Blogtable: Good, Bad For The Lakers

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe 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.


Comeback Star of the Year | Doubts About the Heat | Best, Worst Cases for Lakers


Kobe Bryant

Can Kobe Bryant rise to lift the Lakers this season? (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE)

What are your (realistic) best-case and worst-case scenarios for the Lakers in the upcoming season?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comThe Lakers probably are due for a worst-case scenario, which they haven’t experienced since, when, George Mikan misplaced his eyeglasses? OK, not quite. But when you miss the postseason just once in 19 years and claim five of the last 14 NBA championships, you’re living awfully well. The league’s 99 Percenters, meanwhile, wouldn’t mind seeing a Forum-blue-and-gold plunge into the lottery. And while no one wishes Kobe Bryant ill, a comeback later rather than sooner wouldn’t upset rivals. So “worst” would mean no playoffs and lousy lottery luck. Best? With their depth chart, a quickie Kobe return and a resurgent Pau Gasol maybe could snag a No. 8 seed.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comWorst-case is Kobe takes much longer to return than he expected and/or he just can’t do what he’s always done, unable to explode off the dribble, can’t stop on a dime, can’t rise up and can’t nail down his jumper. Kobe might seem superhuman, but he’s not. So we’ll see. Best-case is he feels great, plays great and maybe even returns with a little perspective that allows Steve Nash to operate the offense, which would seemingly aid Nash, help Pau Gasol and massively take pressure off Kobe’s freshly healed foot. But Kobe has to foster that harmony.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comBest case: No. 7 or 8. That is possible. But that also means Kobe Bryant comes back strong, Steve Nash is the Steve Nash of last season but with good health, Pau Gasol is solid, and the patch job at small forward/backup shooting guard gives the Lakers something. Worst case: A season more like 2012-13 and being thankful to be in the same division as the Kings and Suns (for appearance’s sake).

John Schuhmann, NBA.comTheir range is somewhere between eighth and 12th in the West. Maybe Kobe Bryant will be back in November and maybe Steve Nash has something left in the tank, but it’s clear that this will be a very bad defensive team. They ranked 19th defensively last season and their best two defenders — Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace — are gone. Their roster is littered with defensive liabilities (Hello, Nick Young!) and Pau Gasol is only decent defender left. So things will be ugly on that end of the floor and the Lakers won’t be able to hang with the top six or seven teams in the West.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: You had to throw the word “realistic” in there, huh? Because of the Lakers’ impressive history, there are very few teams that not only have such high expectations, but that can be argued to be considered realistic. As far as best case, I’d say winning a playoff series would probably be considered a good season, especially considering how we just don’t know what Kobe’s availability and efficacy is going to be like this season. Worst case? If the Lakers start sending scouts to Kansas games a few weeks into the season, well, that might make for a tough season for Lakers fans.

Aldo Avinante, NBA Philippines: The Lakers could probably sneak into the playoffs, and a second round appearance would be great for them. Pau Gasol will return to All-Star form this year, while Kobe will be back to 100 percent by the end of the year — and break a few more records along the way. The worst case scenario is that the new recruits will have a hard time meshing with the team, a slow start will cause them to miss the Playoffs and Kobe begins to think about retiring from the game.

Philipp Dornhegge, NBA DeutschlandBest case: Kobe makes an early return, plays like his old self and immediately finds his groove back with Pau and Nash. Together they lead a young and dynamic team into the Playoffs, where they lose in the first round. Worst case: Kobe reinjures himself, Nash declines rapidly and the young supporting cast is overwhelmed. The Lakers finish last in the Pacific Division. Or maybe the worst case turns out to be the best with regards to the future.

41 Comments

  1. sanjay says:

    it would be spurs vs heat again come to think of it. None of the western teams other than spurs are well rounded;ditto for the heat on the east! The clippers, nets, houstons,chicago would be pretenders again!

  2. sanjay says:

    I have no idea what kobe bryant is doing playing with a non contender other than getting money it does not servie any purpose( which he would make anyway with endorsments). Moreover he is losing another year without chasing the 6th ring. They lost howard, so what? They could not get another superstar for the same money? Or retool properly to compete for the championship this year as well? It is a terrible management waiting for chip to fall in place after 2014. By which time I am afraid it would be too late for kobe and co!

  3. migsrocks says:

    Why dont we all just wait and see what really happens, Me living in seattle now but growing up in California and a die hard lakers fan, No one works harder than Mr, Bryant in the NBA. I do belikeve all this low ball talk about the LAKERS will definetly motivate them to strive for perfection…. I cant wait to see all the haters get shut down….

  4. Cripple Rapist says:

    Underated??? Really??? 30 million a year for kobe underrated??? Does kobe make his team mates good??? uhm NO… Ok I got your point… I know kobe is your GOD, Everyone waits for them last season… the completion of their so called superteam of Howard,MWP, Nash,Pau ang your God kobe… News Flash!!!! They tallied 0-7, now do you expect us to believe you? with much garbage bench old starters, and a No D coach??? You’re not dreaming nephew, It’s already a nightmare WAKE UP….

  5. LAKERforLIFE says:

    BEST CASE: KOBE gets back still MVP CALIBER or BETTER than last year…
    WORST CASE: KOBE can’t PLAY at a superstar level anymore.

    *HEALTHY KOBE +SUMMER OF 2014 :D
    ……….LAKERS BABY!

  6. Brandon says:

    I love how everyone says Kobe is a ball hog. He takes less shot attempts the a lot of other players no one calls ball hogs. He usually is forced with a few seconds left on shot clock cause no one else could do anything with it. Everyone that calls Kobe a ball hog doesn’t watch the games and are just a idiot Kobe hater. I love how underrated they are I think they can surprise a lot of people this year if they stay healthy.

  7. mark alvin says:

    best case for the lakers this coming season is number 8 seed in the west, that will only happen if kobe could return and if he can play without thinking of his injury. another best is that if nash and gasol will regain thier regular averages same as before. the worst for them is not qualify for the playoffs this year and to record the worst win-loss record.

  8. Marsellus Wallace says:

    @LBJKIN6JAMES

    I know you’re a Heat fan and you hate Kobe Bryant and the Lakers and all, but if you actually knew something about basketball you would know that the NBA draft is a very good way in getting your team back together. The Lakers should have good cap space for free agents in the future and if they bomb one year they will get high draft pick which should lead to another potential all-star. So yeah, I see the excellent organization that is The Los Angeles Lakers to return to it’s excellence pretty soon. Kobe may not win his 6th ring but you seem so sure so you must be right. Kobe Bryant will play through any injury and is a tough guy unlike (*cough* LeBron *cough*). I doubt his injury will seriously end his career and if it does, Kobe won 5 rings, 3 Finals MVP’s and accomplished so much that he is definitely one of the all-time greats alongside, MJ, Bird, Magic, Kareem, Duncan, Wilt, Russell, West etc.

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      The Lakers should do what Boston did with Pierce to Kobe… Trade Kobe for some young talent, and start officially re-building, not trying to “win now” so Kobe can get a 6th ring. The lakers need to re-build but Kobe’s ego is in the way of them doing that ….
      The only way Kobe gets a 6th ring is if the Lakers traded him to one of the top championship contending teams

  9. blaz says:

    One thing is sure – they will be far better off without Howard…

    • marc says:

      nick young should stepup, ryan kelly should make a surprise rookie year, best case: swaggy p. mip, ryan kelly roy. worst case: kobe and nash reinjures themselves. who the hell are those soothsayers that predicted the already locked up 1-6. lol. nba is full of surprises ask milicic, ask oden, ask beasley, ask thecandyman,and nba is full of pumped up illprovethemwrong players, ask the beast, ask english, ask dirk, ask manu, ask kobe!

  10. Baptista Gomes Diogo says:

    Well I’m not going to say they will lose, you know Kobe is KOBE he will comeback better than before, his comeback will be better than D-Roses’ …The Lakers might surprise some of us this year. Trust me!

  11. Toocrunk says:

    All The Lakers need is Rajon Rondo, Carmello Anthony, and a good center. Everyone knows Kobe is almost out of the door as the superstar that represents The Lakers. Given this fact, Lebron, Melo, Rondo, and other superstars may look into making that team their own in the future being their contracts run out at the end of this season. The Lakers market is HUGE! Cap space will be BIG for them at the end of this season. They will make the playoffs this year…Cmon’ this is Kobe Bryant we are talking about. They are not winning a championship this year though.

  12. Karlo Garcia says:

    Best Case Scenario:Bryant heels quickly from his ACL tear,the old school Gasol & Nash healthy.Worst Case Scenario:Slow start to the season & D’Antoni gets fired & a new coaching change.

