Lakers Exhibition Opener a Sign of Things to Come

As I’ve said so often, this year’s Lakers’ team will be far better than last year’s fiasco. The new Lakers have athleticism, enthusiasm, and basketball talent, but most of all, players who WANT to be Lakers and who want to win as Lakers. No more laughing man, and no more psycho meta thing, thank you!

In their exhibition opener last night against Golden State, a Lakers’ squad without Kobe Bryant, without Pau Gasol, without Steve Nash, and without top rookie Ryan Kelly, played close, then ran away from a really good Warriors’ team that had all its starters.

Yea, it’s one exhibition game, but it showed a lot, featuring the likes of the guy I said several days ago should be the starter at shooting guard in Kobe’s absence, the extremely talented Xavier Henry, who was the unquestioned star of last night’s game. Henry

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shot nine of 15, scoring a game high 29 in 26 minutes, and also had time to make two steals and pull down seven rebounds. He played rings around the one single Laker leftover from last year’s team who absolutely, positively should not be a Laker ever again, the overrated, unneeded Jodie Meeks, who distinguished himself last night with a brilliant three points in 24 minutes.

That +/- stat at the end of the box scores, that people generally just quickly glance at, if even that, was very

telling in this game. Meeks played 24 minutes, and while on the floor, Golden State outscored the Lakers by 15 points. In Henry’s 26 minutes, the Lakers outscored the Warriors by 21 points.

Two other new Lakers showed just why they will be key players for the resurgent team this season. Jordan Farmar, who will end up playing more minutes at point guard than either Steve Nash or Steve Blake (maybe than both combined), scored 12 points and had seven assists and three steals off the bench, and his +/- was the second best of anyone in the game,

Basketball Personal Checks

at a plus 19. Chris Kaman had ten points and ten boards in 21 minutes, and also blocked two shots.

For Golden State, the more I see of Harrison Barnes, the more I see an emerging superstar. This kid could be fabulous, and with two other great young talents in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, along with veteran performers like David Lee and Andrew Bogat, this is a team also to be reckoned with.

It was a great exhibition opener, and a sign of things to come.

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