2010-11 Los Angeles Lakers NBA Predictions and Odds

The media frenzy surrouding the Miami Heat this offseason could not have been more fortuitous for the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. Not only are the Lakers being overlooked for a team who has reached three consecutive NBA Finals, but Kobe Bryant and company are coming into the year with a chip on their collective shoulders as all the attention is on the Miami Heat's Big Three.

The concerns around the Lakers are the usual: age and health. Kobe Bryant is now 32 and had offseason knee surgery. Lamar Odom will turn 31 in the first week of the season and Andrew Bynum will miss the first month of the season as he rehabs his right knee after his own surgery.

But they are still the Lakers and they've overcome these issues before. Pau Gasol is healthy after resting this offseason and passing on the FIBA World Championships. And the Lakers front office made the right offseason moves by bringing in critical role players that fans in Los Angeles have become accustomed to.

Bryant averaged 27 points per game last season but he was just one of five Lakers to average in double figures for points with Gasol (18.3), Bynum (15), Artest (11) and Odom (10.8). Artest went into the offseason with all the momentum in the world after his NBA Finals performance when he scored 20 points in Game 7, including the dagger, a three-pointer later in the game. This season Artest switches to No. 15, the same number he wore in college at St. Johns.

The Los Angeles Lakers schedule starts on NBA opening night Tuesday, Oct. 26, when the defending champions host Houston. Six of the Lakers first eight games are home, but they are scheduled for two seven-game road trips this season, one in December and another in February.


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