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Five things Andrew Goudelock needs for a successful season

Andrew GoudelockThis is the 14th post in a series focusing on five things each Lakers player must do to have a successful 2011-12 season (assuming there is one, of course).

1. Maintain strong outside shooting. With the Lakers' poor outside shooting last season, Andrew Goudelock may actually become the team's best option. The Lakers shot 35.2% from three-point range in the regular season, while Goudelock went 40.7% from downtown his senior season at College of Charleston. Goudelock touts his ability to score in a variety of ways, including off the dribble and off of screens, a critical skill set considering NBA competition will prove tougher.  

Goudelock's outside shooting also represents the most realistic way he can both help the Lakers and establish his own niche. That would do wonders for a team that needs more support to relieve pressure from Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. 

2. Don't let confidence become abrasive. Goudelock boasted before and after the NBA draft that "I'm going to be able to shoot until the day I die." Dude surely doesn't lack confidence, which may prove to be a mixed blessing depending on how he exudes it. That confidence should help his outside shooting and propel him to a definitive bench role, but it might rub some veterans the wrong way. Throwing in a humble attitude will help him in the long run. 

3. Sharpen defense. Goudelock admits this is his weak point, but it's critical he improves in this area. Despite his strong shooting credentials, it's unrealistic to assume Goudelock will have lots of shots when Bryant, Gasol, Bynum and others already take plenty of them. Playing good defense will allow Goudelock to prove his value even if the offensive opportunities aren't always there. 

4. Be prepared for enhanced role. The Lakers don't have the finances to make significant upgrades, so if the team's outside-shooting struggles persist, Goudelock might be the only suitable alternative. He needs to prepare to play a significant role even if his minutes early on don't reflect that.

5. Be patient. It remains to be seen how Goudelock's skill set will translate to the pros. Should he experience setbacks, he can't allow that to discourage him. Should his shooting become a weakness, Goudelock needs to enhance other parts of his game so he can add value in some capacity. 

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— Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers draft picks Darius Morris (17) and Andrew Goudelock, here working out before the NBA lockout, have had to live on a budget because they can't formally sign with the team. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 
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