One of the biggest issues for the Lakers this year, as it is for every team coming off an extended playoff run from the year before, is getting the engines revved up in time for the regular season after such a short offseason.
Take too long, especially in the tightly bunched Western Conference, and you could be climbing out of a hole the rest of the season. In years past, like, say when the Lakers were winning three straight championships at the start of this decade, the team had a habit of slow starts and stumbling into the playoffs as a lower seed. This year, that’s not an option, Fisher says:
“I think it could be like that again this year where there’s a five-game difference between 1-8,” Fisher said, when asked if the Western Conference would be as tough this season. “So you can’t take November and December off and think, `We’ll turn it on at the All-Star break’ or you’ll be too far behind. We have to be ready to go in two weeks.”