LA Lakers: 7 Bold Predictions for Mike Brown, Kobe Bryant and the 2011-12 Lakers

Joshua SextonSenior Analyst IIJune 1, 2011

LA Lakers: 7 Bold Predictions for Mike Brown, Kobe Bryant and the 2011-12 Lakers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 04:  Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the first half while taking on the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 4, 2011 in Los Angeles,
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    For the first time in three years, the Los Angeles Lakers are not participating in the NBA Finals.

    While I am sure it’s tough for fans not watching their team as the calendar turns to June, it is never too early to start thinking about next season.

    Here are seven bold predictions for the 2011-2012 Lakers.

7. Pau Gasol Will Fully Rebound from His Poor Playoff Performance

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 04:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts as he looses the ball in the first quarter in front of Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Staples Cen
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Not a terribly bold prediction. However, don't expect to see a carryover from Pau Gasol’s miserable playoff performance into the beginning of next season.

    Gasol will be ready to prove he is still the player that helped hang two championship banners in the rafters at Staples Center.

6. Derek Fisher’s Playing Time Will Be Reduced

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 06:  Guard Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers leaves the court after a 98-92 loss against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 6, 2011 at American Airlines Cent
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Derek Fisher had a longer leash with Phil Jackson the last few seasons than he would have with other coaches, despite his age and deterioration in skill.

    Under the new coaching regime, Fisher's minutes will likely be reduced.

5. Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol Will Play Together More

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20:  Pau Gasol #16 and Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate as Bynum comes to the bench while taking on the New Orleans Hornets in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 2
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Very seldom did Phil Jackson have Odom, Gasol and Bynum on the floor at the same time. Bynum would usually start the game with Gasol, while Odom and Gasol would be on the floor to finish the game.

    Mike Brown will likely play the three players much more together, especially with so much pressure to win games.

4. J.R. Smith or Jamal Crawford Will Be on the Lakers’ Roster

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    DENVER, CO - APRIL 25:  J.R. Smith #5 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates after hitting a three point basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on April 25, 2011 in
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Both J.R. Smith and Jamal Crawford will be unrestricted free agents this summer.

    The Lakers are in desperate need of another perimeter player who can provide a scoring punch.

    Don’t be surprised if one of these streaky shooters is wearing purple and gold next season.

3. Mike Brown Will Have More Pressure on His Shoulders Than People Realize

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    EL SEGUNDO, CA - MAY 31:  Mike Brown, the new head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, speaks during his introductory news conference at the team's training facility on May 31, 2011 in El Segundo, California. Brown replaced Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who re
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    In past seasons, if the Lakers were playing bad or unmotivated, fans would be hard-pressed to blame the coach, considering it was Phil Jackson.

    Now, the first time the team struggles, people have a brand new coach with a big bullseye on his back to blame.

2. Kobe Bryant Will Periodically Sit Out Games

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 04:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers sits on the bench alone before the start of the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    In an effort to rest his aging, achy body, Kobe will periodically sit out games next season, much like Tim Duncan has been doing in San Antonio.

1. Andrew Bynum Will Become a Diva

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers is ejected from play against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    In the team’s playoff series against the Mavericks, Andrew Bynum said the Lakers were having trust issues.

    Add in his ugly foul on J.J. Barea, and we may be seeing the transformation from the quiet, mild-mannered Andrew Bynum into the whiny, selfish version.

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