2010 Los Angeles Lakers Seek Perfection: The Perfect Storm

At the beginning of the season, I posed the question that this preseason was indeed the perfect start on the road to a three-peat.

Perfection because of (rather than in spite of) a disruptive European excursion, Andrew Bynum's extended recovery, Kobe Bryant's knee at 60 percent in London and his shooting at 28.2 percent. And the NBA champs went 4-4 and lost to that Barcelona team!

The same fans wringing their hands in despair at the Laker preseason statistics are now speculating that this team could…go…all…the…way. The NBA championship is a given, and even if the Lakers lose a game or two this year they will surely beat the Bulls' record of wins in a regular season.

Extrapolation is a great tool, isn't it? Besides the projection of an undefeated season, Lamar Odom will lead the NBA in three-point shooting with 67 percent, the Lakers will continue to pummel opponents by almost 13 points a game and the rookies will not miss a free throw all season. It's just basic math, after all.

Of course, the 73-win record is safe, at least as far as the Lakers are concerned. As Phil might say, "It would be nice." But that is not the goal, and if the Lakers are able to pay enough attention throughout the season to even approach that goal, PJ will be resting his starters for the first-round playoffs.

If there is perfection in this season, it comes in the form of the perfect storm. The preseason is all about tinkering, training and conditioning. The regular season has often been compared to a second, long preseason.

But it has a fundamental difference: It is war—not training. The regular season is about survival, not perfection. Home-court advantage is really nice, but it is better to be healthy.

The perfect storm is looming on the horizon. Will there even be a season in 2011-2012? Are the Mayan’s right? With a new collective bargaining agreement in place, ...

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