Blogtable: Kobe hot, Lakers in playoffs?

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


BLOGTABLE: Home sweet new home | Kobe and the Lakers | Is there a hot seat?


Kobe Bryant (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

> With Kobe healthy and playing like he was, say, two years ago, are the Lakers a playoff team this season? Why (or why not)?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comWhat Charles said. It’s over for the Lakers as a playoff team as currently constructed. They dare not use Kobe Bryant as heavily as they were before his Achilles injury, unless they’re looking for a way for insurance to pay a chunk of his noxious salary, for he surely would break down again. And he doesn’t have enough help, not in the West, not to be taken seriously.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: With Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, a pair of All-Stars, joining him in the starting lineup, Kobe was pushing his body to the the limit two years ago — and still the Lakers barely made it into the playoffs. He’d played 92 consecutive minutes in two games on the night his Achilles tendon blew out. Howard left. Now Gasol is gone. Carlos Boozer and Julius Randle hardly fill their shoes. Steve Nash is broken and you just can’t sell me that Swaggy P is a difference maker. If Kobe can drag the Lakers to the No. 8 seed, it would be one of the great achievements of his career. But there aren’t enough margaritas left in the summer to get me to the point where I’d see that happening.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: I don’t think so. First off, which team that finished in the top eight is going to drop out? The bottom three teams — Golden State, Memphis, Dallas — all seem to be better off. Phoenix and New Orleans should continue to improve and challenge for a playoff spot. Anybody envision Portland or Houston free-falling out of the playoffs (barring significant injury)? Secondly, the Lakers roster is an odd mix of talent cobbled together after the franchise was shunned by the summer’s top free agents. Only then did L.A. hire new coach Byron Scott. If they do make the playoffs, mark me down for Scott as Coach of the Year.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: No. Because they finished 22 games out of the playoffs last season and would need Kobe playing like he was eight or 10 years ago to come close to making up that difference when there are so many holes in other places. Because it’s not easy to identify a 2014 playoff team in the West that will drop out and Phoenix and New Orleans are easily ahead of the Lakers and the other hopefuls for “next in” predictions. And healthy or not, Kobe will still be 36. He can still be good, and anyone who counts him out right now is making a mistake, but he can’t be enough to lift this team that high.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Absolutely not, because their defense is going to be awful and the Western Conference is too good. The last time Kobe was healthy, he was pretty efficient offensively, but was often the source of L.A.’s defensive breakdowns. And at 36 years old and coming off of two leg injuries, he may be the best defender in the Lakers’ backcourt this season. The frontline, meanwhile, is lacking guys who erase mistakes on that end of the floor.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comNo. You are asking if we can put Kobe in a time machine and have him play healthy the way he did two years ago would this current Lakers’ crew be a playoff team, which is wholly unfair to Kobe and all of the players who will join him on this team. The Lakers from two years ago have been scattered to the wind. Dwight Howard is in Houston. Pau Gasol is in Chicago. Earl Clark is in … sorry Earl. The fact is, as good as the Western Conference was two years ago, it took Kobe pushing himself to the brink to help the Lakers claw their way into the playoffs with the eighth and final spot. The Western Conference is better and deeper now than it was two years ago. The Lakers, quiet frankly, are not.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blogThey are not. Two years ago they squeaked into the playoffs, and that was with Kobe literally breaking himself down the stretch to try and will them into the postseason. They made it, Kobe didn’t. Even if Kobe is 100 percent this season, his supporting cast isn’t as strong as that 2012-13 team, that still had Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace. This year’s Lakers team should see a rotation around Kobe including Julius Randle, Carlos Boozer, Nick Young and Jeremy Lin. But in a stacked Western Conference, I just don’t think that’s enough firepower to carry these Lakers to the postseason.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA Greece: Let’s be honest. Nobody can expect that Kobe will play like he used to. Many players have defeated injuries in the past, but none managed to beat Father Time. Bryant is 36 and that’s the bad news. Answering the “if” question, I think that the Lakers can become a playoff team, because Kobe has proven himself as a leader of a team that revolves around him. It will be interesting to see how Carlos Boozer will play (especially if he will be used at the 3 spot) and what kind of impact will Julius Randle, potentially one hell of a scoring big man, will have.

Simon Legg, NBA Australia: They’re a better team with Kobe Bryant but I certainly don’t think they’re a playoff team. The West is so competitive right now that it would take a monumental effort for an aging Kobe to take this team all the way to the playoffs. Aside from, say, Phoenix, a lot of those borderline playoff teams like Dallas and potentially Memphis have improved in the offseason so you could legitimately have a 45-47 win team miss out on the playoffs again. Can you see the Lakers winning 48 games? It’ll be fun to watch Kobe try though, he’s probably the only guy in the organization with a ferocious win-now edict, while the rest of the organization looks to preserve money, sign guys on short-term deals and look ahead to free agency in 2015. Also, are there multiple defensive stoppers on this Lakers team? Didn’t think so.

Aldo Avinante, NBA Philippines: Yes, if they stay healthy; that is the biggest issue they have the last two years. I think their rotation at the bigs this year is better with a healthy Jordan Hill and new additions; veteran Carlos Boozer, athletic forward Ed Davis and highly touted rookie Julius Randle. Nick Young, Wesley Johnson and Jordan Clarkson will provide the help at the wings with specific strengths to their games to complement Kobe while Jeremy Lin and Steve Nash form a good combination at point guard. Although they will be at a disadvantage on defense they will surely be great on the offensive side of the court. But the main reason is Kobe himself: a healthy ‘Black Mamba’ is a complete player who will provide leadership, clutch shooting, defense and scoring outbursts thereby taking over some games.

109 Comments

  1. Alnie Mendoza Sobremonte says:

    I believe that Kobe Bryant can be hot seat in playoffs again next year , I Believe that he can do more points again for the Los Angeles Lakers . Kobe Bryant is the best player for me and I believe there will be no impossible if he plays again for LAL .

    Alnie Mendoza Sobremonte
    Contributor:

    http://ourhappyschool.com/physical-education

  2. jdub455 says:

    Nope… Lol… this team aint gonna go anywhere with the current boozer-kobe combo… Lol… As great as a player Mamba is, I don’t think he’s a great leader as Jordan/Bird/Magic were….

  3. KK says:

    You can easily see the Lakers with a good offense, Kobe = 20 Lin = 15 Boozer = 15 Young = 15, Hill = 10, Bench = 20-25. That’s 95-100 points. But can a team where the best defensive player is Jordan Hill playing the 5 position or a 36 year old Bryant really keep other teams under 100 on a consistent basis? Not really going to happen.

    You’re sure as hell not making the playoffs in the West if you’re averaging a negative point differential night in and night out.

    There are no number of clutch time Kobe miracles that can squeak out small wins to make up for the nights that streaky, volume shooters like Kobe, Nick Young, and Lin go cold and the Lakers get blown out of the water.

  4. Dom says:

    I dont like the fact that these reporters keep throwing the Lakers down. Sure Kobe may not be the 28 year old Kobe anymore but he still puts in work. Now you got “good” not great players like Julius Randle, Jeremy Lin, and Carlos Boozer. Then theres the “solid” players like Nick Young and Jordan Hill

  5. emf0823 says:

    the nba has become a pool of over paid good players who feel they should not put everything on the line for chips

  6. TTKIN says:

    At least Kobe is getting recognition for having to will them to the playoffs that year. However, I am still confused why no one is saying “he shouldn’t have had to. They had Dwight.”

    Nash, Pau, and Metta were injured that year. Kobe was willing to put everything on the line. How come Dwight wasn’t? He wants to be known as the best center in the game but what happened? Got himself kicked out of the last game as a Laker while taking his jersey off. Anyone who thought he was resigning with the Lakers after that is delusional. Wants to be the best center but when the going gets tough, he gets soft.

  7. Donte Freeman says:

    No cause some people like Derrick Rose can return but I feel like 36 back from a bad injury give it up

  8. I do not think they reach the playoffs

  9. Steve K says:

    They should have had the full team play in Summer League. Kobe could have got another championship that way.

  10. ben hafalla says:

    I ‘m confident they will make the playoffs – Bring in Beasley to take care of scoring
    - when Kobe takes a break – 30 minutes for Kobe and 18 minutes to Beasley + 35 points
    every game. Cheer !!!!

  11. jimmy says:

    I am a huge laker fan but their chances are slim. West powerhouse of spurs, clippers, thunder, grizzlies, warriors, blazers, mavericks, rockets are hard to knock out. I do see possibly the 8th spot opening up, because of rockets losing parsins, lin, and asik. But the suns, pelicans, nuggets are all knocking on the playoffs door.It depends on how well lin, clarkson, and randle can perform.

  12. what it issss says:

    Absolutely not. Lakers do not have the proper depth at certain positions, for example at the center position, they only have robert sacre and jordan hill. Jordan hill is an excellent player but is injury prone and cannot play the whole 48 minutes by himself. Sacre on the other hand, is a young raw player and doesn’t have the skill or leadership yet to lead his team and dominate at the center position. In this league most teams may play small, but the teams with a solid big are usually the teams that make it deep into the playoffs again and again. Kobe doesn’t dominate enough in todays game to single handedly lead his team to the playoffs. If they do make it to the playoffs (Very small chance) they won’t get past the first round for sure.

  13. davedeluxe128 says:

    Is it a 92 game season in Australia or is the math different?!
    If that guy is that off you know his opinion means nothing.

    • Desmodeus says:

      Last season the Phoenix Suns won 48 games and missed the playoffs so what exactly was your point?

    • Johnny says:

      He clearly meant a team that wins 45 to 47 games could miss the playoffs like the Suns did last season with 48 wins. Can’t believe that needed to be explained to you…

  14. sports fan says:

    The Spurs won last season for a number of very good reasons.
    1) They have the same coach who has won multiple championships in the past
    2) They have the same core group that has won multiple championships
    3) They have the best chemistry in the league
    4) Due to great management they have been the most consistent team for who knows how long

    The Heat went to the last 4 finals & won 2 for a number of very good reasons.
    1) They have the same coach who has coached them to 2 championships & 4 straight finals appearances
    2) They have the same core group that has won 2 championships
    3) They have excellent chemistry
    4) Great management built their team
    5) They had the best player for easily the last 4 seasons

    The Lakers have none of these! Therefore they won’t make the playoffs and IF they do then they definitely won’t win a championship.

