The Los Angeles Lakers roll into week 3, undefeated and clicking on all cylinders. Off to a 7-0 start (the best record in the NBA), the attention has shifted from the “Superfriends” in Miami to the two-time defending champions as the team possibly capable of reaching 70 plus wins.
Although the talk of 72 wins is premature, subconscious speculation points out how good this Lakers squad looks to begin the season. Case in point, this past Sunday the Lakers were supposedly facing their first test of the season when they faced the Portland Trailblazers, a team that has given them fits in recent years. All they did was beat them by 25 points, 121-96 dominating from start to finish.
Led by Pau Gasol’s triple-double of 20 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and Lamar Odom’s double-double effort of 21 points and 12 rebounds, The Mamba only scored 12 points and played only 25 minutes hogging all the ice to ice down every limb possible. All starters scored in double digits, and the bench led by Chris Brown’s older brother Shannon, scored 15 points as they clearly A+ this test.
The cohesiveness of this Lakers team, at this point of the season is frightening when you think about it. The core of this team is going on its fourth year of playing together with instinctive chemistry, new additions Steve Blake and Matt Barnes are fitting in seamlessly, and all of this elite level of play is done without starting center Andrew Bynum.
Even though coach Phil Jackson believes that his 19995-96 Chicago Bulls played better defense than his current Lakers squad, you can’t discredit the offensive prowess of this team. Ranking #1 in scoring, three point shooting, and 3rd in field goal percentage their offensive efficiency has never looked so precise. And with the team’s fifth 7-0 start in franchise history, The Mamba and Co. are 4 games from matching the best start in franchise history of 11-0 back in the 1997-98 season.
Now we know there are multiple variables that can clearly put an end to the talk of 70 wins, so we can put this conversation on hold, at least to the new year arrives. The Lakers complacency is the main variable that can send this team into an awkward spiral. Starting tonight with a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Lakeshow play three games this week, with a Thursday night game on TNT against the Denver Nuggets at Denver, and a home game against the Phoenix Suns. It will be interesting to see whether this Lakers team will stay the course of unbeaten, and how will they fare against their first test of adversity as week three tips off for the 2-time defending champs.
About the Author
Written by Arthur Kai