How Does 6-7 Sound?

Kurt —  November 1, 2005

It’s human nature for us to put too much emphasis on the first game of the season and on the first weeks of the season. Blame it on hope and the raw enthusiasm of our team starting play again. Especially here in LA, with a new coach, new faces and the desire to get the taste of last season out of our mouths, we want a fast start.

But Laker fans may well need to show some patience this season because a sub-.500 November is not only very possible it could still show the Lakers are on the right track.

This season, the front end of the Lakers schedule is tough (and the back end easier, at least it looks that way now). The Lakers open against a Western Conference dark horse favorite in Denver on the road Wednesday, then travel home to take on the run-and-gun Suns the next night. Throw in a four game, plenty-of-frequent-flier-miles road trip that includes stops in Philadelphia and Minnesota, then close out the month with two tough home games, New Jersey and San Antonio, and you start to see what I mean.

I did this once before, stealing the idea from Matt at Blog-A-Bull (who got it from his father) — I used an “expected wins” system too look at the Lakers first month where you count wins by assigning a number between 1 (a sure win) and 0 (a sure loss) to each game (in practice, because there are no such things in the NBA as sure wins or sure losses, games are really given a number between .9 and .1).

The results: I have the Lakers at 5.6 wins in 13-game November. If we’re optimistic and round up that puts the Lakers at 6-7, a few bad bounces and they go 5-8. (For me, if they are better than .500 at the end of the month I’ll be ecstatic, if they are 4-9 or worse I’ll have some big concerns, but 5 or 6 wins are expected.)

The bottom line here is I’m preaching patience — and trust me, I know that’s not easy, patience is a virtue I lack. But not only are the Lakers going to get more comfortable in the new offensive and defensive systems as the season wears on, the schedule lightens up. A 6-7 November may be a sign of good things to come.