As I sat down to watch the Lakers' opening game on Christmas afternoon, my expectations could not have been lower.
The season may not have started, but the Lakers were in the midst of a miserable stretch. The announced trade of Chris Paul was shut down by David Stern, they had been unable to lure Dwight Howard to L.A. and Lamar Odom was sent to the defending champion Dallas Mavericks for virtually nothing in return.
Their consolation prizes were Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy and Jason Kopono—decent role players, but nothing on the level of D12 or CP3. The season, already shortened by the lockout, seemed over before it even started.
My mind has changed. After watching the Lakers in the early part of the season, there are a lot of things to be excited about. Will the Lakers win the title?
Too soon to tell, but here are five reasons why the Lakers are actually better than they were last year.