Oklahoma City Thunder: Are the Lakers contenders or pretenders?
Los Angeles comes to Oklahoma City with a 9-10 record and a host of issues. While the jury is still out, there's no question this team thus far is not a squad most envisioned the Lakers would be when they reloaded in August.
Videoview all videos
Photoview all photos
NewsOK Related Articles
The formation of the Lakers' revamped super team overshadows the fact that they went through an offseason overhaul that included the addition of six other newcomers in addition to Nash and Howard. Many of those players, namely Chris Duhon, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks, have had to figure out how they fit while acclimating to the same growing pains as the stars.
Through it all, the Lakers shockingly have assembled virtually identical production as they did in the 2009-10 season, their last championship season.
L.A.'s average points, opponent points, assists, steals, field goal percentage and point differential are nearly the same as three years ago. They're averaging more steals and blocks this season, while also holding opponents to a lower field goal percentage.
The biggest differences are turnovers and free throws. The Lakers are averaging three more turnovers this year than in 2009-10 and are shooting a league-worst 66.7 percent from the foul line compared to 76.5 percent three years ago.
So who are these Lakers?
Contenders or pretender?
“I think if you look at teams' records going into games I think you're looking at the wrong things,” Brooks cautioned. “We've always approached every game as their team does a lot of good things and we have to stop them from doing those things. And we have to do the things well for us to win.
“And the records; any given night, any team can beat any team in this league. It's who they're going to be at the end of the season (and that) is going to be a very good team, one of the best in the league.”
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
VIDEOS FROM NBA TV
Buy Tickets View all
- 18732Oklahoma devastated by second round of twisters
- 15952Read live updates from the May 20 Moore tornado
- 12196Several kids pulled out of Oklahoma school rubble alive
- 10745How to help tornado victims
- 10241At least 51 die in Oklahoma tornado, official says
- 2753Oklahoma twister tracked path of 1999 tornado
- 2638Oklahoma City tornado so large, may not be recognized, officials say