The Los Angeles Lakers are a team that always gets attention during the NBA regular season. They have one of the most recognizable franchises in the NBA and they have one of the most recognizable names on the court in Kobe Bryant. The Lakers have fallen on some hard times and now they have become more of a punchline than a true championship contender in recent years. Questions have surrounded the ownership and the moves that they have made to include rewarding Bryant with an enormous contract that has strangled the opportunities to build and grow this franchise. This is a team that needs to be relevant again and a constant piece in the NBA playoffs.
LA Lakers Betting Odds
The LA Lakers are not a team that anyone is expecting to do well in the upcoming season. With so many question marks, starting with Bryant’s health, this is a team that has some high odds when it comes to the NBA betting markets. The Lakers odds to win the talented Western Conference are an eye popping (+5000) as it will be very difficult for this team to surprise anyone and make a run at the title. This of course makes it even more difficult to hoist another banner as evident by the huge odds to win an NBA Championship at (+10000). The 2015-2016 NBA regular season win totals says a lot about this team as the Lakers are listed at just 29.5 games which would mean another bad season for this once proud franchise.
LA Lakers 2015-2016 Preview
For the Lakers it all starts with one player and that is Kobe Bryant. He comes into this season with something to prove, but age and injury could lead this team to yet another bad season. Bryant may be one of the greatest players in league history, but he is old. He is now 37 years old and is on the last year of a mega-max extension and unlikely to earn a similar deal in the future if he decides to keep playing and not retire. If he does continue to keep playing it will most likely be with another franchise ending his long and successful role as a member of the Lakers. After three straight seasons ended by injury, his reputation is already tainted, but he could be motivated by the naysayers and the fact that he will be playing again for a contract and the right to be called one of the best players in the NBA. There is one thing for sure, he can’t do it alone.
If there was a positive that came out of the miserable seasons in recent years is that the Lakers have had some high draft picks. Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell, is the latest addition to this team and he is blessed with court vision and the ability to get his teammates involved on the offensive end.
The same goes for second-year forward Julius Randle, who played all of 14 minutes on opening night before losing his rookie season to a broken leg. These two players should log some serious minutes and at least give the Lakers fans something to get excited about this season. The Lakers needed to get some young talent because they could not get free agents to come to Hollywood this season.
The big prize of the summer as far as a free agent is concerned was Roy Hibbert instead of Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge. It seemed as though the reports that Love or Aldridge would come to LA were just because of the brand and never really serious. Jim Buss has proven that he is unable to attract the big names to LA. Hibbert and Brandon Bass should offer some defensive toughness and you know Byron Scott is going to play his vets and that is something that this team desperately needs.
Teams shot an incredible 50.7% against the Lakers inside the 3 point line and 46.6% overall, good for 29th in the league. Bryant, once an advanced and pesky defender, had clearly lost a step and this team seemed to give up about ten games into the season and the first thing to go was defense.
LA Lakers Season Preview Predictions
The Lakers are a team in transition. Bryant is no longer the Bryant that we all remembered and this will be his last year in a Laker uniform and could also be his last year in the league. If he stays healthy, the Lakers could win about ten more games than expected, but that is a big if. This team will turn ugly quickly, Kobe will get frustrated and the Lakers will not come close to the posted win total of 29.5 games. The Lakers say goodbye to Bryant and look forward to another trip to the NBA lottery.