C - Andrew Bynum, Theo Ratliff
PF - Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Devin Ebanks
SF - Ron Artest, Matt Barnes, Luke Walton
SG - Kobe Bryant, Shannon Brown, Sasha Vujacic
PG - Derek Fisher, Steve Blake
Brad: About the only thing everyone seems to agree upon in NBA previews is LA as the favorite out West... and they're right I think... Kobe is back and he's Kobe... they have unmatched talent up front when Bynum is alive and well (rarely but we'll get to that), and they've added quality depth they didn't have before with Barnes and Blake... I really, really liked both moves, and personally I think Blake is better than Fisher at this stage, but Fisher is the mainstay so that'll be what happens... I almost think this team is better without Bynum.. which seems crazy but with Gasol at center in this league, him and odom would be the best C-PF combo on the planet regardless... Am I insane here?
Ryan: Not insane but I think that LA is its most versatile without Bynum,having Pau at the 5 and Odom at the 4..but there is hardly a successful matchup of length and skill when both Pau and are on the court..I think thats their best lineup still.Getting Blake and Barnes are steals because neither will kill you on either side and are capable of hitting open shots..steals basically...But I don't think it'll be an easy road for LA because there are other teams(SA/Dallas/Portland) who have the talent but have question marks of their own... Bynum has to play majority of the games for it to be the overwhelming favorites in my mind...or maybe just the 2nd half of the season...
Brad: I can see your point there... maybe it's because I have an overriding sense that Bynum is legit injury-prone and it's not going to get better... alas, that's where they are... and they won several postseason games with him being a non-factor... I'm not sure they are a lock for the finals even when healthy, but the favorite? Absolutely... when you have Kobe + Gasol and a significantly improved supporting cast to the one they won with last year... the pieces add up... Prediction: 1st in the West
Ryan: Yeah I can see that because he was in the finals just standing around basically..but when it comes down to it you can't trust any other team because they've never done it..go with LA until they show you something different..Prediction: 1st in the West