Blogtable: Lakers’ Season Outlook

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Blogtable Week 1: Harden Trade | Under-the-radar stories | Lakers’ outlook

The Lakers went 0-8 in the preseason. What’s the worst case and best case for this team this season? What do you expect out of them?

Steve Aschburner: The worst-case scenario is one in which panic drives everything, from overreaction to the sputtering start and calls for Mike Brown‘s head, to endless speculation about the return of Jeannie Buss‘ boyfriend and a season in which they never really get traction. Best case? The Lakers travel along this learning curve fast, figure out the best ways for Steve Nash to trigger their attack and play up to their 65-victory potential. I’m still expecting a stellar regular season, followed by the challenges of fatigue, injury concerns and matchups in a tough Western Conference playoff bracket. It’s either them or the Thunder in The Finals, more drama than we’ll get out East.

Fran Blinebury: That’s easy. They’re the Yankees. Best case: rings. Worst case: no rings. Despite all of the Hollywood stars sitting courtside, this isn’t the Oscars where “it’s an honor just to be nominated.” With OKC taking a short-term step back with the trade of James Harden, the Spurs’ age a factor and the Clippers not yet ready, I think they come out of the West and take down the Heat in the fantasy Finals commissioner David Stern wants as his farewell present.

Jeff Caplan: We’re talking preseason? The only thing notable about 0-8 is the injuries that forced that record. Kobe Bryant has dealt with multiple injuries, Dwight Howard is no doubt going to be sore at times after back surgery and Steve Nash’s back will always need monitoring. So a crop of injuries is a worst-case scenario. But, enough of that. The best case is what I expect: Exciting, hold-onto-your-hat, must-see basketball, the kind of holy-cow, did-you-just-see-that kind of stuff that L.A. and the league hasn’t witnessed since Magic Johnson ran Showtime. We’re talking about a starting five with three Hall of Famers and maybe a fourth, if you throw in Pau Gasol.

Scott Howard-Cooper: I expect they will be one of the best teams in the league. It’s just going to take time. That was obvious from the beginning, and from opening night. Best-case scenario? A June parade, obviously. Worst case? A second-round elimination in a repeat of the last two playoffs. The preseason record means nothing, by the way.

Sekou Smith: The Lakers are going to be a work in progress until around Christmas. There is no way around it when you assemble that much talent and that many egos. This group is reminiscent of the 2003-04 Lakers who added Karl Malone and Gary Payton to the ShaqKobe matrix. They won a lot of games, made it to The Finals and almost won it all. But they were flawed from the start. They won on talent but didn’t have the chemistry (or luck and good health) to get past Detroit in The Finals.


  1. LAKERFAN4LIFE says:

    LAKERS NEED TO FIRE MIKE BROWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Of course the coach is to blame. How long did it take you as a child to figure out that fire could burn you? “HUH”…. This is just one of many life lessons we all go through. Unfortunately, Mike Brown (Clown) has not figured out that the Princeton offense is not suited for the personnel that he has. Yeah, its early in the season, but in my opinion you set somewhat of a preview during pre-season what your actual season might/ can amount to. From what I’ve seen so far Lakers are moving on the court like the teams of the 1960’s…Which simply won’t cut it in today’s style of play……Plain and simple….. we need more innovation and creativity on the court. Coach Brown, must go before this season turns into a disaster!

  3. Lakers have no shot at winning the NBA Championship due to a number of simple facts. It starts with their lack a deep and talented bench. The three stars of the team, Kobe, Nash and Howard are all injury prone with Kobe and Nash in their mid thirties. You can’t have Nash playing a lot of minutes and the Lakers don’t have the players needed to fill in the void when he is out. They don’t have a scorer or slasher to fill in for Kobe either. Howard is a force but can’t be counted on this season to make his free throws and that will deflate the team and kill them in the end game in the play-offs. Nash is going to be a defensive liability at times and is a step slower. Howard is being coached by the wrong free throw master. Mike Brown is not the right head coach and that is all I have to say for now on that subject.. My last comment is the killer. The team lacks chemistry, leadership and personality. This will be one of the worst Laker seasons ever and Mike Brown’s last with the Lakers. Chipper win the West, etc.

  4. Macubexx says:

    suddenly, the coach is to be blamed.. maybe becuase the exit is easier to spell than solution. or maybe this people have not seen the miami heat.. EARNED not given.

  5. Ryan says:

    They need to put the ball in Nash’s hands. Gasol is basically playing point guard out there right now. I mean, they have age, but they still have a decent amount of athletic ability. Kobe fans shouldn’t worry at all if they let Nash run the offense because he’ll find EVERYONE. It’s just the matter of making changes now that they’re under way in the season.

