Analysis on the Four Headed Dragon in Los Angeles

The NBA; where the rich becomes richer and the poor becomes… poorer?

The Los Angeles Lakers have become richer indeed! They had one of their most epic offseason in a decade. They were able to add 2-time MVP Steve Nash and the best big man in the game, Dwight Howard.

And just like that, the Los Angeles Lakers are now considered as one of the the FAVORITES to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season, and for maybe 2-3 more years! This is, mind you, despite the fact that they had a very rough start to the season and are finding themselves out of the Playoff race. But fear not – because Steve Nash has returned and the Lakers are actually on a 4 game winning streak.

But before we all get excited about what the Lakers have done – let us take a closer look on the 4-headed dragon in Los Angeles, and of course, the X-Factor in their starting 5.

At Point Guard; Steve Nash!

Steve Nash
Steve Nash will go down as one of the best point guards in NBA history. His intelligence and creativity with the basketball is simply unmatched in today’s game. And even at 38 years old, he’s still one of the top point guards in the league.

What he brings to the Lakers though is more than just play making. For once in Kobe Bryant’s career, he has someone in the back court that can take over the game like he can. Someone Kobe can trust. Although Kobe always respected Derek Fisher, Fisher was never the kind of point guard that could impact the game the way Nash can. Kobe can now confidently let his point guard run the show.

Nash will orchestrate the offense and make sure that Kobe, Pau, and Dwight get the touches that they need. Above anything else, Nash will set the pace for the Lakers offense and inject his own style of play. With the Lakers’ offensive playbook now far from what Phil Jackson implemented, Nash will help out his former Suns Coach Mike D’antoni in implementing the offense and act as a playing coach on the court.

At Shooting Guard, Kobe Bryant!

Kobe Bryant
Kobe will always be Kobe. We know him, and we surely know his game. That won’t ever change. No matter how old Kobe gets, he’s still going to shoot the basketball as much as he wants. Only this time, he doesn’t need to shoot as much as he did. With Nash handling the rock, Kobe won’t have to drop 35 points a game for the Lakers to win.

The Lakers are very deep this season, and this is probably one of, if not the deepest team Bryant has ever been.

Make no mistake about it that the Lakers are still Kobe’s team, but he’s a very smart player and he realizes that it’s time for him to play a more team oriented game if he wants to win another title.

At Power Forward, Pau Gasol!

Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol is one of the most skilled big men in the game. His offense will be an asset for the Lakers, especially against the Miami Heat who has no answer for Gasol’s offensive prowess.

Gasol will benefit from Steve Nash’s play making skills. He will get easy baskets that he never had in his entire career. If given enough touches, Gasol may be poised to have his best offensive season, thanks to Steve Nash.

Despite the trade rumors of him being traded elsewhere, Gasol looks to be part of this Lakers team for the long haul – or until after this season at least.

At Center, Dwight Howard!

Dwight Howard
Well, what can we say? The Dwightmare finally ended when the Orlando Magic decided to pull the trigger and send Dwight Howard to the L.A. Lakers.

Now, the Lakers have the best big man in the game once again (see: Shaquille O’neal, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain). Dwight is an obvious upgrade from Andrew Bynum, despite Bynum being the better offensive player among the two.

With Howard’s superior defense and presence in the paint, the Lakers became instant favorites to win the title. Howard fell to Bryant’s Lakers back in 2009 in the NBA Finals. Now, Howard will have a shot to win a title alongside Kobe Bryant. With Howard manning the middle, the Lakers are confident that they have what it takes to make it out of the Western Conference and beat the Miami Heat.

These four are giving every Lakers fan a brand new hope and excitement for their team. But if they want to win it all, the other guy from the starting line-up should contribute, *cough* Metta *cough*.

To know more about the Lakers’ X-Factor, read our next article about him.


Top 5 Frontrunners for the MVP Award (NBA)

Last season (2011-2012), LeBron James was head and shoulders above every NBA (National Basketball Association) player for the Maurice Podoloff Trophy. There’s no denying that King James is the best player in the planet.

As Charles Barkley mentioned in a recent Heat VS Spurs match-up, LeBron James is just “on another planet”. Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, a healthy Derrick Rose; those guys are good, but without a doubt, LeBron James is still the best player in the league.

Although LeBron is the best player in the planet, he’s still not a shoe-in for the Most Valuable Player award in the NBA. The MVP award isn’t only given to the player with the best stats. There are other factors being considered when the media votes for the MVP.

But for now, let’s take a look at the Top 5 Frontrunners for the MVP award this season (2012-2013).

#5: Zach Randolph

When a team has the best record in the league, someone from that squad deserves to be in the MVP chatter, right? For the league leading Memphis Grizzlies (11-2), Zach Randolph is that guy!

Z-Bo has been averaging 16.7 PPG and 13.3 RBG. Aside from the numbers, Zach Randolph has been playing well on the defensive end as well. Randolph’s toughness and grit is one of the main reasons why the Grizzlies are destroying teams who get in their way.
Randolph may be a longshot to win the MVP, but if the Grizzlies can somehow keep winning, it’s going to be hard for the media to snub Zach Randolph.

#4 Kobe Bryant

The Los Angeles Lakers may not be having the start that they were hoping for. Prior to the start of the season, there was a lot of chatter that the Lakers *could* beat the Chicago Bulls (`95-96) 72-10 record. With an All-Star cast featuring Kobe Bryant, 2-Time MVP Steve Nash, Multiple DPOY winners Dwight Howard and Ron Artest Metta World Peace it seemed to make sense at first. But unfortunately, Nash got injured, Mike Brown got fired, and there’s a lot of question marks down in Hollywood.
The only bright spot? Mr. Kobe Bryant!

Kobe is averaging nearly 30 points per game, 5 boards, and 5 dimes! With Nash out, Kobe has been doing the ball distribution for the Lakers. Though they are only at 7-8 right now, the Lakers still have a lot of time to make things right and win.
With Kobe Bryant, anything is possible. If the Lakers somehow turn this season around, Kobe may possibly win his 2nd MVP award this year; all at age 34.

#3 Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant is widely considered as the 2nd best player after LeBron James. Though that is still debatable at this point, Durant is the unquestionable leader of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Durant’s scoring has been stellar ever since he entered the league 4 years ago. He’s averaging 26.6 points per game, a surprising 9 rebounds a game, and 4.4 assists per game.

There’s no question that Durant has been playing amazing in 16 games so far this season. But what makes Durant special this year is his increased rebounding and assists. Hopefully, Durant can keep this up till seasons end. If he does, maybe he can win his first ever MVP award.

He needs to make sure that the Thunder keeps winning too. [Read more…]