ESPN released its very early 2016 win-loss projections, and to some it will be a disappointing surprise. To others it might be right around where they predicted the young Lakers will be. (notes provided by John McTigue of ESPN)
Laker fans need to remember that this is a very young team. They will be learning a brand new system with a brand new (also very young) coach. This projection is actually one of the more accurate projections I have seen from the equally loved and hated sports conglomerate.
Rebuild and refocus
Lakers fans need to understand that this season will be all about the process. After losing their franchise player to retirement, it’s time to focus on the young franchise players to be. The lime light will be squarely on D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. Luke Walton was on Shaq’s Podcast just recently explaining what the goals are with this season. (H/T to Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll for transcribing)
“The expectations, to me, aren’t going to be wins and losses, right now at least. The expectations are going to be the way we play,” said Walton. “It’s about having an edge when you play, it’s about competing every single time on offense and defense, and it’s about playing the right way
To some Laker fans ,this will come as a disappointment. Three years, and likely a fourth, of not reaching the playoffs is a tough pill to swallow.
Having fun…For once
One thing that can be said about this season is that it’s going to be a lot of fun. Byron Scott’s iso-ball was so hard to watch all season. Luke Walton’s free flowing system will be the return of good basketball again to Los Angeles. The young core will have free roam of the court where you’re more likely to get benched for not passing the ball, than benched for not passing it to Kobe.
Personally I think the Lakers can reach 30 wins. If things go perfect maybe 35-37 wins. With the Golden State juggernaut looming large in the West, it will be best for Laker fans to watch for improvement of the young core. If you do that, then you’re in for an extremely fun ride watching the growth of our young talent.
Note for the tankers: According to ESPN’s summer record forecast on both conferences, if the Lakers finish 25-57 they will finish with the 3rd worst record in the League. They have a top 3 protected pick for next year’s lottery.
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