Those expecting the Lakers to take a precipitous tumble in the Western Conference standings this season … in the aftermath of “whiffing” on a trade for Chris Paul [PG] and then sending Lamar Odom [SF/PF] to Dallas … do not have an accurate understanding of just how good Devin Ebanks [SF, 2nd-yr] is most likely going to be for their team this year.
Once Andrew Bynum’s suspension finishes and Kobe’s wrist injury fully heals, the following line-up for the Lakers:
Derek Fisher + Kobe Bryant + Devin Ebanks + Pau Gasol + Andrew Bynum
Jason Kapono and Luke Walton
Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock and Derrick Caracter [inj.]
is still going to be formidable … as the bolded players above are actually much better than many so-called [but really illegitimate] NBA observers realize.
After the Lakers eventually use their large Traded Player Exception – obtained in exchange for Mr. Odom – it should come as no surprise at all to see this team finish with the best W-L record in the Pacific Division, once again.
Mitch Kupchak [GM] has already proven that he knows how to construct a top flight NBA team … as long as Jim Buss is able to stay out of the way.
For the benefit of those who might need some further clarification, here’s the follow-up comment which yours truly left a few minutes ago, in a related thread at PBT …
Devin Ebanks [i.e. think of a better, more physical, version of Trevor Ariza] and Darius Morris [i.e. think of a young, poor man's version of Tony Parker] are both very solid young players with the ability to make positive contributions to this year’s Lakers team which desperately needed an infusion of youth on the heels of last season’s disappointing end. Josh McRoberts is the type of banger who Mike Brown has made very effective use of in the past [i.e. think of a more athletic version of Anderson Varejao]. Troy Murphy [PF] playing beside either Andrew Bynum or Gasol is going to be a very potent player [i.e. think of the double-double machine who was a former starter for the Pacers]. Once the Lakers decide to use their TPE … and it doesn’t need to be in regards to acquiring a stud like Dwight Howard [C] … their roster is still going to be formidable for the Western Conference Playoffs, as long as they are healthy. Although they won’t play the type of artistically pleasing basketball they did under the direction of Dr. Phil, they will still be a highly effective team, under the capable direction of a defensive-minded head coach like Mike Brown. Those expecting a rapid Lakers’ demise this season will most likely be quite disappointed by season’s end.