The Los Angeles Lakers have had quite the busy offseason and given the state of the roster, the team needs to establish its dominance early in the season if they are to be taken seriously.
With Steve Nash running the point and Dwight Howard manning the middle, there really isn't any reason that the Lakers shouldn't get past the conference semis, or even win a championship in 2013. To put it bluntly, the Lakers team right now is one that has the potential to put Miami's Big Three to absolute shame, from the starting lineup to the bench.
However, the roster is just a group of names on a piece of paper. In order for the team to succeed, each and every player must play his hardest and put up good numbers. In the Lakers' case, showing any sort of rust at the start of the season is unacceptable.
The Western Conference is tough as it is and just one or two lazy games could mean the playoffs.
Thus, the Lakers need to make their statement early. The rest of the league may be writing them off as old and over the hill. Kobe Bryant is no spring chicken and Metta World Peace is starting to look like the poster boy of the amnesty clause, but coach Mike Brown needs to start gathering the firewood now that training camp is about to start.
By establishing certain goals and instituting a couple of changes, he and his Lakers will own their conference early—and not let go of it for the balance of the season.