  15. ignoranceIsbliss says:

    Its funny how these NBA fans think they know what’s gonna happen this upcoming season. That’s the thing. You don’t know for sure. Its tough but not impossible. For all you know.. I could be a horse in a banana suit. So the ignorance in some of these comments amazes me. How can someone know the scores or percentages . they are pros for a reason. That’s what they do. We are all just fans who have to respect the game not attempt to create it ourselves. NBA where amazing happens.

  16. Rohit Grover says:

    They’ll make the playoffs! After all they are the biggest and most supported franchise in the NBA! They’ll make it through Kobe or other means…

    Go Lakers!

  17. sports fan says:

    The Spurs won last season for a number of very good reasons.
    1) They have the same coach who has won multiple championships in the past
    2) They have the same core group that has won multiple championships
    3) They have the best chemistry in the league
    4) Due to great management they have been the most consistent team for who knows how long

    Miami went to the last 4 finals & won 2 for a number of very good reasons.
    1) They had the same coach who has coached them to 2 championships & 4 straight finals appearances
    2) They had the same core group that has won 2 championships
    3) They had excellent chemistry
    4) Great management built their team
    5) They had the best player for easily the last 4 seasons

    The Lakers have none of these! Therefore they won’t make the playoffs and IF they do then they definitely won’t win a championship.

    • Jay says:

      So your argument is basically they are champions because they are champions, which does not apply to making playoffs.

      FYI…Kupchak has been the Lakers GM since 2000, through 6 finals appearances and 4 nba titles.

      • sports fan says:

        You’ve obviously missed some of the humor in my post and you clearly can’t see that the reasons I’ve listed is what makes a championship team AND these reasons are even more important to make the playoffs in loaded west. Since the Lakers last championship they’ve had poor chemistry and poor management. Management was poor because the way it stacked it’s team 2 seasons ago didn’t provide good chemistry. And the hiring of Mike Brown and D’Antoni was horrible. If Jim Buss is to blame for these things then he’s still part of management.

        1)The Lakers coach has yet to win the big one and he lost 2 years in a row in the finals
        2)They no longer have a strong core group. Pau bolted, so who’s left?
        3)Their chemistry won’t be good enough to get enough wins to make the playoffs
        4)Management paid Kobe too much money & lost out in free agency. Poor management.

        The Lakers need all of these things to be better than what they are in order to make the playoffs.
        So I’d say my points are very valid.

    • TerryMcGinnis says:

      LoL I agree with Jay. You can’t say a team won’t make playoffs because they don’t share the traits of two former championship teams.
      1) You can get to the playoffs with a bad coach… ask the Rockets.
      2) The NBA reshuffles a lot… core groups are rare and not needed for the playoffs…. ask the Hawks
      3) You can’t predict chemistry
      4) Agreed with paying Kobe too much money for cap reasons but it was compensatory for his length of service with the organization… If i was a player, i would say that’s good management. They did miss out on the 2 big names in free agency but they didn’t miss out. They robbed the Rockets and made some cheap effective pickups.

      So yes, I’d say your points are not really valid.

      • sports fan says:

        1)To say whether or not the Rockets coach is bad is subjective. McHale did coach his team into the playoffs so that says something.
        2)Core groups are not rare in the west. Oklahoma, Portland, Clippers, Golden State, San Antonio, Houston, Memphis, & Dallas all have core groups that have been together longer than what the Lakers currently have. You mentioned the Hawks but they’re in the weaker east.
        3)Core groups that have been together for awhile develop chemistry. It’s developed over time. The Lakers are already behind the other teams in terms of chemistry since their roster is so new.
        4)Because of the Lakers pedigree they should’ve signed at least one big name but couldn’t. None of their free agency pickups makes up for losing Gasol. Tim Duncan has been in the league almost as long as Kobe but didn’t take the compensatory payday for his length of service but instead chose to always take a pay cut to clear cap space.

        Coaching, core groups, chemistry, and multiple big name talents need to be interwined for a lower seeded team to make the playoffs in the west. My points are very valid because they’re applied to the western conference. And they will be much clearer when the Lakers don’t make the playoffs.

  18. Kobe-Nash-Hill-Boozer-Young says:

    Go LA.. You can make it.. TEAMWORK is the key.. Just like Spurs.. They doubted Spurs but with their teamwork, they took the championship.. I just wish that they can get a real center.. GO LAKERS!!

  19. bodjee says:

    The lakers will be fishing by the lake when the playoff starts!

  20. timothyhoward says:

    Kobe.bro.I love you man.but it’s over man.the Lakers are done as a playoff team.I’m so sorry.it’s time to rebuild.

  21. harriethehawk says:

    I’m no Faker fan, but hey, if they do make it to the playoffs, I will be impressed. Houston you may have a problem.

  22. Don't count out the Lakers... says:

    Lakers can be a .500 team if Kobe and the rest stay healthy, but thats probably not going to be enough to make the playoffs in the West. For sure with Kobe’s (and Byron Scott’s) “win now” mentality they will have a much bigger impact than all these haters below are dreaming of…

  23. onamission says:

    We’re on a mission baby. Go Lakers!

  24. Tom says:

    These articles writing the Lakers off should be music to Lakers fans ears. If the media say Kobe can’t do it, and list a whole lot of somewhat realistic reasons why he can’t, that pretty much means he is going to do it. As GV said the other week, ‘I wouldn’t bet against him.’ When Kobe wants to do something, he does it. Greatest will to win out of anyone to ever play the game. Any team with Kobe Bryant on it always has a realistic chance of making the playoffs.

  25. Ds us says:

    Look how many people commented even on may or may not be playoff team Lakers. Frankly everyone caresless about any other team. Only stuff that sells in the nba are a) ppl hate or love the lakers, knicks, celtics, bulls. Others can win countless titles nobody cares.

  26. Teddy Bubbles says:

    Don’t underestimate Boozer either. You gotta love going for a ride on the Booze Cruise.

    He wasn’t a good fit with the Bulls slow, grind-it-out, deliberate style of offense, and yes, he was overpaid… but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad player. Still put up 13 and 8 in just about 25 MPG…. Even only playing restricted minutes, he was still a double-double threat every night.

  27. tcorbridge89 says:

    The Lakers are my favorite team, Kobe is one of my all-time favorite players, but I’m first and foremost a general fan of the game of basketball and I’m a realist. The chances of the Lakers making the playoffs are incredibly slim. I feel fairly optimistic about Kobe’s upcoming performance, his potential for further injury notwithstanding. I also feel fairly optimistic that despite the loss of Pau Gasol, for whom I have enormous respect, this year’s Lakers will be superior to last year’s Lakers with the acquisition of Jeremy Lin and Julius Randle, and Boozer too I guess. I won’t say it is impossible for the Laker’s to make the playoffs, because much crazier things have happened in the history of the NBA. But I will say that we Lakers fans should remember that it takes time to rebuild, and the Western Conference has absolutely no playoff bracket space for teams in rebuilding phase. Unfortunately, all evidence strongly suggests that there are at least eight teams in the west that are currently much better than L.A.

  28. Kobeballhog says:

    Lol only the writer from the philippines is daydreaming that lakers will still be in the playoffs, wake up fanboy just like all disillusional kobe fanboys kobe is done, well he will still put up 30 shots a game and try to score 30pts a game while having 30% shooting percentage, the moment kobe ballhogged the teams salary cap with his super overpriced salary he already held hostage the whole franchise to dumps

  29. Teddy Bubbles says:

    Y’alls just scared of the Black Mamba! Go ahead, keep doubting… That’s just what the Mamba wants you to do.

    Overlooking the impact Kobe has in a basketball game is like overlooking the impact gravity has when jumping off a cliff.

  30. 691yapeace says:

    LeBron be like I want more superstars!!

  31. allan600 says:

    lakers 4 ever. kobe nation. prove all this haters that have no respect for ones os the greatest all time the black mamba. still active after two injuries at edge of 36 u all have to respect this man named kobe

  32. Anthony says:

    All of those laker haters who believe That the lakers will not make it to the play off, they were the ones who the lakers hurt winning all of those CHAMPIONSHIP CUP , And finger rings however the lakers will bounce back 2014/ 2015

  33. kobefanatic says:

    Definitely yes, Lakers will be on the playoffs……this will be a new exciting big three to watch …Kobe – LIN – Boozer…goodluck Lakers

  34. NBA Fan says:

    Lakers will make big midseason trade and finish strong, Kobe will be the Kobe of old and win the MVP, Scott will be the coach of the year, Kupchak will be GM of the year, and … even if all those prayers were answered … it’s still not good enough to make the playoffs. This team is a cellar-dweller for at least a year.

  35. Roberto gallardo says:

    As much as I love the lakers I see it real difficult for the lakers to make the play offs this season but it’s not impossible

  36. Tim NBA Fan says:

    Steve Aschburner, Scott Howard-Cooper, and Sekou Smith didn’t even answer the question. And most of the Blogtable dismissed any positive impact from the addition of Julius Randle or the additions of Lin and Clarkson. The Lakers are younger, deeper, and arguably more talented than either of the last two seasons. Lang Whitaker mentions they had Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace two years ago. Seriously? Nash is technically still on the team, but since his arrival in LA he has had a positive impact on maybe two or three games tops. A young healthy Lin is a major improvement over Nash. And Metta has gotten so slow he is already out of the league. In his last season with the Lakers, offensively he made a negative impact on the floor and was only a little better defensively. Wesley Johnson and Nick Young, barring injury, are set to be much more productive than Metta was. At this point in his career, Wes is a better defender, and he has also been a better shooter than Metta. The loss of Gasol is significant, but these guys seem to think Boozer is his replacement. Boozer may be useful early in the season (he definitely won’t play SF!), but it is Randle, Ryan Kelly, Jordan Hill, and Ed Davis that are expected to fill in the missing production. Kelly can open up the floor in a way Gasol could never do. Randle can handle the ball better than any Laker big man has (ever). Hill can run the floor hard, unlike Gasol, plus he is solid in multiple areas both on defense and offense. Davis is an impact defensive player, and he has gradually improved his mid-range shot on offense. Collectively, they can replace Gasol’s production. As for Dwight Howard, he never fit well with the team. He played hurt for much of the season and was mostly a detriment on offense. The rest of the team from 2 years ago was so defensively challenged, it took everything the injury-weakened Howard could do just to make some kind of impact defensively. While there are no Dwight Howard caliber defenders on this Lakers roster, the combined defensive production should be better, since most of these Lakers can get back on defense in a hurry, and B. Scott will make sure of it.

