Los Angeles Lakers: Preseason Experts Panel

Experts Panel: Which Eastern Conference team is the Lakers' strongest challenger?

September, 15, 2010
9/15/10
12:00
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
With training camp around the corner, we asked a group of local and national roundball experts to weigh in on some of the big questions about the Lakers heading into the 2010-2011 season. Call it a preseason prognosticationpallooza.

Our panel: Dave McMenamin (ESPNLA.com), Elliott Teaford (L.A. Daily News), Kevin Ding (O.C. Register), Kevin Arnovitz(ESPN TrueHoop), Eric Pincus(Hoopsworld), Chris Clark (Silver Screen and Roll), J.A. Adande (ESPN.com), Darius Soriano (Forum Blue and Gold), Kurt Helin (ProBasketballTalk.com), Mark Medina (L.A. Times.com), Arash Markazi (ESPNLA.com), Andy and Brian Kamenetzky (ESPNLA.com Land O'Lakers Blog)

Brian Babineau/Getty Images
The Celtics were the biggest threat in a seven game series for last year's Lakers. Our panel of experts sees more of the same this season.



Today's question:

Which Eastern Conference team has the best chance to beat the Lakers in a seven-game series?

The Results:


Boston: 9 votes
Miami: 3 votes
Orlando: 1 vote

My Take: Miami... Boston... Miami... Boston. On the one hand, hype notwithstanding I do feel Miami will finish the season as the Eastern Conference's top seed. On the other, until I see how they stand up to a strong front court, can you say they're a bigger threat to L.A. than the Celtics? I'll take Pau Gasol on both ends vs. Chris Bosh, and what does Miami do with Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum? Maybe I'm just trying not to grant too much, too fast to the Heat, but the playoffs are about matchups, and Boston still lines up better against the Lakers.

Other Responses:

(Read full post)

Experts Panel: Which team is the strongest Western Conference challenger?

September, 13, 2010
9/13/10
9:35
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
With training camp around the corner, we asked a group of local and national roundball experts to weigh in on some of the big Lakers questions heading into the 2010-2011 season. Call it a preseason prognosticationpallooza.

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images
It's a close call, but the majority of our experts panel see Kevin Durant and the Thunder as the team most capable of knocking off the Lakers in a seven-game series.


Our panel: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky (ESPNLA.com Land O'Lakers Blog), Elliott Teaford (L.A. Daily News), Kevin Ding (O.C. Register), Kevin Arnovitz (ESPN TrueHoop), Eric Pincus (Hoopsworld), Chris Clark (Silver Screen and Roll), J.A. Adande (ESPN.com), Darius Soriano (Forum Blue and Gold), Kurt Helin (ProBasketballTalk.com), Mark Medina (L.A. Times.com), Arash Markazi (ESPNLA.com), and Dave McMenamin (ESPNLA.com),

Today's question:

Which Western Conference team has the best chance to beat the Lakers in a seven-game series?

The Results:


Oklahoma City- 5.5 votes
Portland- 3.5 votes
Dallas- 2 votes
Houston- 1 vote, but a lot of love as a serious dark horse
Nobody
- 1 vote

My Take: Two teams -- Oklahoma City and Portland -- stand out. Both have the ability to make life difficult for the Lakers. A healthy Blazers team has backcourt strength (Brandon Roy), a stong wing defender (Nicolas Batum) and frontcourt depth (Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, plus Joel Przybilla, if he recovers from knee surgery). We saw last season what OKC was capable of, and if the Thunder get decent play from Cole Aldrich and more development from Serge Ibaka (thus beefing up the frontcourt), I'll give them the slightest of edges over Portland, probably because it's hard for me to picture a healthy Portland team.

The wild card? Houston, with Yao Ming, Kevin Martin, Aaron Brooks, and the standard dose of Houston grit, would be no picnic to face.

Other responses:

(Read full post)

Preseason Experts Panel: How many wins for the '10-'11 Lakers?

September, 9, 2010
9/09/10
12:04
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
With the training camp around the corner, we asked a group of local and national roundball experts to weigh in on some of the big questions about the Lakers heading into the 2010-2011 season. Call it a preseason prognosticationpallooza.

Our panel: Dave McMenamin (ESPNLA.com), Elliott Teaford (L.A. Daily News), Kevin Ding (O.C. Register), Kevin Arnovitz (ESPN TrueHoop), Eric Pincus (Hoopsworld), Chris Clark (Silver Screen and Roll), J.A. Adande (ESPN.com), Darius Soriano (Forum Blue and Gold), Kurt Helin (ProBasketballTalk.com), Mark Medina (L.A. Times.com), Andy and Brian Kamenetzky (ESPNLA.com Land O'Lakers Blog)

Today's question:

How many games will the Lakers win this season?

Average projection: 63.42
Highest projection: 68 (Ding)
Lowest projection: 59 (Helin)

My take: First things first: Get any visions of 73 wins out of your head. I don't think they'll get there, and neither did anyone on our panel. The Lakers won't push for records, nor should they. But assuming everyone stays reasonably healthy, the Lakers have all the ammunition needed to pile up plenty of victories. Star power, elite coaching, great balance, and an improved bench. It's all there. The road will still contain enough bumps (and moments of boredom) to keep the victory total from growing truly ostentatious, but the results won't exactly be weak sauce. 63 wins.

Other responses:

(Read full post)

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Kobe Bryant
PTS AST STL MIN
23.7 4.0 1.7 30.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 8.7
AssistsJ. Lin 5.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.7
BlocksE. Davis 1.3