With NBA media days getting started this week fans and the media have finally been able to hear from the game’s biggest stars such as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.
But two teams are confidently speaking about their chances despite what people may expect going into the 2014-2015 season.
So which teams are speaking up? The Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Lakers; surprising isn’t it?
Things have definitely changed in LA
GM Mitch Kupchak says that the Lakers’ expectation and goal is still to win a championship even with the drastic changes to the team.
And there have been some drastic changes for sure… Pau Gasol is gone and joined the Chicago Bulls. Steve Nash is clearly out of his playing prime and injuries have made sure it stays that way.
No one knows how good Kobe Bryant will be after suffering repeated injuries in the past two seasons. Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, and Kentucky rookie Julius Randle were all added this offseason and are expected to play a big role with the team.
Kobe says that he has to prove to himself that he can still play at a high level and that he feels like he is in game shape. While the team’s front office and Kobe can say that they want to contend, the Western Conference has changed since they last won a ring in 2010.
It will truly take an enormous effort for this team to surpass the likes of San Antonio and the Los Angeles Clippers this season and even that may not be enough.
D Rose can't wait to play alongside Gasol
Indiana’s Future does not look good at all
What advice is there for a team that has lost talent? Especially when it comes to talent like Paul George and Lance Stephenson?
In the case of Lance, there is no going back as he signed a 3-year, $27 million dollar deal this summer. And unfortunately with Paul, he is out for the entire 2014-2015 season with a compound fracture that leaves a huge void in the Pacers starting lineup.
The two losses have sapped a team that required consistent effort from all five positions and with question marks in the starting lineup, the team looks weak when compared to Eastern Conference giants Cleveland, Toronto, and even Chicago.
With the Conference so wide open you can’t exactly rule them out of the playoffs, but the team will have to fight that much harder and with Charlotte and Detroit on the rise there will be no easy contests.
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