Questions surrounding the Lakers season
Finally, we have something to talk about other than the NBA lockout.
Owners and the players agreed to the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement. Training camp and free agency will begin Dec. 9. And that Chicago Bulls-Lakers matchup on Christmas Day remains intact.
But amid the relief over salvaging a partial 66-game regular season, there remains a lot of questions. Below the jump are a few.
2. How much will rest from a prolonged lockout help the Lakers? How much will it evaporate once a compacted schedule begins?
3. What value will an innovative procedure have on Kobe Bryant's knee? At best, will that significantly elevate his game. Will it simply give him a longer shelf life before time and mileage completely catch up to him? Or will it have a minimal effect?
4. Can Andrew Bynum get through a season injury-free?
5. How do he and Bryant handle the disagreement over Bynum's role on the team? Whose side will Mike Brown take?
6. How do the Lakers adapt to Bynum's five-game absence to start the season?
7. Should the Lakers make any changes to their starting lineup? That can range from removing Derek Fisher's starting point guard position, to demoting Metta World Peace to a bench role or putting in Lamar Odom in the starting five.
8. How much will Fisher's relationship with Bryant and locker-room experience be valued despite his declining skills?
9. To what degree will Pau Gasol immediately bounce back from a disappointing 2011 postseason?
10. Will Metta World Peace prove to be a better basketball player than Ron Artest?
11. Which players on last year's team won't return? My hunch is that Derrick Caracter and Shannon Brown won't wear a Lakers uniform.
12. If that happens, who can the Lakers replace?
13. How much will the Lakers improve their outside shooting?
14. How will rookies Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock fit in with a veteran-laden roster?
15. To what degree will Brown convince players to buy into his system?
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Photo: On Nov. 23, 2010, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was looking to drive against Bulls defenders Luol Deng and Joakim Noah at Staples Center. If the NBA owners and players ratify the tentative agreement they have in place, the two teams will open the season on Christmas Day. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times