Los Angeles Lakers: 2011-2012 Projected Player Stats

Spencer KierCorrespondent INovember 30, 2011

Los Angeles Lakers: 2011-2012 Projected Player Stats

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    With the Lakers' season now less than a month away, it's time to start analyzing and deciphering the abundance of new variables that have been added to the Los Angeles mixer.

    The most obvious one, although it has been recently overshadowed by the lockout, is the hiring of Mike Brown. With Brown's taking of the reigns from arguably the greatest coach in NBA history comes high expectations, little patience, and a significant amount of scrutiny.

    He has assembled a new cast of coaches and has been outspoken about his plan for a Spurs-esque offensive system built around two, substantial and talented bigs, similar to the San Antonio duo back in the day of Duncan and Robinson. Quite obviously, Gasol and Bynum are supposed to be the centerpieces of this new offense, although adjustments will likely be made when and where necessary.

    Most notably missing from the above offensive equation is one "Black Mamba." Brown claims that he has a prospective use for the Lakers' superstar, although, as you can imagine, fans and analysts are skeptical of Kobe's effectiveness and productivity in this new system.

    In addition to Bryant, Gasol, Bynum, and Odom, the Lakers have drafted guards Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris, although they have not yet been signed, and have returned role players Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Derrick Caracter, Devin Ebanks, Steve Blake, Trey Johnson, Luke Walton and the newly named Metta World Peace.

    The Lakers, boasting a payroll north of 90 million, will be looking to mix up the roster scene and shed some salaries, most likely starting with the waiving of Luke Walton through the use of the Amnesty Clause. Ties to both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard have been made through the grapevine, which could be the Lakers' big move if all goes well. Shannon Brown, the Lakers' back-up shooting guard last season, will most likely sign elsewhere for next season, prompting potential playing time for Trey Johnson, Darius Morris, and Andrew Goudelock. 

Darius Morris

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    PTS

    REBS

    ASSTS

    FG%

    FT%

    G

    4.1

    1.7

    2.9

    44.6%

    70.2%

    45

    Morris has a lot of potential and a high ceiling.

    He averaged about 15 points, six assists and four rebounds last season at Michigan, and could prove an instrumental piece in the Lakers' future.

    With Shannon Brown prospectively packing his bags for another city, Morris has an opportunity to get some immediate PT, albeit behind three other point guards and arguably the greatest player in the game today.

    Don't count him out though--at least not yet. 

Derrick Caracter

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    PTS

    REBS

    BLKS

    FG%

    FT%

    G

    2.2

    1.5

    0.5

    49.5%

    74.5%

    35

    I'm very indecisive in regards to Caracter's role in this upcoming season.

    He is a player I would like to see with an expanded role and who I think is ready for one, but if Bynum is able to abstain from any major injuries, Caracter might just become accustomed to the bench.

    It's understandably hard for a coach to muster up playing time for you when you're playing behind the best three-headed front court in the league of Gasol, Bynum, and Odom. With Brown's prospective new offense, I think it's safe to say that Caracter will more or less mimic his stats from last year. 

Trey Johnson

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    PTS

    REBS

    ASSTS

    FG%

    FT%

    G

    7.2

    2

    2.1

    45.6%

    83.5%

    62

    I think Johnson is primed for a breakout season, or at the very minimum, an expanded role, especially considering the likely event that Shannon Brown leaves Los Angeles.

    He led the D-League last year in points with over 25 a game, while averaging over four points and four assists.

    He is well-rounded, reliable, and youthful--three things the Lakers desperately need at the point guard position. 

Steve Blake

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    PTS

    ASSTS

    FG%

    FT%

    G

    3.7

    2.0

    37.5%

    85.0%

    60

    I really don’t see Blake being any less productive or more of a dissapointment than he was last year, but then again, I don't see him being more productive either.

    Blake came in as a highly touted backup point guard to compliment Derek Fisher, but ended up being a bust.

    Trey Johnson, Darius Morris, and even Andrew Goudelock have the potential to surpass Blake as a backup guard if Mike Brown finds even a glimmer of hope and potential in any of those guys. 

Matt Barnes

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    PTS

    REBS

    FG%

    FT%

    G

    7.9

    4.5

    48.0%

    76.2%

    58

    Barnes was the epitome of an energy and role player last year for the Lake Show.

    He was, in my opinion, better suited for the Lakers than Ron Artest, despite being just as a big of a hothead.

