Today we talk about the Los Angeles Lakers: a team in flux.
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The Los Angeles Lakers are entering the 2013-14 season in foreign territory. Unlike this time last year, the Lakers are not considered title contenders, let alone favorites to dethrone the 2-time defending champion Miami Heat. In fact, most analysts believe the Lakers won’t make the playoffs, and could easily wind up as a lottery team by the end of the regular season.
With all that said, there is still a massive amount of interest in the most successful franchise in NBA history. They are even scheduled for more appearances on nationally televised games than LeBron James and Co. in South Beach.
So, what makes a team with perhaps the lowest expectations in two decades so intriguing? Let’s take a look at the top five things to watch out for on League Pass [Ed. note: or on national TV ALL THE TIME] this season for the Lake Show.
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Team Chemistry, Fun, & Kung Fu Dancing
One of the most improved aspects of this season’s Lakers is expected to be stronger team chemistry. In fact, players like Steve Nash have already commented on the rapport of the team as a unit. If you have watched the Lakers in their three preseason games so far, you can already see a difference. The bench is more engaged, there is actual communication on the court, and there is a feeling that the team is having fun.
One of the entertaining aspects for the fans to watch at home is the interesting celebrations for just about every shot from NBA sophomore, Robert Sacre. Sacre may not get much playing time on the hardwood, but his team spirit in the form of a karate-like dance is contagious and makes the fans and viewers smile.
Nick Young’s Swag
Arguably the best Lakers’ offseason signing was 28-year-old Nick Young. The Los Angeles native is thrilled at the opportunity to return home and fulfill a lifelong dream of playing for his favorite team.
Young is an offensive-minded player who can create his own shot. This was needed by the Lakers, as most often Kobe Bryant was the only player in purple and gold on the floor to do this last season. His offensive mentality will be necessary especially if Bryant misses time during the regular season.
Nick “Swaggy P” Young can rack up points very quickly, which is going to be fun for fans to watch. For example, Young posted 17 points in only 19 minutes of action in his debut as a Laker in the team’s first preseason game against the Warriors.
Two of those points came from a nice crossover dribble to fake out Harrison Barnes, which resulted in a smooth step-back jumper. These types of shots and his trademark swag will have people tuning in.