The Team

The players who are expected to be back in purple and gold for the 08-09 NBA season. Probable starters are in bold.

PG – Derek Fisher

Fisher had one of the best statistical seasons of his career, despite being 33 years old. He shot 40% from three and had one of the lowest turnover margins of his career.

PG – Jordan Farmar

Farmar had his breakout season, averaging career highs in most everything. He drastically improved his three point shooting and was a welcome change-of-pace point guard off the bench.

SG – Kobe Bryant

Kobe had a great season, which garnered him the MVP award. He had the highest Offensive Rating of his career because he found his niche in the Lakers’ offense.

SG – Sasha Vujacic

The Machine also had a great season statistically, and took big shots when it mattered. Phil Jackson left him in the fourth quarter for close games and Sasha showed his mettle. He shot an incredible 44% from three all season long!

SF – Lamar Odom

Odom clearly found his place in the offense last season, especially when Gasol came to town. His offensive rating increased so much from last season as a result of him using fewer possessions. His deft passing and strong rebounding helped the team immensely.

SF – Trevor Ariza

Lakers fans didn’t get to see much of Ariza, since he broke his foot during the season. He showed some promise off of the bench and his athleticism should help him bounce back from his injury this offseason. In a small sample size with Los Angeles, Trevor played great defense as a reserve.

SF – Vladimir Radmanovic

The Space Cadet started 40 games last season and provided a bittersweet performance. He shot 40% on his threes, thus spacing the floor, but his defense was abysmal at times. It should be noted that his PER was 12.6 (an average player has a 15 PER).

SF – Luke Walton

Luke was a great passer as a reserve, but he also turned the ball over too often. Nonetheless, his basketball IQ enabled him to take up a chunk of Radman’s minutes (low IQ in general).

PF – Pau Gasol

When Gasol arrived in LA, the team became an offensive juggernaut. Just imagine when he plays a full season!! Gasol found his place in the offense perfectly and was on pace to become an all star if he had played at the beginning of the season. While his lack of strength was exposed in the playoffs, he performed admirably for playing out of position.

PF – Ronny Turiaf

As the back-up big man, Ronny was great. His outside jump shot nicely complemented his bruising defense. With his 15.0 PER is the epitome of the average player.

C – Andrew Bynum

Bynum’s spectacular season was cut short with his injury. He has the makings of a rebounding beast, a la Dwight Howard. He rebounded 20% of available rebounds when he played (decent sample size). 20%!!! Dwight Howard led the league with 21%. Perfect complement to Pau.

C – Chris Mihm

Alas, we didn’t get to see much of Mihm. If next year he can revert to his earlier performance with the Lakers, we will have a solid back up center.

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