    Before the mounting injuries last season (first 25 games), the Lakers were above .500 without Kobe in the lineup, and they surprised most of the league with their depth. Their bench outscored their starters multiple times. With Kobe in the lineup, the bench might not outscore the starters very often, but the bench is better and deeper than last season, so who knows? I think it will be a huge uphill climb for any team in the West outside of the top 3-4 teams, and major injuries could (probably will) cause one or more to fall out of the top 8, but counting out a healthy Kobe Bryant looks a bit foolish to me. Of course, if he is not healthy, the Suns will be looking forward to that high draft pick in the ’15 draft.

  37. LetsBeStraight says:

    bunch of day dreamers here. Laker days are over. Lakers this season, 5 wins 77 losses. Kobe Bryant, 40 field goal attempts per game. 30 attempts from 3pt range, and 10 from inside the arc. Jeremy Lin will be traded for arguing Kobe about Kobe’s fg attempts. Nash will retire before Christmas.

    • Pour out the hateraid says:

      I hardly think Kobe will see the amount of minuets that he’s been accustomed to. With that considered, I’m not so sure your figures are even remotely accurate. Read the name.

  38. Marcus Zoldyck says:

    when Shaq left the Lakers it was Kobes prime, and the Lakers didnt make the playoffs..overrated bum!..lowest FG% among the of so called superstars.

    • Pour out the hateraid says:

      The Lakers went into a slight re-tooling after Shaq left. And as I seem to recall, they won two more titles afterwards…..Got NBA?

      • Marcus Zoldyck says:

        Lakes won 2 more when Phil came back and they had Gasol, Bynum, Odom and Artest… Kobe never even touch a 47% FG in his career,,blah.blah blah

  39. Jimmy says:

    Idk if they’ll make the playoffs and I Iove the Lakers lol. It’s better with them making it then missing. 2 seasons ago when they had Dwight, they were many games below .500 and Kobe did promise that they’d make the playoffs and he shut EVERYBODY up and they wounded up being the 7th seed. So the only reason I say idk is because we all have to think, what team from this past season that made the playoffs won’t this time around?

  40. FERNIE.O says:

    If the team stays healthy, they will make the playoffs… #7 or 8 spot.. Laker Nation 4-ever!!

  41. tony says:

    Yes he will…. Yes,, he has to … He has to be able to will the wins. He will overtake MJ in scoring. He has to lift his team like MJ (who didn’t have a famous center and famous other teammates — initially).

  42. Venjo says:

    Absolutely NO! The Lakers right now is indeed not a playoff team — and no way the “aging” Kobe can lift them. But I bet — put Lebron in Kobe’s place then there might be a chance to be in the playoff.

  43. Kevin Brown says:

    Yes. The defensive mentality was lost with Phil Jackson. Byron Scott will bring the defensive awareness to higher levels. The overall youth will feed off of Kobe’s and Steve Nash’s leadership and this Laker team will work cohesively. I see a rough start with a strong finish.
    The team management realizes Kobe’s age and effectiveness and will use his leadership to get this team on a mental strengthening endeavor. This team knows what they’ve been through and is going to make a statement to the league that they’re here to play.

  44. titom says:

    I am sorry but you have to be on the ground to now that the Lakers cant make the playoff, THERE are no superstar on the team Koby cant make all. Today teams need at list 2 superstar. Lakers are not on that status NOOOOO SUPERSTARSSSSSSSS, that’s is a fact.

  45. LOL says:

    The Lakers have a great chance to make the playoffs, IF…

    Texas secedes from the union and becomes part of Mexico and the Spurs, Rockets and Mavs all decide to play soccer, and in the resulting war a plane carrying the Thunder gets shot down and lands on the US Airways center at the exact time the Blazers are playing the Suns.

    Meanwhile, as the lakers are on an East-coast swing the big one hits California and the Clippers, Warriors and Kings sink into the Pacific and the resulting global tsunami causes another hurricane Katrina to breach the levees in NOLA just as the next ice-age puts Denver and Minnesota under a mile of snow and ice.

    If all that happens, the lakers 30-52 record might just be enough to squeak into the Western playoffs… as long as I didn’t miss any other Western teams.

  46. Smh says:

    There are some delusional people here

  47. ivy 45 says:

    you don’t need superstars to win just good structure and discipline

  48. blazerman says:

    Ofcourse there is a chance, he brought them to the playoffs with 2 years ago by himself! Your talking about KOBE BRYANT people! Im a die hard blazer fan and the last thing you wanna do is write off KOBE. Is it likely..no..but I sure wont be surprised if the lakers do make the playoffs.

