Los Angeles Lakers: 5 Takeaways from the Lakers' First NBA Game in 2011

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Los Angeles Lakers: 5 Takeaways from the Lakers' First NBA Game in 2011
Harry How/Getty Images

Magic Johnson answered his own question during halftime of the Lakers-Bulls opening day battle from Staples Center that was aired on ESPN.  “Can the Lakers get a championship from this team?  No way.”

The Lakers trailed Chicago by seven points at the half of their game and L.A. just looked like a team that, despite its hustle, was a bit shorthanded and a lot out of sync. 

Oh yeah, right, that's because they were.

L.A. was playing without center Andrew Bynum and last year’s Sixth Man of the Year, Lamar Odom; the former serving a four-game suspension and the latter having become a Dallas Maverick after complaining to management for not informing him that he was to be part of the Chris Paul-to-L.A. deal that later was nixed by the league.

The new-look Lakers gave an inspiring performance in their 88-87 loss to the Bulls Sunday afternoon at Staples Center.  The fact that they couldn't hold onto an 11-point lead late in the fourth quarter and missed big free throws that would have clinched the game were the biggest disappointments in an otherwise solid season opener for the Purple and Gold.

Lakers fans expect victories and championships, so to say it was a satisfying performance for new coach Mike Brown and company would not be fair.  A loss stings any way you cut it.

Still, there were a number of positives to come from this loss, and the Lakers will take those into Sacramento as they take on the Kings tonight in their second of three consecutive games to start the season.

What can we surmise from just one game of the regular season?  Does this team have what it takes to win, compete and contend for the championship?  Magic says "no way."  What do you think?

Let’s take a look.

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