Phil Jackson may come to the rescue again, but even he can't salvage the season for this old, tired team. The best-case scenario for the Lakers is that they manage to fend off the Clippers and Mavericks and maybe even the Thunder and Spurs, but there is no way they will upend the Heat for the 2013 NBA title. Of course, anything short of an NBA championship is a disaster for the Lakers, especially this season.
Expectations were extremely high for the Lakers after picking up Dwight Howard and Steve Nash during a much-ballyhooed offseason.
The Princeton offense of Brown was vilified, but the real problem is that this team just has a bad case of being old.
Nash has hit the wall that Jason Kidd did last season and John Stockton did long before when each turned 39. I don't care how great of a point guard you are, you're simply not going to be running and gunning much while pushing 40.
Gary Payton was a few years younger when he and Karl Malone joined forces with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal for the 2003-04 season. That Lakers superteam was ousted in the NBA Finals four games to one by the Detroit Pistons and Chauncey Billups, a point guard in his prime and Finals MVP.
Oh yeah, that Tinseltown team also had the greatest coach of all time. But Phil Jackson couldn't solve that puzzle, and he certainly can't fix this one either. The triangle offense won't appeal to Nash any more than it did to Payton nine seasons ago.
Again, the Lakers could return to the Finals this season if they get fully healthy. However, barring an injury to LeBron James, I doubt that they would win one game in the 2013 NBA Finals.
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