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Kobe's Lakers: Another Baskeball Dynasty?
Lakers Basketball Tickets: Hot Then, Hot Now!
If you're a Laker fan, then you're having the time of your life (or yelling at the TV screen in frustration). It seems that the Los Angeles Lakers are in the middle of another run for a dynasty. And Lakers basketball tickets are the best thing to have at the moment.
The last Laker dynasty was only a few years ago with Kobe and Shaq. They won four championships. Before that, it was Showtime with Magic, Kareem, and Pat Riley. That team ruled the 80's and won five NBA championships. Before that, it was with Wilt Chamberlain, and that team won two championships. When it comes to rich history of basketball, the Lakers certainly have it. But who wants to talk about the past. Let's talk about THE NOW!
2008 NBA Finals: Lakers vs Celtics
With the surprising trip to the NBA Finals in 2007-08, I believe that the Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant, may have a solid core of players to make a run for another dynasty, despite losing to the Boston Celtics. Without taking anything away from the Celtics, with injuries to Andrew Bynum, the Lakers played the series without their starting center. But it still took Boston six games to beat the Lakers.
2009 NBA Finals: Magic vs Lakers
Shaq-less since after 2004, the 2008-09 Lakers playoff roster consisted of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom, Jordan Farmar, Trevor Ariza, Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton, DJ Mbenga, Shannon Brown, and Josh Powell. They beat the Orlando Magic handily in 5 games.
The Finals itself was fun, but I felt that it felt short of expectations since many basketball fans were hoping for a showdown between Kobe's Lakers and LeBron's Cavaliers. As a lifelong Lakers fan, I would like to have seen a Celtics vs. Lakers rematch, with a healthy Lakers roster this time around. Such rematch will make Lakers basketball tickets that much hotter.
The Road Ahead
In order for Kobe's Lakers to reach the standards of past Lakers dynasty, a few players need to step up and some key roles must be filled:
- Andrew Bynum must remain healthy and mature as a top tier center. He is still young, only 22 (born Oct 1987), and it shows whenever he goes against a more experienced big man, like Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, who is not much older than Bynum. In a regular season game against the Magic (December 29, 2008), Howard got Bynum in early foul troubles, rendering Bynum ineffective for most of the game. The Lakers lost that game 106-103 with Bynum only playing 11:37 minutes.
- The Lakers need a defensive stopper. I noticed that with past Lakers teams and past championship teams, namely, the Chicago Bulls, there is always that one player who can successfully clamp down the opposing team's top playmaker. When the Chicago Bulls made their dynasty run, Scottie Pippen and Ron Harper switched off to shutdown the likes of John Stockton, Gary Payton, and Reggie Miller. Pippen and Harper were excellent and Michael Jordan, who was a great defender himself, stayed out of foul trouble.
When the Kobe-Shaq Lakers made their run, the stopper was predominantly Rick Fox. But there were others who platooned the role, such as Ron Harper and Gary Payton. Also, in one memorable championship series, Tyronn Lue shutdown Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers.
We'll see if Ron Artest can do the job. Trevor Ariza looked promising, but he was traded (for Ron Artest).
- The Lakers need rebounders. Can't win the game if you don't have the ball. Michael Jordan had Dennis Rodman and Horace Grant to aggressively pursue the basketball off the boards. Beside Shaquille O'Neal, the Kobe-Shaq Lakers had various players overtime, namely John Salley, A.C. Green, Devean George, Horace Grant, Greg Foster, Mark Madsen, Karl Malone, Luke Walton, and Rick Fox. Banging the boards was not a problem in the past.
The current Laker lineup has excellent big men in Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, but they look to Ron Artest, Luke Walton, and Lamar Odom to help rebound. They're gonna need more. Walton plays with heart, but he's simply outclassed by the likes of Carmello Anthony and Paul Pierce. Odom is simply not the banger type. Odom is a natural playmaker, but that's Kobe's role. The role should go to Ron Artest who has the built and ferocity to be a force inside.