NBA titles are not won in the offseason, but people would not have known it by the way the media and basketball analysts praised the transactions made by the Los Angeles Lakers over the course of the 2012 offseason. After successfully bringing aboard former two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, the Lakers had the look of a team that was bound for greatness. For all the success Kobe Bryant has had in the NBA, he has never had the opportunity to play with such an elite playmaker at the point position. It figured to open up the floor for both players and it seemed as though the team had already improved drastically from its 2011-2012 incarnation. The team was not done however, and later on in that offseason they would ship one all-star center in Andrew Bynum in exchange for another more decorated all-star big man in Dwight Howard. Thanks to two moves, the Lakers now had four all-stars to start the game with in Howard, Nash, Bryant and Pau Gasol. The championship may not have been guaranteed but for many a trip to the NBA Finals was a foregone conclusion.
NBA titles are not won in the offseason. It was a true statement before and it is a true statement now. As formidable as the Lakers may have seemed on paper, there were still issues of chemistry being bandied about. But that was not seen as too much of a concern especially for a team that still had so much talent to work with. Maybe it would not be smooth sailing from the start, but the moment this team gets a few games under its belt, it is going to start rolling off consecutive wins. That was the prevailing thought at the time and back then, there was very little reason to doubt the wisdom of those words.
The team got off to a horrendous start. It got so bad that the team even let Coach Mike Brown go just a few games into the season. Whether a coaching change had merit or not is a debatable point, but what was not up for contention was the fact that the team was just playing very poorly. Dwight Howard could not dominate defensively the way he had before. Pau Gasol struggled at the start and has still yet to find a comfortable spot in the team schemes. Steve Nash has looked every bit of his age after fending off its effects for so long and the bench unit has been terrible. The saving grace was the scoring brilliance of Kobe Bryant but even he has struggled to lead the team.
The Los Angeles Lakers are still trying to put it all together. Whether they actually manage to do so will be a point of interest for every basketball fan. Kobe, Pau, Dwight and Steve are all on this team with the singular goal of winning a title for the franchise. As of now, the struggle is still far from over but if the Lakers are going to do anything this season they will need to start consistently winning, something they have yet to do this year.
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