Los Angeles Lakers: 5 Ways Lakers Would Benefit from Shortened Season

Joshua SextonSenior Analyst IISeptember 19, 2011

Los Angeles Lakers: 5 Ways Lakers Would Benefit from Shortened Season

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    The thought of the Los Angeles Lakers playing anything but a full 82-game schedule can certainly be discouraging. But with the way the current labor negotiations are going, a shortened season is very much a possibility.

    There are, however, potential benefits from the Lakers playing a shortened season.

    I know what you are thinking. "Potential benefits? That’s impossible." But let’s take a look at five ways the Los Angeles Lakers could possibly benefit from a shortened 2011-12 season.

5. A Shortened Season Could Help with Making Trades

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    If the Los Angeles Lakers begin their shortened season and decide there is a player they want to trade, the team may not have to wait as long to trade him as they would during a full season, seeing as the trade deadline would come sooner.

    Remember, the Lakers made a trade during the 1998-99 lockout-shortened season that landed them Glen Rice, who played a major role in the team winning the championship in 1999-2000.

4. Fans Would Soon Forget About the Team's Playoff Meltdown

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    Assuming there will be games lost to the lockout, fans will presumably be really anxious to see NBA action whenever play does resume.

    Maybe waiting extra time to see the Lakers on the hardwood will distance fans from the ugly memories of the team’s stunning exit from the playoffs last spring.

    Just seeing the Lakers on television after the extended offseason will hopefully fill Lakers fans with such euphoria that they will unconsciously block the butt-whuppin' Dirk Nowitzki gave the team from their memories.

3. It Will Stymie the Exhausting Dwight Howard Rumors

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    There have already been plenty of debates as to whether the Los Angeles Lakers should attempt to acquire Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic, and the star center is still contractually obligated to Orlando for one more season.

    As Howard’s free agency draws closer, one can only expect the discussions of the Lakers acquiring Howard to heat up, possibly undermining the team’s performance on the court.

    I am not saying the Lakers shouldn’t make a run for Howard, but I think they should play next season first before worrying too much about him.

    If the Lakers do lose games to the current lockout, it will thankfully be less time we all have to hear about Howard coming to Hollywood.

2. Less Games Would Hopefully Help the Aging Players on the Team's Roster

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    The Los Angeles Lakers are not short on experienced, championship-proven basketball players. Or as others would say: old basketball players.

    For a veteran team like the Lakers, having to play less games may help save mileage on their already creaky legs, possibly making it a little easier to make a deep playoff run.

1. Would a Shortened Season Essentially Be Played with House Money?

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    Let’s pretend the Los Angeles Lakers will end up playing 50 games next season, like they did during the 1998-99 lockout-shortened season.

    Now, let’s pretend the Lakers play inconsistent basketball and are eliminated early from the playoffs. Mike Brown and the rest of the Lakers will undoubtedly be criticized, but not as much as they would during a full 82-game season.

    If the Lakers don’t live up to expectations during a shortened season, fans will be more willing and likely to forgive and forget quickly and give the team a second chance with a full slate of games.