5 Reasons Dwight Howard Trade Does Not Guarantee Another Lakers Title

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterAugust 21, 2012

5 Reasons Dwight Howard Trade Does Not Guarantee Another Lakers Title

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    While a title in any sport is never guaranteed (save Joe Namath's Jets), some expectations for a championship are just a little higher than others.

    The newest team to join the serious title chase is the Los Angeles Lakers, new home of some guy named Dwight Howard.

    While the Lakers are always expected to win, many think adding Howard, Steve Nash, Antawn Jamison and others almost guarantees LA a title in the next few years.

    This just simply isn't true.

    Sure, L.A. could win one or even more, but there are too many factors working against them to talk about a promise of a title.

    Here are some obstacles that the Lakers will face.

Age

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    If the Lakers have one advantage over the rest of the league, they're definitely experienced.

    This is a double-edged sword, however, as it also means that LA has one of the older rosters in the NBA.

    Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Steve Blake are 32. Kobe Bryant will soon be 34.  Newcomer Antawn Jamison is 36 and Steve Nash tops the list at 38 years of age.

    In terms of championship windows, theirs isn't exactly the biggest.

    The NBA season will once again be 82 games, an increase from the 66 of the lockout-shortened season a year ago.

    Adding more games to those collective old knees may not bode too well, and the coaching staff will have to closely monitor all the stars minutes to keep them somewhat fresh for the playoffs.

Chemistry

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    We've seen superstar teams come together with very mixed results.

    While the 2003-2004 Lakers squad featuring Hall of Famers Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Shaquille O'Neal and Bryant floundered in the Finals, the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics found success almost instantly in their title quest.

    Which previous dream team will the 2012-2013 Lakers most resemble?

    With Nash and Jamison they're adding two veterans who, like before, are well past their prime.

    Howard is a different story, however, as he's only 26 and should be entering the prime of his career. If the Lakers' newest star center fails to mesh with his teammates, it's entirely possible he could end up leaving via free agency.

    The good news is the NBA season will be back to a six-month, 82-game season, allowing more time for chemistry to develop.

    Chemistry will certainly be an issue, especially with so many dynamic personalities now on the team.

Competition

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    As good as the new Lakers could possibly be, odds are there are at least two teams who will be better.

    The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder are the reigning conference champions and already possess a proven winning core group.

    Both are younger and more athletic than the Lakers, which could certainly spell trouble during the course of a seven-game playoff series.

    The NBA season, including four playoff rounds, is a grind in which L.A. will be targeted constantly with their new acquisitions. 

    As talented as the Lakers may be, the Heat and Thunder may still be just a little too much for what is an elderly LA team.

Keeping Everyone Happy

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    Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard all have one thing in common: They're no longer the alpha dog.

    All have been the star of their previous teams and now find themselves in Kobe's town.

    While Gasol has adapted nicely, he now may move from second option on offense to third, and even fourth at times.

    For a two-time NBA champion and star of Spain's national team, this may not sit so well.

    While Howard has been the star of the Magic and Nash the heart of the Suns for most of the past decade, they must now become super role players to Bryant.

    Will one basketball be enough to please Nash, Howard, Gasol and Kobe along with Antawn Jamison, Metta World Peace and others?

    It needs to in order for L.A. to win.

Mike Brown Is Still the Coach

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    Possibly the worst coach who's ever sported a winning percentage of better than .650, Brown's offensive playbook may be as sad and pathetic as an episode of Jersey Shore.

    Finishing 41-25 in his first season as Lakers head coach, Brown brings a defensive mentality from his years working as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs.

    Despite his defensive background, the Lakers finished a mediocre 15th in the league in points allowed at 95.9 per game.

    The offense was also kind of blah, again finishing in the middle of the pack at 15th with 97.3 points per game.

    Much like his team in Cleveland, the offense often stalls around one player while others stand around, waiting for something to happen.

    Brown is a fine defensive assistant, but it remains to be seen if he can coach a team to a championship.

    If the Lakers struggle early, don't be surprised if one of the new assistant coaches (Eddie Jordan, Bernie Bickerstaff) eventually takes over.

    That, or maybe Phil could come out of retirement just one more time.