If the Lakers are going to repeat (typing those words makes me want to vomit), they are going to need a productive, stable season from Ron Artest, right?
Maybe, maybe not. Unless Ron-Ron goes absolutely loco, the Lakers success will largely depend on the production/evolution of Jordan Farmar and Andrew Bynum, according to ESPN's Ric Bucher and John Hollinger. (Warning – it's an Insider access only).
I understand why Bynum's development is critical. The oft-injured center has the potential to be a game-changing force in the paint. If he's dominating, the Lakers can win regularly when Odom, Artest and even Gasol are having off nights.
But Farmar? He's important because… Kobe Bryant is getting old.
canary in the coal mine, and Bryant is 31 years old with a lot of
mileage on his legs. For that reason, I don't think he'll match last
They're right. The impending decline in Kobe's game doesn't get much attention, because when the topic of age and mileage comes up, the discussion gravitates to the Celtics roster. While they say Kobe's skills won't erode overnight, at least they admit it's a factor. (For those wondering, Bucher and Hollinger will provide the same analysis of the Celtics on September 8.)
In other news, ProBasketballNews.com ranks the Top 10 point guards. I'm guessing you'll be disappointed with Rondo's slot on the list. SI.com says KG is one of many players whose team success depends on their comeback.
For those who enjoy lists, Fox Sports has the Top 10 Stat Stuffers.