Culver City Observer -

LAKERS PREVIEW: Playoffs are Unlikely Again


October 29, 2015

By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

The Lakers’ annual goal used to be winning the NBA championship. They succeed 16 times to become one of the elite franchises in league history.

That was then and this is now, The Lakers haven’t won a playoff game (not a championship but one game) in the last three seasons.

They were swept in four games by the San Antonio Spurs, then didn’t qualify, then didn’t qualify again last season when they had a franchise low of 21 wins and 67 losses.

Here we go again. The Lakers begin a new season with a few reasons for optimism but many more for the probability that they won’t make the playoffs again this season.

There are some talented new players. Roy Hibbert is a 7-2 center who’s had some outstanding years, although not lately. Lou Williams was the NBA’s sixth man of the year last season for Toronto. Julius Randle in time should be the Lakers’ best player.

But the roster is a mixture of young and old players, not anyone great unless you think 37-year-old Kobe Bryant can turn back the clock. And what value is 34-year-old Metta World Pesce going to be?

Bryant has already been hurt. He didn’t play or practice for 10 days after injuring a leg in an exhibition game.

Bryant will be on a minutes limit and won’t play at all in some back to back games. Hibbert averaged only 22 minutes per game last season for Indiana.

There’s also the matter of the Lakers having a lot of road games early in the season, making it unlikely they’ll get off to a rousing start,

I like Hibbert’s attitude. He’s taking his role as a defensive stopper seriously. I like Williams’ scoring as a reserve guard. I don’t like Nick Young’s all-around play and I’m told the Lakers tried to trade him in the summer, but couldn’t, leaving them with three more years on his contract.

There are six teams likely to make the playoffs from the Western Conference – champion Golden State, San Antonio, the Clippers, Houston, Memphis and Oklahoma City.

The Lakers can scramble with the rest to achieve a berth but the odds are not good.


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