    I think Barnes will receive more recognition and playing time as a result of Metta World Peace's lack of consistency and efficiency, and has the potential to overtake him at the number three spot.  

Derek Fisher

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    PTS

    ASSTS

    STLS

    FG%

    FT%

    G

    6.1

    3.0

    1.1

    38.3%

    82.4%

    66

    Coming off of a taxing, stressful, and exhausting collective bargaining agreement process, complicated by age, I don't think Fisher will be experiencing a "career year."

    His numbers have been steadily decreasing over the past three seasons, and with Phil Jackson no longer on the Lakers' sidelines, not only is Fisher's playing time in jeopardy, but potentially his starting role as well.

    One thing Fisher has been over his decade in an NBA uniform though, is consistent. He is an iron man, evidenced by his playing in every regular season game in the past six seasons.

Metta World Peace

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    PTS

    REBS

    STLS

    FG%

    FT%

    G

    9.1

    3.6

    1.7

    40.4%

    67.4%

    62

    I'm worried about World Peace, to be quite frank, as funny as it sounds.

    Ron Ron's numbers have diminished significantly over the past several seasons on the hardwood. He recorded career lows in points and field goal percentage last season, and came dangerously close in nearly every other category.

    He seems to be in a "Hollywood-infatuated" state of mind and focused on everything but the game of basketball.

Lamar Odom

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    PTS

    REBS

    ASSTS

    BLKS

    FG%

    FT%

    G

    13.1

    8.2

    3.2

    0.8

    52.0%

    67.1%

    66

    I think his points and rebounds will take a slight drop from last season, only because of age and my projected outbreak of Andrew Bynum.

    L.O. does seem to suffer from the same spotlight disease as Metta World Peace though, and his show with reality television star and wife Khloe Kardashian could prove to be a major distraction.

    As far as consistency and stamina goes though, Lamar is extremely reliable. He hasn't missed a game in his past two seasons with the Lakers.

Andrew Bynum

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    PTS

    REBS

    BLKS

    FG%

    FT%

    G

    15.4

    10.2

    2.1

    57.2%

    68.0%

    60

    Andrew Bynum is probably the most highly scrutinized player on the Lakers aside from Kobe Bryant. He has experienced a roller coaster of injuries and emotions throughout his stay in Los Angeles.

    Despite Bynum's inability to meet high expectations in previous years, I do think that he still has an ample amount of potential and room for growth. When healthy, he is arguably the second best center in the NBA. 

    I truly believe that this will be his coming out party and breakout season.

    The stars seem to be aligning for Drew. The addition of Mike Brown and his suggested post-up, big-based offense, combined with an extra healing period made possible by the NBA lockout, could turn out to be the perfect storm. 

    As a dedicated and die-hard Lakers fan, I really hope it is.

Pau Gasol

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    PTS

    REBS

    ASSTS

    BLKS

    FG%

    FT%

    G

    18.5

    9.7

    3.3

    1.5

    52.6%

    80.4

    64

    I was hesitant to give Gasol a major boost from his numbers last season, primarily because of his abysmal playoff showing. At the same time, I didn't feel a dramatic reduction was necessary because Gasol has proven his worth and consistency since being traded to the Lakers in '08.

    Pau has shown time and time again why he is amongst the top bigs in the league, and arguably the best power forward in the game today.

    It's just a matter of which Spaniard will make an appearance. The one who dominated the 2009-2010 playoffs, or the one who was dominated by amateur bigs in New Orleans this past postseason.

Kobe Bryant

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    PTS

    REBS

    ASSTS

    STLS

    FG%

    FT%

    G

    27.8

    5.0

    5.2

    1.3

    45.8%

    83%

    62

    Kobe was the hardest person for me to place a confident number and projection on, mostly because I didn't know how to read all the incoming variables.

    Mike Brown's introduction and implementation could either prove to be a horrible experiment or beautiful relationship.

    Also, there are two ways to read the recently-ended NBA lockout: either the extended period of rest will benefit Kobe's arthritic knee and ailing finger, or the ensuing compacted season will hurt him.

    I'm a believer in and a proponent of the first.

    Kobe is, for one of the few times in his glorious NBA career, out to prove something. Reports last season stating that Kobe was on the down and out, complimented by his number seven ranking on ESPN's  #NBArank, could result in a frightening and potentially deadly Black Mamba for each and every one of his competitors this season.

     

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