Playing a 66-game season instead of an 82-game schedule gives this aging yet still immensely talented roster much-needed rest heading into what will be a grueling campaign and climb up the basketball mountain after a very disappointing fall from grace a year ago.
Despite all the wishful thinking of a Dwight Howard and/or Chris Paul trade to Los Angeles, the current Lakers are as strong with their starting lineup as any team in the league, including Dallas and Miami.
I said this about them last season and will repeat it: This team can go as far as it wants.
Is Kobe Bryant champing at the bit, thoroughly refreshed and ready to explode? How will Andrew Bynum start out the season, given as he must sit out the first five games due to the suspension he incurred with his nasty takedown of J.J. Barea in the playoffs?
And will Metta World Peace, the basketball player formerly known as Ron Artest, play more like the Artest of the 2009-2010 season or the slower, less confident version of last season’s playoffs?
Let’s take a look at the Lakers roster and see how this long layoff has affected each of their top 10 players and what they’ll need to concentrate on most to make this one a memorable championship run.