Hooped Up: Los Angeles Lakers 08-09 Season Preview

A team-by-team preview of all 30 NBA teams heading into the 2008 – 2009 season, Hooped Up style.  

Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers came into the NBA finals on fire after acquiring Pau Gasol  but got man handled by the Boston Celtics. They never really added or subtracted from this line up, but they will have a healthy Andrew Bynum returning that will have to co-exist with Pau Gasol on the block; they moved Lamar Odom to the bench to be the sixth man capable of playing all five positions and will start Vladimir Radmonovic in his place. MVP Kobe Bryant is angry about how the season ended last year and who can blame him, the Lakers got moirdered in the finals. 

This team wants another shot at the title and it looks like they might just get it.

Projected Starters: PG – Derek Fisher / SG – Kobe Bryant / SF – Vladimir Radmonovic / PF – Pau Gasol / C – Andrew Bynum

Additions: Joe Crawford, Sun Yue, Josh Powell, Dwayne Mitchell, Brandon Heath, CJ Giles

Losses: Ronny Turiaf, D.J. Mbenga, Ira Newble

Projected Wins: 60+

Team Theme Song:  Madvillain – All Caps
Kobe Bryant wants you to spell his name KOBE BRYANT to secure his legacy of success without SHAQ and only a CHAMPIONSHIP win will allow this. 

Overall
After a MVP season and championship beatin’ by the Celtics, Kobe Bryant is angry and will play with one single thought all season long.  Revenge!!!  12 year pro Derek Fisher who has seen his fair share of playoff combat has got to feel the same way too. A healthy contract seeking Andrew Bynum in the front-court will have his best season ever and Pau Gasol will be consistent at the power forward spot. Lamar Odom is always the x-factor and with his new bench role, he might turn out to be more valuable as a movable line up piece. 

If they don’t make another trip to the the NBA finals this year, it would be considered a failure. Straight up!