An NBA2K14 simulation has the Lakers missing the NBA playoffs. Photo Credit: NBA2K
Anxiousness awaits for the Lakers’ training camp, and for what?
Very few tab them as NBA championship favorites. Uncertainty lingers on how Kobe Bryant will look after he heals his left Achilles tendon. Skepticism persists over whether Mike D’Antoni can lead these Lakers through troubled times.
That’s perhaps why NBA2K14, a video game that prides itself on comprehensive player analysis and credible game simulations, tabs the Lakers this season failing to reach the playoffs and finishing with a 35-47 record. Granted, NBA2K13 rated last year’s Lakers as the NBA championship favorites, and we all know how that turned out. The NBA2K franchise also may do its own simulations before the Oct. 1 release. I received an advance copy and performed my own simulation.
But there’s plenty of reasons to feel skeptical about the Lakers. Dwight Howard bolted for the Houston Rockets. The Lakers lost their best defensive player in Metta World Peace for the sake of saving luxury taxes through the amnesty provision. The Lakers’ offseason additions in Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, Chris Kaman and Jordan Farmar bring some added speed and additional scoring. But on paper, it appears the Lakers don’t have enough defensively.
“This team just doesn’t have enough athleticism and speed to contend for a title,” said Clark Kellog, who offers analysis with Steve Kerr while Kevin Harlan serves as the play-by-play announcer for the NBA2K14 game. Continue reading →
Below is the ninth in a series previewing the storylines surrounding each player on the Lakers’ roster for the 2013-14 season. This post focuses on Lakers backup shooting guard Jodie Meeks.
1. How will Meeks’ ankle hold up? Like with many on the Lakers’ roster, Meeks success this season could mainly hinge on well he rehabbed from an injury over the offseason. Meeks suffered a partial ligament tear in his left ankle. Meeks estimated in his exit interview in early May that he’d become fully healthy in four to six weeks. Based on his Twitter account, Meeks has participated frequently in the Lakers’ informal workouts. But Meeks will still have to have a watchful eye on how his left ankle responds throughout the season.
2. Will Jodie Meeks become a more consistent shooter? Meeks made plenty of three-pointers in his first season with the Lakers. Only problem – way more of Meek’s shots missed. Meeks fit the exact description of feast or famine, and it leaves the Lakers wondering every game if they’ll have reliable outside shooting. The feast – Meeks scored in double digits in 26 of 78 games he played, shot above 50 percent from outside in 14 of them and had two memorable efforst where he scored 12 of his 19 points in a comeback against New Orleans and went 7 of 8 from three-point range against Denver. The famine – Meeks played in 25 games where he shot 25 percent or worse from the perimeter.
The Lakers have no easy answers. Coach Mike D’Antoni encouraged Meeks to shoot, but plenty of times his shots went astray. Say what you will about Meeks’ gun-slinging, but he’s the team’s most capable outside shooter and is the only reason the Lakers brought him here. Perhaps Meeks has altered his shooting stroke in the offseason. But for better and for worse, Meeks kept the same mindset and approach through both his good and bad performances. Like everyone else appeared at Staples Center, the Lakers will be anxiously awaiting to see whether the ball drops in the bucket or clanks off the rim.