My head just about exploded when I heard the news: the Lakers traded for Paul Gasol, one of the premier big men of this generation in the league, and all they had to give away are Kwame Brown, one of the biggest busts in NBA history, Jarvaris Crittenton, a third-string point guard, and two draft picks.
It blows my mind how much the Lakers gained in return than what they gave away. I mean this is fucking Paul Gasol we are talking about here! HOLY SHIT! Oh man I cannot contain my excitement, because this is the starting five when Andrew Bynum comes back:
1 – Derek Fisher
2 – Kobe Bryan
3 – Lamar Odom
4 – Paul Gasol
5- Andrew Bynum.
I mean, HOLY FUCKING MOTHER OF GOD! Look at that line-up: three of those guys command automatic double teams: Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum. Can you imagine either Bynum or Gasol down in the post, drawing two defenders, passing kicking out the ball to Fish for a 3, or to Lamar/Kobe for penetration, or simply passing it to the other big on the weak side for an easy lay-up/dunk because of single-coverage.
Oh my god I can’t even imagine how fucking crazy that offense will be: it will be virtually unguardable, because at least two of them will command double teams, or if they are single-covered, they will absolutely dominate the defender. And combine that with the fluid ball movement of the triangle offense–this is fucking unstoppable.
And this is not even to mention what they can do on defense: Kobe, Fish, Gasol, and Bynum are all good defenders. Bynum and Gasol will get so many offensive boards that they will have crazy second-chance points. They are both long and athletic and will create so many shot-blocking opportunities. Not to mention Kobe and Fish’s individual, lock-down defense they can play on the opposing team’s guards.
For the first time since 2003, I can unequivocally say that the Lakers have as good of a chance of winning the championship as the best teams in the NBA, up there with Detroit, Boston, Dallas, and San Antonio. They can easily beat Phoenix with this line up, since there’s no way Phoenix can defend on the interior. I am just super PUMPED!
It has been a long time coming though after the 2003-2004 season ended. That’s when it all started down hill. Shaq and Phil left, Kobe couldn’t lead the team to more than 30 wins. They couldn’t get past Phoenix in the last two seasons in the first round of the playoffs. They traded Caron Butler for Kwame Brown, only to watch Caron Butlet become of the premier wing players in the NBA. They were plagued with injuries of their key players in the last two seasons just as their game was picking up.
So all in all, the years 2004 to 2007 has not been good to the loyal Lakers fans. I had to watch the most dominant team of the late 90’s/early 00’s become a pale shadow of its former self, torn apart by ego battles, injuries, incompetent management, and just bad luck. And now, wow, now within one day, the entire season is turned around. This must be how a Celtics felt when KG signed with Boston.
It is nothing less than a miracle: suddenly there is hope again. Suddenly the travails of the last four years seem a distant memory best left forgotten.
Hope springs eternal.