  49. Connor says:

    The Lakers, and especially Kobe, are really going to miss Pau Gasol. They won’t make the playoffs; but in the East it will be between Cleveland and the rejuvenated Bulls with Rose and Gasol. Gasol may win the championship next year, not Kobe.

  50. dgfdg says:

    No way Lakers making playoffs in the tough west. Last year, Memphis and Dallas were 7 and 8 seed. Lakers are no where near those two teams right now, not even as good as the Suns… You guys need to get real, stop talking nonsense, this just make people hate delusional Laker fans more…

    • Jay says:

      At least someone here admits they hate the Lakers. I guess that’s what happens when you win so many championships. You attract fans and anti-fans equally.

      • Tim NBA Fan says:

        Too true Jay. The Lakers will probably take some lumps during these last years with Kobe, but Laker haters want them to be worse than they probably will be and will throw the word ‘delusional’ around any time anyone says the Lakers will be anything but the worst team in the league.

  51. dustydreamnz says:

    They are a chance to finish last in the West.

  52. : ) says:

    Nash/Lin + Boozer + Old Mamba = top 5 defense this year. That is one well constructed roster.

  53. Dude says:

    Its really ridiculous that no one has mentioned Jeremy Lin Possibly being a catalyst and Kobe/Lin being a killer back-court duo…there’s potential for playoffs!

    • kobefanjay says:

      agreed …Lin will be good in L.A. they wanted him before this year for a reason…boozer always has really solid numbers…Randle might be a huge splash…Ed Davis and Jordan Hill…these 4 guys i see no flash but tons of rebounds…the years the lakers went to finals they had 3 guys getting double digit rebounds…and kobe….lin is more of a scoring threat(throughout game) than Fischer…Nick young can score also…Steve Nash coming off the bench isnt the worst scenario for a basketball team…

  54. Ashley says:

    Well, let’s see, 2 years ago the EXPERTS also put D-Howard and Nash on the cover of SI and said they’d win the whole thing! And now, these same EXPERTS are completely forgetting the facts that actually led to the Lakers barely squeaking into the playoffs as the 8th seed by Kobe’s teeth alone: Pau was battling back from foot surgery and was never healthy, Dwight was also unhealthy with his back and shoulder, Nash was a conglomeration of injuries, and….oh yeah, the entire Lakers’ backcourt went down and management had to pull up D-Leaguers to start in the playoffs, not to mention the coaching void left by the retirement of the greatest coach of any sport. Newsflash: Kobe getting the Lakers’ into the playoffs that year was one of his crowning achievements, but this is Kobe Bryant we’re talking about, there will be more to come, much more to come. The EXPERTS also said Jordan was old and past his prime and doubted his ability to lead the Bulls to more championships after their early out in the 1995 playoffs following his stint with baseball…no one would have predicted then that Michael would claim the next 3 championships, take another retirement, then come back to post 40+ point games in his early 40s. Greatness has no limits, and the only prediction one can accurately make concerning the great ones is that they WILL DEFY THE EXPERTS.

  55. TEE says:

    There is no way the Lakers make it. Whoever thinks the Lakers will make the playoffs is biased and obviously pays no attention to any games in the last few seasons or has no idea of the summer’s aquisitions. The Lakers have nothing. Kobe will jack up 30 shots a game this season, he will shoot 40%, and the lakers will be bottom 3 in the west again.

  56. niknokseyer says:

    Yes.. then can make the Playoffs. :)

  57. Will says:

    First of all, these so called experts are missing the big picture. Whether the Lakers are a playoff team or not, cannot and should not be dependent solely on Kobe Bryant. It is clear he’ll be 100 percent come opening night but we all know he won’t be the same Kobe we’re used to seeing. (I’ll be surprised if he does). You will all be surprised by the Lakers this season. For once you experts are missing the big picture here because everyone is so focused on star power. If star power was the way to win the we’ll be see the Miami Heat win four straight titles but we didn’t. They lost twice to teams that played together as a team defensively and with good chemistry. The Lakers however, may not be a championship team but I believe the Lakers got athleticism and unproven talent with guys that can score the ball. Byron Scott won’t let them forget the importance of defense and they can do it as a whole. Combine good team defense with the right game plan and savvy veterans ie; Kobe, Nash and Boozer to mentor the young guys, the Lakers can and will sneak up on teams this year. MARK MY WORDS!!!

  58. jake s. says:

    If the Lakers front office is smart, they will tank again this season. ESPECIALLY because they will soon change the NBA Draft lottery system.

    • Tim NBA Fan says:

      Unless they change the lottery so that the Lakers automatically get a top 5 pick, tanking would be a really dumb idea. Why would they want to give their division rival (Suns) a lottery pick?

  59. baje says:

    Kobe is the best and he will be the champion of 2014-2015. Mark my words!!!!!!

  60. Jamal H. says:

    The LAKERS will make the playoffs and be in the 4th or 5th position.
    Negativity is contagious! Faith and Believing is learned day to day.
    KOBE is a genius at winning basketball games when it matters.
    Now is the time that it matters most. For all of those who lack faith,
    Watch and remember!

