Diagnosing LA Lakers’ Remaining Roster Flaws

The Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff hopes will be contingent primarily on one thing in 2014: health.

Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash combined for 53.7 points, 16.8 assists and 17 rebounds per game a season ago, and will be the Lakers' main pieces in the upcoming year.

However, that same trio played in just 177 out of a possible 246 combined games in 2013. While Bryant missed only four contests, Gasol (33 games) and Nash (32 games) missed significant stretches with nagging injuries.

Los Angeles will be heading into training camp with a revamped, deeper roster—a credit to GM Mitch Kupchak—after losing Dwight Howard to free agency. New acquisitions like Nick Young, Chris Kaman, Wesley Johnson and Jordan Farmar will be given the chance to come in right away and make an immediate impact.

Although the new players will be an important part of the journey, the team will go as far as Bryant, Gasol and Nash can take it.

The Mamba is currently rehabbing from a torn Achilles, but hopes to be back for opening night. Bryant says that he's “shattered” the timetable for Achilles injuries, via ABS-CBN News, and is 100 percent confident about returning as the same player.

Without a healthy Bryant, though, the Lakers will be a lottery team. If that Achilles proves to be problematic once the season gets underway, forget all about the playoffs and a winning record.

Outside of Bryant, the Lakers have injury concerns with Gasol and Nash, as well.

Gasol missed time as a result of an internal tear at the bottom of his foot in 2013, and also had a procedure in May to address tendonosis in both of his knees, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA.

Nash, who will be turning 40 years old later this year, broke his leg and tore his hamstring in an injury-stricken campaign last season. Despite the fact that he should be coming into training c...

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