Once again the sweet sound of the ball bouncing on the hardwood is coming back.
We can finally come home, forget the reruns, and enjoy 2013-2014 Lakers basketball.
But what should we expect from the team this year?
Last year's squad was obviously underachieving. Now that Dwight Howard has left the team, Kobe Bryant coming straight off of a torn Achilles, and Metta World Peace back in his home state, few things are certain about the team's future.
Let's see how each individual player could affect that future.
The thirty-three year old point guard was injured for a good portion of the season last year which caused some problems on the Lakers' bench in terms of depth (especially with Steve Nash's injury problems).
This year he will once again be called to add depth to their bench. His input will be vital seeing as they are being looked at as having some of the worst bench players in the league.
We've seen his ability to knock down open shots in the past. The Lakers will need it more than ever this year.
One of the Lakers' newly signed players. His college career ended with Arizona State in 2010, where he was mostly a role player with the ability to bring down a good number of rebounds (7.2 in his senior year).
Played overseas in Germany last year. Do not expect to see him off the bench many times this season.
The Black Mamba is back at it again. This time for a 18th year in the NBA. He is 35 years old and the Lakers will need him more than ever if they will want any type of success this season.
My Theory: Robert Griffin III syndrome
Bryant is coming off of a serious injury that doesn't just heal over night. While I would love to see the old Bryant back on October 5th, that is probably being a little bit unrealistic. He will take some time to get back in the swing of things, but will eventually get back to the elite level that we see him at every year.
At least we know he is hard at work recovering.
The prodigal son returns to Los Angeles. While spending the last season in New Jersey, Farmar averaged career high scoring numbers (10.4 points per game). However he was injured most of the season and was only able to play 39 games. The team will need him this year to add a depth to their bench that has obviously been underachieving in the past few seasons.
One of the players most recently added to the Lakers' roster. He was signed on September 27.
Gadzuric is a ten year veteran of the league, entering in 2002.
Don't expect to see him get very much playing time this season.
The man that many have now labeled, "one of the softest big men in the NBA". Last year the seven footer did not live up to the high expectations that had been set due to success in his past.
This year the Lakers will need Gasol to step up more than ever. The loss of Dwight Howard may prompt less friction within the team, but they are still missing a guy who averaged 12+ rebounds per game last year.
If the Lakers want to win Gasol will have to get back into the mindset that he had in his early career with the Lakers.
Get Rebounds and dominate the paint!
The Gonzaga grad has been playing in Germany since 2009. He is a 6'8" power forward, who in college showed his vast athleticism and his ability to finish at the rim. It will be interesting to see how D'Antoni incorporates him into the team offense.
Remember watching this kid play at Kansas and thinking, "Wow, this kid has a lot of potential to be something special one day". I also remember that day and sadly he has not yet reached his potential. The 6'6" shooting guard out of Kansas has been in the league for three years, yet the most games he has played in one season is 50.
In college he showed us his ability to knock down the jump shot at a high rate and has good size for an NBA shooting guard.
Let's hope that he will use those abilities this season.
It's hard to believe that he has already been in the league for four years. This coming season will be Hill's third with the Lakers, but his first where he will have the chance to make a real impact.
In his earlier years, inexperience was a huge road block in him showing us what he could really do. But last year, he showed us that he has potential to be a solid role player for the Lakers. Something that they are in desperate need of this year.
With the loss of Dwight Howard, their main big man, Hill will also be expected to help Pau Gasol crash the boards and make up for the missing presence in the paint.
A mid-summer sign for the Lakers. A solid addition to the team. Has played in the league for three years and has showcased his ability to be a solid role player in this league.
He is athletic, can finish at the rim and has a solid jump shot. D'Antoni should be able to get solid production out of him this year.
The Lakers' recently resigned the guard. He was waived by the team in January and played the rest of the season in the D-League.
He is extremely strong and has the ability to knock down the open jump shot. But do not expect him to spend too much time on the court this season. The Lakers have too many guards that are much more "NBA Ready".
He was an all star...
back in 2010.
While at that time he was an all star, and known as one of the premier big men in the league, Kaman has struggled in recent years. Injury and a lack of productivity have plagued the big man since that time. With the departure of Howard, the Lakers will need their bigs more than ever this year.
The rookie out of Duke. The Lakers selected him with their second round pick. He is one of the rare big men with the ability to shoot the three pointer yet still be effective in the paint.
He was a key part of the Duke offense for 4 years.
He is Carl Landry's brother. Had a brief stint in the league from 2009 to 2010, and has been playing professionally overseas for a few years.
Mr. I can consistently knock down the open three pointer. He has showcased this ability last year with the Lakers and even started 10 games.
Although we have seen that Defense and size are not his most dependable aspects, we have also seen that his ability to knock down shots from deep territory makes up for it at any time.
He will be heavily counted on this season to provide a spark off the bench.
[HD] Jodie Meeks 21 Points (7 Three-Pointers) vs Denver Nuggets - Highlights 30/11/2012 (via iKobeSilvan24)
It is very hard to believe, but this could possibly be one of Nash's last years in the NBA. His contract ends in 2015 and he has yet to win a championship. Will this be the year?
Most likely it won't, but we can still expect consistent passing from the 17 year NBA veteran as well as the ability to facilitate and lead a team with many payers with little to no experience.
The second year man out of Gonzaga. The seven footer played minimal minutes in his rookie season. We will have to wait and see how D'Antoni chooses to utilize him this year.
A five year NBA veteran out of Memphis University. Played last season overseas.
If you've seen his highlights with the Wizards you know just what he is capable of.
While Young has not lived up to his potential during his past few seasons in the league, it is no secret how athletic he is and how he has the ability to score in bunches. Something that the Lakers are in desperate need of, especially seeing how uncertainty surrounding Kobe Bryant's immediate production coming straight off of an ACL tear.