  61. Yes, if (the big if) my team Lakers are healthy next season. We will surprise all the people who said no playoff for my team. We will compete in the 2015 NBA Championship will hang our 17th NBA Championship in 2015. Kobe Bryant will still the superstar of the game with Steve Nash on his side will carry our Lakers team into the playoff and the NBA Championship. Go Lakers.

    Ray
    Ray Duque III (GMBD), USA

    • TEG says:

      thanks for that funny joke. they are nowhere near title contenders this upcoming 2014-15 season. Ray Duque III = a delusional LAL fan

  62. Juan Gaston says:

    Ok the west is good but i cant but help see good in all this in my opinion yes they can and yes they will i think that there is a lot of people on this team that want to prove the world wrong Jermy is a verry good gard Nash eill mentor him like no other carlos still got some gas in the tank and he can be a machine when happy with in the system jordan Hill will only get better this year so will Johnson ed davis is a big help off the bench and and Young well ee all no about him i know it will be verry difficult to get a 6,7or8 spot in a verry strong western conference to me they will impress the world and not only make the playoffs but also surprise a lot of people in the playoffs all we need is one more good player and need to look no further Micheal Beasley go Lakers.

    • jc says:

      Who plays defense then?

      • What now?? says:

        That was actually the worst structered sentence (that shouldn’t have even been a sentence – Like seriously is your period button broken or something) I’ve ever read haha. I may agree with what you have to say if I could actually read and understand it. I do agree there’s something to be said about being the underdog but I mean come on… Michael Beasley the missing piece to lift them to a championship… That’s possibly the most overstated call I’ve seen in any of the comments on these blogs. I also agree with JC. No one (that I could see in this jumbled mess) that you listed has very impressive defensive stats. You look at all the teams going far into the post-season majority of them have strong defensive cores with a couple of scorers who can light it up, apart from the Spurs which are the closest thing I’ve seen to an all around do it all offense/defense/team play unit ever.

  63. The fact that Kobe got paid like his is a superstar in his prime, and not like the aging once-great player that he is now although he still has some clever moves in his arsenal, eliminated any chances of the Lakers being good until Kobe retires. They lost any chance of bringing in a star player and now they will suffer through the agonizing decline of Kobe who chose to do so while getting paid instead of sacrificing money for the TEam. Nobody is going to the Lakers because there is no team, there is only Kobe nd nobody likes that atmosphere.

  64. NBAFAN says:

    Injuries will be the big question, and Scott is an underrated couch I have always liked him reminds me of Riley.
    I think the Lakers will surprise the NBA and sir Charles will eat his words yet again.
    It will take most of the season the Lakers to get it together but after the play offs watch the Lakers make their run.

    • TEG says:

      if they even make a surprising playoff appearance this upcoming season, they’re going to go out in the 1st round. the players they have on the team makes it very hard to believe they would even make a run.

  65. Mitchell says:

    The Lakers definitely won’t make the playoffs. Think of it this way: nobody on the Lakers aside from Kobe would start for any other team that made the playoffs in the west last year. And honestly, they probably wouldn’t start for any team in the west that isn’t the Jazz. They’re not terrible players, but none of them are worthy of being a full-time starter.
    I bet one of my friends that the Lakers won win a championship during Kobe’s current contract (this year and next), it’s going to be the easiest $500 I will ever make. The Lakers are done as long as Kobe is still playing for them. Free Agent Superstars don’t want to play with him and he’s eating up too much of the cap to be able to add enough solid players.

    • Agree, of course, with the reality you described.

      Only thing is: I dont see those role players as bad as you claimed them.
      After all, I’m sure most of them grew within the last 2 (abdomynal) seasons – they had to carry a lot of the load. Clearly they could not get anything like a winner mentality, but they matured as players. Remember when kobe came back, and the lakers were actually a worse team for 10 games and then managed to be as good as before until kobe went down again?
      I kinda like Hill, and even Nick Young (get lost of the swaggy p, if you ask me). Plus Randle could be a beast.

      So its not all bad, but theres no debate – the lakers will tank until kobe retires – due to mileage /uncertainity and due to overpayment.

  66. sacrebleu says:

    These writers are BS. 2 years ago, Howard was injured, unmotivated and unwilling to be Kobe’s toy and when he went to Houston he feels like he’s top dog 1A/AB with harden when in fact he is still a second or third option on that team where parsons carried the team sometimes. Gasol was underutilized in that Mike D system where he was coming off the bench for awhile and nash was already way past his prime and ready to retire. World Peace was not as fast and able to shut down players anymore that is why he was signed by another team, waived and now in a foreign country. Kobe willed that C grade team without chemistry into the 7TH SEED not the 8th seed if these writers get their facts straight. Kobe needs a younger group to help hustle and make use of the minutes that he’s going to need to rest so that he does not tire himself for the playoffs and a combination of veteran players to keep the locker room in sync. He has a better chance in this team than 2 years ago when there was no chemistry, a player (dwight) was being a baby, and another one (gasol) being disrespected by the coach and management. If Kobe stays healthy, he’ll have to put all his energy in closing out games by putting his all in the 4th quarter. As long as they are within striking distance or ahead after 3 quarters, there is no better player to finish off a team in the last quarter than Kobe other than MJ. They didn’t make it the last two years because of significant amount of injury in their roster. Everyone on the team was just injured. They’ll rack up wins and enter the playoffs as long as they stay healthy with a group that has now continuity by bringing back some players last season.

