5 Los Angeles Lakers Destined to Get off to Slow Starts for 2011-12 NBA Season

Joshua SextonSenior Analyst IIDecember 20, 2011

5 Los Angeles Lakers Destined to Get off to Slow Starts for 2011-12 NBA Season

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    The Los Angeles Lakers are now less than a week from opening the 2011-12 season against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center.

    And by the time the ball is tipped, the team will have only had two weeks of training camp under their belts, meaning fans should expect rusty basketball.

    But which Lakers are destined to have slower starts to the 2011-12 season than others?

    Let’s take a look.

5. Jason Kapono

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    Jason Kapono was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers to do one thing and one thing only: improve the team’s three-point shooting.

    If Kapono’s shooting is cold to start the season, he is practically useless to the team.

    Considering the former UCLA Bruin only played 24 games last season with the Philadelphia 76ers, it may take him a while to find his touch from three-point land.

4. Pau Gasol

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    Earlier this month, Pau Gasol was set to be traded to the Houston Rockets in a three-team trade that would have brought Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.

    But the trade was eventually vetoed by the NBA, and Gasol had to report to training camp knowing the Lakers were ready to send him to Houston.

    So far, Gasol has been nothing but professional about the situation, unlike Lamar Odom, who demanded a trade after finding out he was going to be dealt in the CP3 trade.

    But what Gasol tells reporters and what he feels deep inside are two different things.

    Something else to consider is the poor stretch of play Gasol exhibited in last spring's postseason, where he reached his regular season scoring average one time in 10 playoff games.

    If his slump from the playoffs carries over, or he is more hurt than we realize over the team wanting to trade him, it’s certainly not out of the question for the All-Star forward to get off to a slow start.

3. Josh McRoberts

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    For the first time in his career, Josh McRoberts will be playing on a team with championship aspirations.

    Adding even more pressure to McRoberts' shoulders is the fact he is replacing Lamar Odom as the team's backup power forward.

    It may take "McBob" a bit to find his footing with the Lakers, given the combination of playing on a good team and the big shoes he has to fill.

2. Metta World Peace

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    It was reported at the beginning of training camp that Metta World Peace was out of shape, not prepping the way he normally would thinking the lockout was going to eat-up the entire season.

    Also, there have been reports he will come off the bench to start the season.

    Metta is looking to have a bounce-back season in 2011-12, after having what was arguably his worst season as a professional last season, averaging careers lows in points and rebounds.

    It will take a while for World Peace to get used to his new role off the bench, leading to a slow start from the veteran forward.

    But he will eventually find his groove coming off the pine, making the loss of Lamar Odom easier to swallow.

1. Derek Fisher

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    A shortened training camp, weeks full of arduous labor negotiations and an already aging body add up to a less-than-perfect Derek Fisher to start the season.

    Even more worrisome for fans, is as of right now, D-Fish is slated to be the team’s opening day starting point guard.

    Which wouldn’t be so bad, but the team will presumably be running a new offense under Mike Brown, which asks for more production from the point guard position than Phil Jackson’s triangle offense did.