OK, so there has been a bit of time to absorb and reflect on the Los Angeles Lakers offseason acquisition of the NBA’s most dominant center, Dwight Howard. It is a case of the NBA’s most storied franchise reloading for another run with Kobe Bryant and company, and however favored they will be two teams will stand in the way – the Thunder and the Heat. But Los Angeles will face some interesting potential chemistry problems as they try to mesh and come together before the playoffs.
Howard is a huge talent, but his playoff appearances, as a whole body of work, leave a lot to be desired. Too many times, he misses free throws and his body language and behavior have shown he cannot handle the pressure, he laughs and he worries about the perception, nto about winning.
That type of mentally weak behavior will not fly on a team with Kobe Bryant, and likely Steve Nash will also be an influence on Howard. But how will Howard and his massive ego deal with a team where at least two teammates are higher on the pecking order of respect?
OKC has a ton of talent and gained the valuable experience of a finals appearance this past year, and they will likely be the final obstacle in the playoffs to yet another Laker Finals appearance.
Despite the thought of Russell Westbrook leaping over, under and around Steve Nash in a defensive mismatch of epic proportions, if the Lakers are able to mesh in the regular season and come together as a team, they will be favored in this matchup.
The regular season will bear a lot of importance, against OKC and in the Finals as well – though they will be trying to build up chemistry for the playoffs, winning the home field advantage will definitely be one of the factors that dictate who is favored in at the end of the long haul.
Rooting for the Lakers, who every so often reload in a way that almost mocks the entire league, it is sort of like going to a casino and rooting for the house. They landed Nash, upgraded at center and kept Pau Gasol. But chemistry is a fickle creature, and we wont know for sure until their first three game losing streaks. With the talent alone, they should never lose 3 in a row, but if they do, how will they react now with the league’s biggest baby in tow?