  13. Kane says:

    And this is a story…?

  14. J says:

    best case: Kobe is ready for the season opener and the Lakers get the 8th seed

    worst case: Kobe plays bout 39 games and Lakers miss playoffs

  15. Lakerfan418 says:

    Worst case?..Another injury plagued season like ’12-’13, with the D looking like lost children. Best Case?..Kobe comes back with a purpose, and all the talent they got in the off season comes together nicely. As a Lakers fan, it’s hard to admit this, but I think they’re better off with an average-good Center. Somebody who cares more about doing his job, and less about looking pretty. Sacre, HIll, Gasol, Kaman all fit that bill. Farmar’s back, and I believe Wesley Johnson has some talent in him. Add a couple of promising rookies, and there IS potential. MWP should’ve stayed, that was a mistake, but I understand the reason. NY looks strong this year, on paper. There’s already chemistry between the coach and players. As for L.A. If they can squeek into the playoffs with the season they had last year, I think they can do it. Biased, yes, but true.

  16. Gillsy says:

    The Lakers have a number of questions over them. First when and how good is Kobe when he comes back. Will it be a discussion from day one if the coach gets on with his players and if the team will finally be healthy to mesh. Probably 7th or 8th is about right but the west is quite deep. The other problem is that Lakers are not what they used to be as found out last year with the Howard saga players are not falling over themselves to sign with the Lakers like they used to. Even though I think Melo will go there next year, their championship teams of the 90′s and 00′s both had excellent coaches who had players who got the best out of the teams.

  17. aLien says:

    Lakers fan here and yes they should go for top 5 picks (or trade for them) and try something after those picks next next season and kobe will agree cuz that would be his best shot for 6th ring youth + talent + experience = finals

  18. Wade says:

    Dont the Suns get the Lakers 1 round pick?

  19. Banks says:

    It seems everyone forgets about the nature of the game. yeah the lakers make the playoffs they’re the Lakers even if its 7 or 8 seed they make it, the have enough fundamentaly sound players to sneak into the playoffs. And im pretty sure trades will be made that will suprise all yall haters…

  20. Truth Teller! says:

    Best case Steve Nash makes these young basketball catapults good! And accurate. And they play their role and they make some noise!
    Worse case. Kobe, Nash, Pau, Westbrook, Durant, Lebron, Wade, Rose, Curry, Carmelo, Nowitzki, Irving, CP3, B.Griffin, P.George, Parker, Duncan, and Ginobli all sustain season ending injuries, and Dwight Howard wins a ring. (in a game 7, 3 point victory against the Wizards after Wall fouls out in the first quarter.) Hey you said realistic that’s the worst case, and the only way it will happen.

  21. Ring 17 says:

    The Lakers will be about the same as they were last year. Dwight didn’t really help them except on defense. No Howard but better team chemistry (the Spaniard will have a big season) equals a 7th or 8th seed.

  22. Najee Fareed says:

    Since when is Kobe Bean Bryant not a decent defender?

  23. Tom says:

    Lakers are going to be terrible, they barely made the playoffs and now they’ve lost Howard, Jamison, Earl Clark and Metta for nothing… Best case scenario is Kobe rests and they get a good lottery pick.

  24. ko0kie says:

    they hardly made the playoffs last year so how they wanna do it this year without Howard, injured Kobe and a year older Steve Nash and Pau Gasol? it’s not like the support cast got any stronger than last year. it would be the best for the franchise if kobe wouldn’t rush the return, forget this season and hope for a high lottery pick along with some solid free-agents next year..

  25. installerx says:

    Best case: Kobe allows Steve Nash to operate the offense, which would seemingly aid Nash, help Pau Gasol!! 7-8th possibly.
    Worst case: Kobe ball hogs again and everyone on the team never plays to their potential. 12 seed for sure.

  26. VinoLand says:

    Last year the Lakers got Howard and everybody was expecting them to win it all hands down… we saw how it went. Now nobody is putting a dime on their upcoming season.. let’s just hope they prove themselves wrong even more than last time.
    Maybe the team is a little less under pressure because no one thinks they will do much and this hopefully turns out to be good, expecially for the new ones. I don’t know, but I expect the Lakers will show themselves capable of upsetting many predictions.. In any case I can’t wait for this season to begin!

