All right, so we’ve only seen one team (’96 Bulls) reach the 70-win plateau mark in the history of the NBA. Great. I guess it’s a good thing that history has a habit of repeating itself.
Sometimes it does so very literally.
In what will be an encore presentation of the ’96 Bulls dominance, the role of Michael Jordan will be played by Kobe Bryant, the role of Scottie Pippen will be played by Pau Gasol, the role of Dennis Rodman will be played by Ron Artest, and the role of Phil Jackson will be played by….. Phil Jackson.
Even aside from these eerily close similarities, the Lakers have all the pieces in place to set themselves up for a repeat Championship title and a 70-win season.
Its no secret that the Lakers play in one of the weakest divisions in basketball.
Aside from the Phoenix Suns, who were unable to even qualify for the playoffs, no one in the Pacific Division was able to muster anything resembling a .500 record and not nearly enough improvements have been made within the division to predict a radical enough change next year.
Besides if we analyze the Lakers’ situation closely, we see that the Lakers were actually much closer to 70 wins last year than most would give them credit for.
Off the top of my head, I can name three one-point losses that the Lakers suffered, two of which that came at literally the last second.
#1 Troy Murphy, Pacers – rebound tip in 0:01 4th quarter
#2 Roger Mason, Spurs – fouled, jumpshot made free throw converted 3point play 0:10 4th quarter
#3 Andre Iguodala, Sixers - Three pointer 0:01 4th qarter
Now if you give the Lakers two of those seconds back, they’ve already won two of those three games, bringing them to 67 total regular season wins.
Is it really that hard to believe that the Lakers can win three more additional games this year with the renewed focus and confidence that comes along with becoming reigning Champions in addition to a healthy Andrew Bynum AND the newly acquired Ron Artest?
I don’t think so.
Just remember: you all read it here first.