  6. sansei says:

    Please bring the Zen Master back… Mike Brown can’t even get a win with 4 superstars on his team….

  7. sam says:

    the losing streak continues.

  8. john doe dela cruise says:

    Definitely the heat (not of Miami) will be on Mike Brown. As a coach you gotta have in game change of strategy or read of the game and he has not exhibited that in LAL two regular season losses. Bench scoring is so poor not that LAL bench is good but if the so called right buttons were pushed by the coach then they should have a fairly decent bench scoring not like what happened in their first two games. DEFENCE is lacking, defensive rotation is poor and whether you are a ‘new team’ or not defensive rotation is an in game call of the coach. Give LAL a few more games to warm up then they get their acts together if the coach can get them to do it, otherwise call in the Zen master back!

  9. BigNikeB says:

    Never liked Brown as a pick as the Lakers coach. This roster is better than last years roster, and they simply do not look any better. One thing should look half decent-defense or offense. They both look bad. If you’re going to give up points night after night, well you better be able to put up a lot of points-and fast. If you’re going to slow the offense down with this Princeton offense, you better play better defense. It’s still the beginning of the season, let Brown go NOW.

  10. Kobe>Mj says:

    I think it may be too premature to be saying we need like browns head. All us laker fans knew from the beginning that we needed time to get in sync. I bet most of you don’t even know what Princeton offense is, if the lakers got the hang of it there offense would be unstoppable. Although I would like to see more of Nash w the ball

    • MJ is the GOAT says:

      Bruh you need to switch MJ & Kobe’s names around on you’re title, than you will be right. As far as the Lakers go yeah their currently 0-2 but they’ll be fine. They’ll win plenty of games and will be one of the top 3-4 teams in the league most likely, barring any major injuries to their key stars. Outside of Howard all the Lakers star players are pretty old so we have to keep that in mind.

  11. W/E says:

    No hope for a championship with this roster,they r done.

  12. Chief says:

    The best part of watching and reading the sports news are the comments from fans or not so fans. I find it amusing and entertaining on everyone’s comments. Yes, I’m a true Laker fan because I’m from California but also a NBA fan. Face it, last night was great for the Heat, they looked very promising and so did the Celtics. We (Lakers) are not close to that caliber. As expected (reality), it will take time to learn each other and of course a system. I’m sure everyone around Lakers franchise is aware of all the things that need to change or improve. All will take time and patience. Some pointed out about age; perfect example of you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Some mentioned about too many players with talents. This is when maturity and having one agenda/focus…team player. And of course someone will always hate on Kobe (81 points – possible achieving the All-Time NBA scorer). Kobe will be Kobe. Laker fan knows what he can do or become. As a Laker fan, I just want to enjoy watching a Laker game (especially the Californians has to pay extra to watch their local team- but was explained that we the viewers are paying the luxury tax for acquiring DH/Nash/Pau and keeping KB24). Last night was fun but not exciting. Laker fan are accustom to winning. It will happen, but not before (complaints from players for not getting the ball, understanding the offense (which offense?), “who’s team is it”, is Coach Brown going to fired? And of course the line up) the Lakers find an Identity not as individual player but as a team.

  13. lakermig says:

    why bring in nash if you gonna run the princeton O, I dont get it. And i would really not like to see another loss for a while now, 10 in a row is more than enough.

  14. Igryk says:

    Brown has to leave it is obviously!!! He has Lebron and got nothing its gona be the same here!!!!

  15. RememberThisDay says:

    I just watched ESPN sportscenter & hoped too see highlights of the blazers lakers game & all they showed was the nash injury & kobe talking … never showed highlights of how well the blazers played WTF???

  16. Macubexx says:

    Basketball is 5v5.. with just ONE ball to shoot.. but HONESTLY.. the Lakers are hahahahah the Lakers are hahahaha can’t stop sorry.. I’m a Heat Fan by the way..

    • Heat Hater says:

      And the Heat are hahahaha. And the heat are hahahaha. Sorry……I’m thinking about what the Heat will be after this season when they lose to this Laker team. I’m a Laker fan by the way.

  17. D-Eddie says:

    Everybody relax…it will take time for the Big 4 (Gasol, Dwight, Kobe & Nash) to gel and then they’ll hit their stride. You LA fans are always hitting the panic button.

  18. EB says:

    Im saying it from now, Coach brown needs to go. He’s saying he’s going to stay with the Princeton offense regardless and it’ll benefit in the long run. If he has yet to win a game with it, regardless if they counted or not, and if he continues to lose why would they keep using it. Brown isn’t using his players to their abilities, Nash is a up and down the court fast break player, so why is he walking the ball up. I’ve watched Orlando play many time and Dwight runs up the court and gets easy lobs, Kobe and Gasol can run as well so why walk the ball up? It seems to me coach brown is stubborn and wants to make a name for himself using the offense as Phil Jackson used the Triangle offense. Yes he’s a defensive coach but from what i saw last year as well as preseason the defense is still horrible. Hopefully Dwight will help. Look at all the Greatest Teams in any sport they have plays that use the strengths of the players.

