To respond to your comment on my season predictions:
I love how you think the Thunder are better than the Lakers seeing how you're a big Thunder fan. First of all, the series between the Lakers and the Thunder was won by a single-digit margain. On top of that, the Lakers did not have the following players: Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Jodie Meeks, Antawn Jamison as well as smaller contributors in Earl Clark, Chris Duhon, etc.
So how do these moves make the Lakers better? Well, we've got Steve Nash, who is the best point guard in the league at running the pick-and-roll (PnR) and the pick-and-pop (PnP). Combine that with Dwight Howard, who is the best big man in the PnR statiscally last year, and you have a deadly combo. Wait. Dwight still had the highest point-per-possession (PPP) in the PnR with JAMEER NELSON AND CHRIS DUHON?! Imagine the possibilities with Steve Nash. Let's combine that with the fact that Kendrick Perkins, the so called "Dwight Stopper" by OKC fans "stopped" Dwight by allowing him to average 20 points, 12 rebounds on 64% shooting against Perkins and your Thunder.
Second, is Dwight's ability to alter and block shots. He lead a team full of defensive nobodies in Orlando to a Top 8 defense. The Lakers were one of the Top 15 defensive teams, and adding Dwight Howard, who carries a team's defense on top of Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace as perimeter defenders, and there is no way those easy drives to the hoop courtesy of Russell Westbrook are possible. In fact, Westbrook shoots 39% outside of 3 feet. Haha. Dwight isn't going to let him get any easy looks inside leading him to shoot that awful 39% that Westbrick can shoot. Go ahead. Shoot your team out of games! (*Sidenote: Kobe Bryant when guarding Westbrook held him to 30% shooting. LOL.)
Metta World Peace limited Kevin Durant to only 26 PPG on 49%, but compared to his other series stats, than it is a decent job on the league's best scorer.
Also, the wide-open looks Dwight Howard will give the team. If you're going to let Perkins go single coverage on Dwight and let him get that 20/12 on 64% shooting that he got against the Thunder, be my guest. If the Thunder double-team Dwight, we have the best shooter in the game (Steve Nash: 50/40/90 shooter), Kobe Bryant, who shot 51.2% on open jumpshots (stats courtesy of Synergy Sports and NBA Stats Cube) and Pau Gasol, one of the best outside shooters at the PF spot.
Plus, just running the Steve Nash-Pau Gasol/Steve Nash-Dwight Howard PnR/PnP through Ibaka, Perkins and Collison, they have shown, especially Ibaka, a complete inability to defend the pick-and-roll.
And the one place the Thunder have a supposed advantage: Their bench. Nope. Not anymore:
Chris Duhon vs. Eric Maynor //
Jodie Meeks vs. James Harden ad. OKC
Earl Clark vs. Daequan Cook ad. LAL
Antawn Jamison vs. Nick Collison ad. LAL
Jordan Hill vs. Cole Aldrich ad. LAL
Don't forget your Thunder are going to get mauled under the boards this season. Kobe brings 5, Pau brings 10, Howard, 13, Jordan Hill, 6.
Face it, this Lakers team has everything, Distributing? Check. Scoring? Check. Defense? Check. Rebounding? Check. Bench Scoring? Check. 3PT Shooting? Check.
Let's put some things in perspective, Lakers are better. Also: