Having the best offseason of any team in the NBA does not guarantee an easy road to claiming the title.
The Lakers still have plenty of concerns and issues they must deal with in the upcoming season.
Mike Brown is only in his second season as head coach of the Lakers and with his shifting roster, the pressure to manage his team is on high.
Any coach that has Phil Jackson as their predecessor will be intimidated. Jackson's time with the Lakers made them one of the most dominant teams in NBA history, and Laker fans expect Brown to replicate it quickly.
In doing that though, there are considerable difficulties. Brown is managing a completely different team, so the process of getting to know his players is starting all over again for him. Though the headache of Andrew Bynum and his immaturity is gone, Dwight Howard may just be another replacement.
As evidenced by his infamous disdain for his former coach Stan Van Gundy, if Howard is not satisfied in some way, it will show on the court. Brown has to be able to command respect from Dwight and his other players if the Lakers are to produce well on the court.
Though on paper the Lakers are expected to be extremely cohesive night after night, with all these personalities and dominant players, it may be a challenge for them to work well initially.
We all saw this situation play out with LeBron James and his first season with the Heat, as well as the 2004 Olympic Bronze Medalist basketball teams. A team that consists of all talented players will not work if there is no chemistry.
For some players, the challenge will be in assuming a lesser role and realizing that Kobe Bryant is the head of the team. Both Dwight Howard and Steve Nash are coming from teams in which they were the leaders.
They must be able to play however necessary for the greater good of the team, even if it means they are now the followers.
Lastly, as with any team, injuries are always an issue. Kobe Bryant and his knee are an ever-growing concern. The Lakers absolutely cannot afford an injury to Bryant. He is the team's star player and their offense essentially runs through him.
Dwight Howard is coming off a back injury himself. Even if he returns in time for the season opener, no one knows how his injury will affect his play throughout the rest of the season.
If the Lakers can respect their coach, learn to play well together and remain healthy, they will live up to their high expectations and do considerably well.
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