  19. dredd5150 says:

    Kobe? A leader? Really? Best scorer in the game – sure. But a leader? LOL…

    • uoykcuf says:

      Right on, brother. He’s a good player but with a huge ego and on the other hand Coward is a rising star with a huge ego as well. Noone can gel them together. I will have a fun time seeing less laketards message this season.

  20. eric john yap says:

    lakers need deeper bench…

  21. Ao1 says:

    Lakers is done.

  22. Andrew Williams says:

    Mike Brown is a defensive coordinator. Where is Brian Shaw?

  23. 16going417 says:

    This is all Mike Browns fault. He has hall of fame players on his roster and he cannot beat teams that do not even have all stars on their roster. Mike Brown better realize this so called Princeton offense is not what the Lakers need to run. They have the maestro of pick and roll running their offense in Steve Nash and that is not the style they play?

    When you have hall of fame players on your team and you cannot win it is the COACHES fault plain and simple. And if everyone is waiting for the all-star break to appear and then the Lakers start to get it together it will be too late.

    Mike Brown’s head on a platter for me please!!!!!

    • WHAT?! says:

      I TOTALLY AGREE!! Not only they’re losing, but by a large margin! You can’t lose to a same team 3 times!! The Kings whooped their butts. Good coach teach their players to win after losing once or twice against the same team. learn from their mistakes. Lakers bench are not good, but they’re still NBA players. Mike Brown wants to blame on the bench later when they dont make the playoffs. but we need to realize it’s bad coaching!!

    • uoykcuf says:

      Right, after the coward trade, everyone crowning the lakers. And when they are losing now, it’s their coach’s fault. I just love laketards.

      • 16going417 says:

        First of all if you want to label all Lakers fans that is your business, but if you want to comment on my post you better make sure you are familiar with my previous posts. I have NEVER claimed victory before one game was played. I NEVER said I was for the Howard trade as I felt Bynum knew the offense better and could make free throws. I also said the Lakers tried to stack the team in 2004 and it did not work.

        I have always been against Mike Brown as I never felt he was the right coach for this team. So, you know where you can stick your comment/opinion. And right back at you with your reverse name.

      • uoykcuf says:

        My apology, you are one of the minority smart lakers fan. My bad again.
        So it’s 0-11 now + preseason and counting, any POV?

        I don’t think a coach change can fix this team, too many egos and weak bench. Not even Jax can fix this.

      • 16going417 says:

        No problem. I understand there are a lot of Lakers fans out there who just talk and do not understand the game. I also agree just a coach change will not help. Kobe called the Lakers fans stupid the other day for being impatient and wanting results now.

        However, the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So we might be stupid, but the coaching staff is crazy. The Lakers need to change the way they play offense and they need to focus more on transition defense and to stop turning the ball over so much.

        Lastly, they did beat Detroit, but that was not a real test. So, I hope people do not start to think everything is alright because it is not.

  24. Califan says:

    Lakers last night made me believe in Eddy Curry…EDDY CURRY!

  25. Brown says:

    I agree with all comments above. They have the deepest team in the NBA. They have Odom, Meta, Gasol and on.

  26. Game Time says:

    Let’s see, this is the same group of writers that wrote off the Lakers in 2010 as not likely to repeat, said the Heat would win in 2011 and that OKC would win in 2012. So basically you guys either don’t know what you’re talking about, or you are spoon feeding these optimistic predictions to worried LAL fans; I’d say the later is true. People are ignoring the signs of how troubled this team is. Yes preseason matters when you don’t win a single game, and it had nothing to do with injuries as they played teams who did not use their full roster or starters to the max, yet they did and lost. This is the culmination of bad coaching, bad defensive players, age, new (inefficient) offense and basically two many cooks spoiling the broth. Now the Lakers still have a great team in terms of talent and ability, but they don’t have the time during this season or during the game to make it work for a championship. Anyhow that’s just my take and to quote Charles “I could be wrong, but it ain’t likely”.

    • Bongoman55 says:

      Lakers do not have to win anything within the next 8 or so games. They will win 50 games a go int the playoffs and do some damage.But at this rate they cannot beat OKC. Nor the Heat.

  27. Knight says:

    The lakers are not scaring anyone if they thought there were think again the proof is in last nights game vs Dallas, as big as a laker fan i am that is the truth