rebs, and 4.9 assists.

2)Gasol, Odom, and Bynum in the frontcourtIF all three are healthy, this could be the best in the league. Bynum and Gasol with the 1st team is intimidating defensively with two 7 footers clogging the lane. Getting Odom back solidifies their 2nd team. Throw Artest into the mix, who can guard some 3’s or 4’s if need be, and the Lakers could be tremendous defensively. Offensively, Gasol(18.9 pts, 9.5reb), Odom(11.3pts,8.2reb), Bynum(14.3pts,8 reb), and Artest(17.1pts, 5.2 reb) are not to shabby.

3)Phil Jackson – No one can argue he is one of the best coaches in history. He has a knack of making players fit into Tex Winter’s triangle offense. Through he power of Zen, he gets even the most volatile NBA odd couples to coexist( see Jordan/Rodman and Kobe/Shaq). Which meditative book can he give to Ron Artest? A career coaching resume of 1040-435(.705) during the regular season, ten NBA titles and a very good chance of an eleventh puts him farther ahead of his contemporaries like Popovich(4 titles) and Riley(5 titles).

4)The addition of Ron-Ron – Losing Ariza and adding Artest was a good move. Jackson and Bryant are a good support system to ensure Artest’s good behavior. When motivated and under control, Ron-Ron is a former Defensive Player of the Year who can lock down an opposing teams’ best player while giving them a viable option on offense. When not in control………..flagrant fouls, ejections, suspensions, brawls.

5)Derek Fisher’s clutch shooting and veteran leadership – Fisher has been the Lakers most valuable role player by winning 4 titles with the club. Whatever this team needs he does, whether it is a key assist, steal, or a late4th quarter shot, like his two late 3 point shots in regulation and overtime to help win Game 4 of the Finals. Entering his final season of a 3 year deal, Fisher may try to put up numbers for his own reason……………….. getting another contract.

In conclusion, the ’09-’10 LA Lakers could again be the class of the NBA. In my opinion, San Antonio, Denver, and Portland are their only true competiton in the Western Conference. Will Kobe, Gasol, Fisher, and Co repeat as champions or will the NBA’s version of the Tasmanian Devil, Ron Artest, throw off team chemistry and be a distraction?

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