Thursday, September 29, 2011

What Lockout? Previewing The 2011-12 Los Angeles Lakers

Team Name: Los Angeles Lakers

Last Year’s Record: 57-25

Key Free Agents: Shannon Brown, Joe Smith, Theo Ratliff

Team Needs: Starting point guard; Frontcourt depth; Young, NBA-caliber talent

1. What are your team's biggest needs this offseason? What a difference a year makes.

A Lakers roster that a year ago seemed unfair in its depth and versatility is now woefully thin in some key areas and aging rather quickly (Andrew Bynum is the only guy with a guaranteed spot in the rotation that will be under 31 by mid-November) from top to bottom. In addition to some well-chronicled point guard issues (more on this momentarily), the Lakers are severely undermanned in the paint- I mean, just look at “key” free agents #2 and 3.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

1993: The Worst Great Draft in NBA History

I like to think that in some alternate universe, the head of the NBA’s Class of 1993 ranks among the greatest of all time. Though faced with chronic injury, late blooming and disciplinary issues- and there was of plenty of each to go around with this crew- there was not a true bust among the top five. For all of their unfulfilled potential, every one of the first five players selected- to say nothing of Vin Baker (#8), Allan Houston (#11), Sam Cassell (#24) and Nick Van Exel (#37), among others- made significant contributions for at least the better part of a decade, giving us the “worst great draft” of the lottery era.

Headed by a 20 year-old manchild poised to redefine the power forward position, a Magic Johnson-Scottie Pippen hybrid, prototype scoring machines at both the 2 and the 3 and a seven-and-a-half footer with actual basketball skills, there literally was not a need that could not be addressed with a top-five pick.