What is the hardest part of building a championship caliber team? Getting the superstar. There are only a handful of true stars who can take over a game in this league (the Lakers are lucky here having not only Kobe but also Gasol and other guys who can do it for a game or even a week).
That is sort of where the Bobcats are now: They have a nice collection of complimentary players, but lack THE MAN. I like Gerald Wallace, he can be a good number two guy on a quality team. Tyson Chandler is now in Charlotte and with Larry Brown as coach that has the makings of a potentially good defensive team (they were seventh last season in defensive efficiency, almost even with the Lakers, and Chandler will improve that). They will stay in games this season, but when the offense stalls and there is 6 seconds left on the clock, who do they go to? Worse yet, tight game with two minutes left, who takes over for them and leads them? They need that guy, but getting that guy is very, very hard.
To learn more about Charlotte, check out Queen City Hoops, which is a fantastic blog on the team. (We are really spoiled as Lakers fans with the quantity and — in a number of places — quality of content about out team. If I were a hardcore hoops fan and a Bobcats fan, I’d be living on Queen City Hoops because there just aren’t a lot of places to get great content for this team.)
As for the Lakers tonight, I just want to see Bynum continue to grow, I want to see Artest working to figure it out and feel comfortable, I want to see some good play out of the bench guys. Also, I’d like to see a little more movement and offensive flow from the starters against a better defensive test.
The Lakers game starts at 7:30 and here in LA you can catch it on Fox Sports, on the radio on 710 ESPN. Remember this is part of the Staples Shootout, so the Lakers will play tomorrow against either the Clippers or Utah.
Now, the Central Division Preview: