My Laker Make-Over

By on February 13, 2012

Los Angeles Lakers Andrew Bynum (17) is defended by Philadelphia 76ers center Nikola Vucevic (8) earlier this month in Philadelphia. (photo: US PRESSWIRE/Howard Smith)

I’m a Lakers fan; I have been since I watched Magic and Bird go at it in the 1985 finals. I’ve been a fan through the low points and the high points but what I am observing this season is frightening to me. The weaknesses on this team are as glaring as an ocean of diamonds and yet I see no movement to repair the broken gears or this Championship Machine I call the Lakers.

Before the season even started fans were calling for Dwight Howard and begging for the Lakers to trade Bynum and even Gasol. As the season moved on and Andrew Bynum came back from a 5 game suspension fans noticed the time Bynum spent with Freddie Roach, helped with his cardio, his foot movement and even his shoulder and head dips. Bynum came out in a BEAST-MODE and divided the Laker fan base. Some wanted Bynum to stay and some still cried for Dwight Howard. Even now, after Bynum made the all-star game people are still yelling for D12. BREAKING NEWS!!!!! CENTER is not a position the Lakers need to improve at. So for those of you that want Howard, please stop asking for him, Bynum is better offensive weapon, he is younger and I firmly believe he is still about 4 seasons from hitting his peak.

So if the Lakers don’t need a Center where do they need help? Well it’s not at Power Forward or Shooting Guard either. The biggest problem with the Lakers is the Point Guard slot. Derek Fisher is floor leader, a clutch shooter and very intelligent defender, he draws fouls most can’t, but…and this is a huge but, he is slow and old. Fisher would best serve the Lakers as bench player, let him be that floor leader with the 2nd unit. Steve Blake is also a decent 2nd unit Point Guard, Andrew Goudelock is not a Point Guard and Darius Morris is not ready for the NBA. So that leaves the Purple and Gold without a true #1 point guard.

The next spot to look at is the Small Forward position. Metta World Peace, Matt Barnes and Devin Ebanks are all solid 2nd unit guys trying to be starters. MWP plays the best defense of the 3, Barnes is the most energetic and Ebanks is that young guy trying but not making it happen. So that leaves the Lakers with 3 guys at the same spot, I don’t think that really helps in the long run and it’s obviously not helping in the short term.

So what’s the answer for the Lakers? A blockbuster trade is not the answer, a tweak here and a role player here will change the landscape of this team and will prove that blockbuster trades are not always the best way to go. If you are adamant that without Dwight Howard or Deron Williams the Lakers can’t win a championship maybe you should stop reading now because I’m about to prove that you don’t know what you are talking about.  Granted it would be nice to have those guys but it’s not a do or die scenario.

Let’s address the biggest issue, the Point Guard. The Lakers have trade options with players, draft picks and trade exceptions. They don’t need to touch either of their 7 footers to bring in guys that can help. There are a ton of guys out there that can start at Point Guard over the ones we have now. Ramon Sessions, Goran Dragic, and D.J. Augustin all would be upgrades and would be pretty easy to obtain. All are solid Point Guards with the ability to play defense, shot the ball and most importantly, they know how to facilitate the ball. They all have pro’s and con’s like any player but if you plug any of these guys into the Lakers starting slot you will see wins pile up. Kobe is doubled as soon as he touches the ball, with a PG that can drive and dish the ball at the last second it will leave Kobe able to freelance to find his sweet spots and catch and shoot. Defenses will have no other option but to collapse towards the rim, a driving PG with two 7 footers in the paint is nearly unstoppable not to mention Kobe lurking like the assassin he is.

With just adding a point guard the Lakers improve instantly, but I’m not done there. I think adding a true starting Small Forward will make the Lakers unstoppable. I look at it like this, who can come in, start, and impact right away with either helping Kobe score or being a shutdown defender or both. A few names come to mind; again keep in mind I’m not touching Gasol or Bynum so this is not blockbuster deal either. My 1st pick would be Michael Beasley, he would be that other shooter to compliment Kobe, and his defense is pretty solid as well. Beasley is young, very talented and with the coaching staff the Lakers have I think his immaturity issues would be a thing of the past. I don’t think there is another guy out there that would help in scoring like Beasley would.

So if the Lakers do what I suggest they would look like this:

PG- Sessions: PPG: 10.1, APG: 5.7, RPG: 3.2

SG- Bryant: PPG: 29.3, APG: 5.0, RPG: 5.8

SF- Beasley: PPG: 13.8 PPG, APG: 1.1, RPG: 6.2

PF- Gasol: PPG: 16.7, RPG: 10.5, BLKPG: 1.3

C- Bynum: PPG: 16.4, RPG: 12.5, BLKPG: 2.1

I don’t know about you but I like this lineup and I think it’s a true Championship type of team. Kobe could do his thing, with Sessions moving the ball. Beasley would give the starting lineup another shooting threat and he could be left on the court and be the primary shooter while Kobe gets his rest on the bench. Both big men stay on the team and continue to dominate inside the paint. Sessions is 25 years old compared to Fisher at 37, and Beasley is 23 years old compared to Metta who is 32, so the youth movement is evident and will help at both ends of the court.

This team has it all, a young center that is getting better each season, one of the best power forwards in the NBA, a young pure shooter in Beasley, a young point guard that can facilitate the ball, and the BLACK MAMBA, that’s a recipe for success for this season and many seasons to come.

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