  67. T gas TT ako says:

    @best commentator ,,, you know kobe is 36 already ryt???? theres no more waiting for him he needs the help now,, i believe in kobe’s will and capabilities, but the thing is lakers is just now a team in the nba not the powerhouse that they were before

    • Best Commentator says:

      I’m not trying to take anything away from Kobe. Just like how they used to compare him with the old MJ, or the young MJ with Bird or Magic. LBJ may be the best player in the league right now but that doesn’t mean he’s better than Kobe. With a great team, Kobe got 3 out of 4 (with Shaq), Lebron got 2 out of 4 (Wade Bosh, and R. Allen was a big 3 on the Celtics). Who’s better? forget the stats, do the math. Ppl have short term memory and they only believe in what they’re seeing at the moment. But all comparision aside, the Lakers will not make the final. They are literally telling fans that this season is for the ticket selling. Either get a good roster or rest Kobe if they’re thinking about the game and the fans.

      • birdie says:

        Well, yes. If LBJ is the best player in the NBA, as you say, then it DOES make him better than Kobe, by definition.

    • Best Commentator says:

      btw..u know i’m just saying rest Kobe meaning throw away the season ryt? They’re acting like the Lakers have hope just so they can sell tickets, not bc they really think the Lakers have hope. they just can’t admit it. The 14-15 season has not started but it’s already over for the Lakers. Throw it away or get a better roster.

  68. Phamie says:

    Mark my word writers, THE LAKERS will surprise the NBA. They will make it to the Playoffs. Kobe and Nash will be 100% this season and they will be a contender. Email me after the season end.

    • Best Commentator says:

      why does this even matter? It’s all or nothing. Why does matter if anyone make the playoff and then get knocked out? The headline of a great article should be “will the Lakers at least get the Western Championship?” Who keep track of Eastern or Western championship? We only count Title. Kobe has 3, lebron has 2, MJ has 6..So please stop making it sounds like this is an important article discussing whether a team will make the playoff.

      • Best Commentator says:

        Typo..Kobe has 5. A team that dones’nt make the playoff is as good as the team that make the 2nd round of the playoff. They both losers, doesn’t matter what ranking u r on the loser list. The team that makes the second round playoff risk their players on injuries more. Will the Lakers beat OKC, Clippers, San Antonio this season? No. So why waste energy? the lakers should plan to rest Kobe as much as they can and use games to rebuild him and prepare him for whenever they have a good enough roster.

      • Why it matters?
        Because we count more than titles. Is there any other sports with more stats than the nba? PER…petuum.
        Just joking, I’m talking of course about hope, entertainment, excitement.
        Titles are for the history, the ultimate goal, but theres so much between now and then, so much more in a game.
        Even I highly disagree with Phamie, I dont feel your comments represent what basketball stands for. Let them hope! Or, in your opinion, why should anyone in lets say milwaukee ever watch the nba?

        Even the whole “2nd round means nothing” argument is not well thought out. When your team is out, its over, but in a playoff series, anything can happen – even injuries to the opponents best player. So you want to get as close as possible, the opportunity will come (yes, my thunder, one day :). And if you miss the playoffs, you’re in the lottery. So its all about hope, in a different way, and that why the league is so good, and not as cold as your claim.

    • sports fan says:

      What seed do you think the Lakers will be in the playoffs?

    • TEG says:

      @Phamie- you must be living in delusional land right now if you even think Lakers are CONTENDERS this season. they are nowhere near that, NOWHERE NEAR THAT AT ALL!

  69. Charly says:

    I really don’t see the Lakers coming out of the hole they dug around themselves anytime soon… Let’s face it, who would bet on them in free agency in 2015 ? after the Dwight Howard’s fiasco I would’nt put a nickel on this organization’s capacity to build chemistry… and in today’s western conference chemistry isn’t even enough to aim for the playoffs…

  70. JAMES says:

    You are all a bunch of PESSIMISTS … under the guise of being realistic … I hope with all that is within me that KOBE and the LAKERS prove all of you wrong … how many of you predicted and foresaw the SAN ANTONIO SPURS winning the championship … probably none of you can run … nor jump … but yet you specialize in jumping to conclusions on the failure and fate of athletes that work hard at reaching their goals … while you are very much entitled to your opinions … its your pessimistic points of view that are much to noticeable …

  71. Toddjeffries says:

    Injuries are one thing but I’ve learned you never doubt kobe. If he can play, then he will perform at a superstar level Will they make the playoffs? They’ll be lucky to even contend for an 8-seed but a healthy kobe certainly gives them a chance. I’d still take a healthy kobe, arguably, over any 2 in the league. The potential for injury and less minutes this season is high but doubting kobe is a mistake