Today, the Los Angeles Lakers embark on the beginning of their preseason. It is an exciting time, as the Lakers will unveil (most) of the new lineup that has LA poised to be one of the strongest teams in the league. Many fans have been looking forward to this day since the signing of Dwight Howard. This is sure to be one of the most watched preseason games in Lakers' history.
Or it would be if anybody could see it. Instead, there'll be plenty of folks who skipped tonight's festivities entirely simply because they don't want to jump through hoops to be able to watch the contest. You see, tonight's contest also marks the beginning of the Lakers new relationship with Time Warner Cable Sportsnet, a new regional sports network. Problem is, as of today, only Time Warner customers are able to receive this network. That leaves a whole bunch of people throughout Los Angeles and that the greater Lakers Network unable to watch tonight's contest without going to a second location, myself included.
This is likely only a minor inconvenience. All signs point to most cable providers of figuring out a relationship with Time Warner to receive Sportsnet prior to the start of the season. As long as that happens, most Laker fans won't throw too much of a fuss, no matter how disappointed they'll be to miss tonight's contest. But, if there are providers missing Lakers games by the time the season starts, there will be hell to pay.
But enough about the drama surrounding difficulty watching tonight's contest. There's plenty to discuss about the contest itself. Tonight's "opponent" is the Golden State Warriors, although we all know that the true opponent in any preseason game is competent basketball. Still, it should be a fun contest because Golden State is exactly the type of team you like to see in the preseason, a freewheeling squad with plenty of shooters, but not much defense. That said, Golden State is a much different looking squad then they have been in years past. Gone is the league's strangest backcourt duo. Stephen Curry is still around, but Monte Ellis has been shipped out. As part of Ellis'trade, the Warriors picked up big man Andrew Bogut. Bogut has shown promise in the past as an effective offensive center, and unexpectedly good defensive presence, but a horrific arm injury a few seasons ago stopped that progress dead. He is now reclamation project that the Warriors hope can live up to the promise he once displayed. The Warriors will also be displaying first round draft pick Harrison Barnes in his first NBA contest.
But what of the Lakers new players? We won't get to see Dwight Howard tonight, but everyone else should be on the court. We'll get to see Steve Nash, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks alongside players we're more familiar with like Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace. It will be interesting to see the offensive strategy (or lack thereof) on display with just a few days of training camp under their belts. It will also be interesting to see how the defense is designed with the Lakers chief defender not available.
It should be a good time, for those of you who are able to see it. We'll have the game thread up like usual, so let's all get together and enjoy a brand new season of Lakers basketball.