  27. NBA Rook says:

    I hope the best for kobe and the lakers, hopefully they can prove everyone wrong this up coming season.
    ESPN said 12th seed? Im pretty sure they can make it to play offs, though this season is gonna be really tough with all the superstars in a team.

    HURRY UP OCTOBER 29th ! Just wanna watch some goddamn NBA already !

    • Mark says:

      They could make the playoffs, but will they? I say no. Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Rockets, Grizzlies, and Warriors should be locks for the top 6 seeds. Then you still have the Nuggets, Trail Blazers, Timberwolves, and maybe the Pelicans and Mavericks who will all be fighting for the final 2 seeds. Lakers are in for a rough season.

  28. U heard it here first says:

    I mean SERIOUSLY as Steve Kerr was talking about in one of his posts, the new rules are made for this, If LA-land are smart they trade away everything and go for that first pick or atleast a TOP5. and with this upcoming draft…. WORTH

    I mean you are talking about where they are gonna end up and so on, WHY would they want to end up 8-12th spot?
    its like NOMANSLAND.

    Go out public, tell the fans we are throwing this season so we can get better since STERN made these new rules and we would be dumb not to utilize them.

    RISPEKKKT

  29. U heard it here first says:

    Lakers gonna drop the season and by some miracle get the NR1 draft pick,
    WIGGINGS to lakers gonna seal the future of the franchise and frankly the league.

    Rispekt

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      Lakers are done for a while …… Kobe is never going to get that 6th ring, ever.

      • for a while, that means 1 year….they probably won’t win any championships this year…might just clinch the 8th spot or not make it to the playoffs then get a lottery caliber player (might even be 1st overall)…and with all that cap space left, sign Gasol, Kobe + 2 other franchise caliber players + Nash is still in contract….so yeah…not going to get that 6th ring? hahahaha…nice joke bro

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        @ Don’t click my name

        Are you really this dumb? I know your a Laker fan .. but come on man …. come on …. Your delusional at this point.
        Nash ? really …. Nash is a shell of himself, he’ll be 40 in February. Kobe is still recovering from an injury that is so severe it is known to end careers. Pau Gasol cant go a season without getting injured.
        And what 2 other all star caliber players are you talking about ?? Nobody wants to sign with the Lakers to play for a terrible coach and an older Kobe who just wants to hog the ball? And even if they do sign Melo or another all-star, do you really think they will be able win a championship in 1-2 years..Chemistry takes time, time that Kobe doesn’t have.. The Lakers don’t even have a strong core, they’re a beat up, old & washed up, has-been team … so yeah …. unfortunately Kobe is never, ever getting that 6th ring, ever. & the Laker Franchise better get ready for the dark ages, because it will a longggg longggg time before they shine again.

    • jhbh says:

      lol, cause what the league needs is another good lakers team. if anything the league needs more small market teams like the grizz playing well to sustain itself going forward

      • Ronald says:

        Kobe won back to back title 09- 10. Without superstars on his team that’s y I say Kobe is the greatest Lebron bought his ring he needed 4 superstars to get that’s y he’s not the greatest

      • sick says:

        so how many MVP does kobe have idiot? kobe is done lol

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        oh Ronald… Kobe won in 09-10 with two 7 footer all-stars… Andrew Bynum / Pau Gasol. Get your facts straight bud.

    • Daniel says:

      Nahh. Wiggins belongs to Celtics. Watch

      • juggernaut584 says:

        LBJKin6james, Andrew Bynum didn’t make an all-star team until a season after L.A.’s back to back titles. Although he was formidable when he was in the game, most of the crunch time minutes were logged by Lamar Odom, who by the way, was not an all-star, and didn’t win his 6th man award until the season after the titles. Additionally, Pau Gasol only made one all-star appearance as a reserve in ’06 before he started playing with Kobe. These players earned little or no accolades until they teamed up with the Black Mamba. Meanwhile Lebron James joined Wade & Bosh, who had several all-star appearances and a Finals MVP under their belt before teaming up with James. Now I don’t know what other 2 superstars Ronald is referring to unless he’s talking about Miami’s 2nd title run with Ray Allen; which would still only make 3 superstars, but Ray is past his superstar days even though he is still a clutch threat from 3pt range in big games. Either way, Wade, Bosh, and Ray definitely did not need Lebron to become household names, while Bynum & Gasol were barely on the map before they joined the Lake show. Keep it real young killa.