With the Los Angeles Lakers season set to kick off on Wednesday evening versus the Minnesota Timberwolves, a different sense of energy seems to be surrounding this particular team and its upcoming season. There’s hope, there’s excitement, but I think more importantly this team looks to be healthier than it has for the last couple of seasons.
Kobe Bryant is back and looks hungrier than ever before. If the reports from Lakers camp are true, he’s back to his old Mamba ways. He might not be able to baptize people the way he did Dwight Howard but his teammates are saying he can still drop 35 on you any given night. With the addition of D’Angelo Russell to take some of the ball handling off of Kobe’s plate, he looks to be more of a pop and shoot type this year. For his knees and the rest of his body, that is exactly what you want him to be doing at 37 years young.
The development of Julius Randle is further along than I could have ever expected, and that’s saying a lot from me because I’ve been his biggest supporter since L.A. lucked up and drafted him 7th overall in the 2014 draft. Kobe Bryant described him perfectly, “He’s Lamar Odom in Zach Randolph’s body.” Take a second to really digest and understand what he said. Randle is 6’9, 250 lbs and can rebound, defend, push the ball up the floor on the break, he has a relentless motor and last but not least, this kid has the heart of a lion. Metta World Peace was quoted as saying that Randle is one of the strongest players he’s ever played against, coming from MWP that says A LOT. This guy is the future of the Lakers, I see a MULTIPLE time All-Star here and the rest of the Western Conference, and NBA better start to take note.
Granted this Los Angeles team is in the mad house we call the Western Conference, I think they will be far better off than anyone is giving them credit for. I predicted them sneaking into the 8th spot in this year’s Playoffs and I’m sticking by it. I’m not sure if this is Kobe’s last year but if it is, do any of you guys really think he’s not going to will this team into the Playoffs? Do you guys forgot what he did in the 2012-2013 season before he ruptured his Achilles? If you don’t let me refresh your memory, 27.3 PPG, 6.0 APG, 5.6 RPG, and last but not least 1.4 SPG. Not to mention he did that with teammates that were a lot less talented than the squad he’s rolling with this year. He did have Dwight Howard on that team but we all know how baby lotion soft he was during his tenure in Los Angeles.
Let me end by saying this, the Los Angeles Lakers will not be an easy W for teams like the last couple of seasons. There’s defense presence with the addition of big man Roy Hibbert, and if he makes the roster, there will be the one and only Metta World Peace elbowing people around, beware James Harden. There’s a mix of veteran leadership and youth all up and down this roster. The perfect blend as I like to call it, you need a balanced mix of both and I feel they hit that right on.
Only two more days until the NBA season begins and we can start throwing sub tweets at each other on Twitter. Let the games begin.