5 Reasons the Lakers Will Win the 2009 NBA Championship

The Lakers WILL win the NBA Championship NEXT year because:

  1. Andrew Bynum will be healthy (at least we hope).
    Bynum averaged 13 points, 10 boards and 2 blocks a game in only 28 minutes a contest last season. He shot 64% from the field and was a steady big man in the middle for the Lakers not only on the offensive side, but on the otherwise weak Lakers defensive interior. He provided many of the Lakers defenders a last resort in the paint if their man got by them. He’s young, he’s tough and he’s shown he can bulk up and be the player that Kobe Bryant wants to play alongside of—as evidenced by his emergence early on this season.

  2. Kobe Bryant will be hungrier than ever to win another NBA Championship.
    Not many players can say they have won three world championships. At the same time, not many can say they’ve lost 2 in a row, either. Kobe Bryant is the utmost competitor and you can be sure that he will be working hard all summer to make it back to the Finals. It’ll start with the Olympics, and I’m sure it will end with countless hours spent in the gym pumping iron while his pinky recovers from an inevitable surgery that will need to be performed. Jackson will continue to harp to Kobe the importance of team basketball (which evaporated from his mind during the Finals) and the need to develop young players. Expect Kobe to take fewer shots next season in favor of more assists, more rebounds and better defense. He’s won the scoring title with out Shaq, the MVP of the regular season without Shaq, and will be wholeheartedly determined to win that elusive Title without Shaq next season.
  3. Pau Ga-soft and Lamar O-Dumb will come into the season BIGGER and MORE FOCUSED.
    There’s no doubt in any of our minds that these two players have the talent and the potential to be superstars in this league. In Pau’s case, he rolled through the playoffs in the West without many roadblocks, but encountered a much too physical, energetic and determined Kevin Garnett in the Finals. In the early stages of Game 6, Pau’s main drawback was brought front-and-center when he was nonchalantly tossed to the ground by a quick, physical move by Kevin Garnett. If the Lakers are going to win a championship against a team like the Celtics next season, Pau Gasol will need to hit the gym harder than he ever has this summer (and this will be hard because he will be playing for Spain in the Olympics), work with Kareem (Lakers Special Assistant Coach for big men) on his positioning and toughness on the block, and improve his soft defense. In Lamar’s case, the man just needs to be more focused and keep his head in the game for 48 minutes. Stupid fouls on the defensive side, overambitious drives to the hoop that result in offensive fouls on the offensive side, and just the general stupor that he usually finds himself in during big games HURTS the Lakers. Lamar needs to mature (and something tells me after this year’s Finals he will) and needs to understand exactly what the Lakers need from him—a focused intensity mirroring that of Kevin Garnett’s.
  4. The Lakers bench will improve with this experience.
    Without the emergence of Sasha, Jordan and Ronnie during different parts of the season AND playoffs for the Lakers, LA probably wouldn’t have earned the Number 1 seed in the West and home court for that duration. The Lakers bench was completely unknown to the league before this year and going forward I believe the confidence and experience that many of the young players on the bench have collected will help them going into next season. Sasha should continue to improve his defense so that he can stay with the leagues premier SGs (Allen just clowned him last game). Jordan should look to put a little muscle on and improve his jump shot (especially his three). And Ronnie should continue working on his low-post defense and mid-range jump shot.
  5. The Lakers will improve their defense.
    Lets be honest, the Lakers had no real trouble scoring against any team this year outside of the Boston Celtics. What they did have trouble with at times was TEAM DEFENSE. We all know Kobe has been All-NBA First Team Defense and that Lamar is a crafty defender as well, but the Lakers have really struggled with their spacing on defense. Routinely during the Finals, a player would get beat and nobody would be at home in the middle to help. I think Jackson and his entire coaching staff will begin to preach defense more and more this summer to the team. It will help enormously if Bynum can come back from his knee injuries and solidify the center of the defense like he did early on in the 07-08 season.

Check back in next time for the five reasons the Lakers will NOT win the NBA Championship next year.

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To hoops,
Farid

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12 thoughts on “5 Reasons the Lakers Will Win the 2009 NBA Championship

  1. Sorry Will Not hapen: Koby will be yet another year older. Incentive will not be 100% there, even for the legitimate MVP. Plus he was born to STAR and not to be a “leader”. And, Twiggy Gasol will not spend the necessary ‘time’ to bulk up, and all opposiion learned from Celtics how to double/triple him to distraction.Hard, hard, hard work only thing to recover Bynum’s knee which is tough to overcome. Been there myslf and ‘almost’ done that. Sincerely wish him well, And sorry again, NO ARTEST DEAL will be made. Watcha got to offer. FINALLY even Phil may not feel another year is worth the effort. Depends on how much $$$ he thinks he still “needs”. Remember, losing again only diminishes his legend.

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  2. I don’t see how you can claim Kobe will not be as focused as ever at winning a championship. He has everything except a ring without Shaq and I think now more than ever he wants to prove them wrong.I think Kobe and Phil and the Lakers coaching staff will be hounding Pau to get in the gym and bulk up after the Olympics. It’s the Lakers only chance if Bynum isn’t 100% healthy.

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  3. 1. Bynum may not be healthy. As we talked about earlier, the Lakers’ medical staff doesn’t inspire confidence, given how they treated Bynum this year. Not to mention the questions around Bynum’s commitment to getting healthy, remember when he was seen out clubbing on his ‘bad’ knee?1b. Diminishing returns also apply, there are only so many rebounds to be had, and shots to be taken. You can’t honestly expect Kobe to get 28/7/7, Odom 20/10/3, Gasol 20/10/4, and Bynum 15/15/3 unless they play every night at paces surpassing the pre-Shaq suns.2. Kobe is fundamentally the same guy as he was before this season, and will be fundamentally the same in the future. The MVP/”great teammate” titles he picked up this year were creations of the media, creations exposed when they played the Celtics and he reverted to his normal selfish self.3. These two guys aren’t new to the league, they’re longtime veterans, and as such they’re not going to change much between seasons. It is was simply a matter of work and coaching wouldn’t every PG be CP3, every SG be KB24, every SF be Paul Pierce (okay, LeBron), every PF be Duncan and every C be Howard? Gasol can get more out of his talent, but he can’t outright increase his ceiling.4. If they’re still there… Turiaf and Vujacic are Restricted Free Agents, so they may chase dollars elsewhere if the Lakers don’t match, and Ariza may opt out to avoid the Lakers’ logjam at small forward (what with Odom supposedly joining Radman 3 years left/Walton 5 years left at the 3).5. This is your best point, the Lakers defense (lack thereof) was the story of the finals, highlighted by Vujacic’s (and his help’s) complete breakdown against Ray. But if it only takes additional effort (and coaching) to step up the defense, as I would admit seems right, then that effort must come from somewhere. Each hour working on defense this summer is one less working on the triangle, which isn’t good when they have to get an offensive flow for the first time with Kobe Gasol AND Bynum.The Lakers are in a great position thanks to Chris Wallace, but they aren’t without problems, especially if Bynum is even 91% of what he was last year.The two biggest questions are:1. Bynum?2. Will anyone take Odom, who can’t stick around as a 14$ 1st big man off the bench, and causes problems if he slides to the 3. Maybe a trade to Philly (who’s under the cap, and hence can accept his salary)? Philly is reportedly interested in Zach Randolph, and I would have to think Odom is more attractive than Z-Bo, though I’m not sure what the Lakers would want in return.Alright, that’s all for now.

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