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10.26.2012

La La Land: Taking some Lumps was Part of the Game Plan?


The Lakers close their preseason tonight, again facing off against the Kings. The Lakers, still winless in the exhibition season, will try to avoid going 0-8.I understand that the constant losing has been frustrating for everyone. The fans hate it. The players hate it. I’m sure there’s not a Lakers’ employee that is happy with not winning a single game to this point. That said, I think Pau Gasol said it best after last night’s game, saying “We’d all love to be 7-0 instead of 0-7. Would that make us win more games in regular season? Probably not.”

Like Gasol, I think taking the big-picture view is important here. Not to sound like a broken record but this Lakers’ preseason has been much more about process than results. With three new assistant coaches, a new offense and a roster that turned over by half there’s a need to get on the same page and try to build towards actually becoming a team. Taking some lumps on that path was a given and it’s much more important to clear those hurdles than be the team ahead on the scoreboard at the time the final buzzer sounds.

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Maybe it's just me, but I think I must have been dozing when the Laker juggernaut urged everyone to calm down after Steve Nash and Dwight Howard were acquired. I just remember World B. Metta Peace predicting the Lakers would eclipse the Bulls win mark, Kobe proclaiming this was the greatest Lakers team ever, and ESPN updating us every few minutes with another addition of "As the World Turns in Lakerland."

Now that I've caught my breath, and have a better grip on things, someone please help me out.

Are the Lakers still destined for historic greatness? Or might a team lacking anything remotely resembling a bench actually find itself struggling this year? Is a team led by Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard unbeatable? Or might the fact that their success will depend on a 39-year-old starting point guard who couldn't play defense five years ago ultimately relegate them to also-ran status?

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