Do You Still Have Old “Hang Ups?”: What Raja Bell means to Los Angeles Lakers

The two-time defending world champs have been active this off-season, gearing up for a third consecutive NBA Title.

Most agree that Steve Blake was a good addition; however there are a few more areas in need of attention.

As the dominoes continue to fall around the league, we’ll need to continue tweaking and minimizing our flaws to counter the movement. Outside shooting and perimeter defense are the two gaping holes opponents have exposed for years.

Our inability to hit three’s last year limited the triangle, thus the Lakers are looking for a consistent threat—Raja Bell—to keep defenses honest.

Last season former defensive player of the year Ron Artest was inserted to match up against the bigger guards and small forwards (LeBron, 'Melo, Pierce, and Durant). His main focus coming in was to cause as much havoc on defense as possible.

Conversely, fans had also seen Ron as a central scoring option in Houston and Sacramento; accordingly the bar offensively was set high as well. In the post season, he was dared to shoot from the perimeter; and single handedly raised the blood pressure of thousands in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

Fortunately, Artest seemed to shine brightest in the biggest moments.

Nevertheless, his inaccuracies sure made for an interesting and unforgettable run.

Raja brings a lot of the same defensive capabilities against smaller guards; and more importantly, a reliable outside shot.

Wait, isn’t that what Shannon brought?


Unlike Shannon, Raja has the confidence to look for the three first. In the past, teams loaded up or doubled because we couldn’t capitalize efficiently. Bell’s ability to accurately catch and shoot from distance will stifle defenses, forcing them to play Kobe, Pau, and Bynum 1-on-1.

But as an older team, do we really want to add the 33 year old Raja ...

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