Does Getting Dwight Howard & Chris Paul Make The Lakers NBA Championship Favorites?
The knee jerk reaction to this question is that there is no doubt that the Los Angeles Lakers will be the front runners for an NBA title if they are somehow able to obtain Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. But if you really take a look at the circumstances surrounding the Lakers pulling off such a deal and making it work, you’ll quickly realize that it certainly won’t secure an NBA championship in 2012.
The first concerning thing is what the Lakers will have to give up in order to get Paul and Howard. They will definitely have to bid adieu to Pau Gasol — most likely to the Hornets — as well as Lamar Odom, Shannon Brown, Andrew Bynum, and a few draft picks to nab one of those blockbuster names. Yes, they will have to mortgage their future in order to win now because, honestly, how many years does Kobe Bryant have left?
For the sake of argument, let’s just say that Dwight and CP3 join Kobe in Los Angeles. Considering what the Lakers will have to give up, there won’t be much left surrounding those three players. If you thought the Miami Heat were shallow, wait until you see this Laker team. Gutted would be the best way to put it. It may pay off, it may not. This season, it likely wouldn’t pan out as most would expect. A shortened season littered with back-to-back-to-back nights of basketball doesn’t give a team much time to practice together, much less rest. There would be no time to figure out how to play to each other’s strengths and not end up trapped under the weight of their own stardom. Not to mention that there is no Zen Master to reel them in as Phil Jackson rode off into the sunset while former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown has taken the reigns. Safe to say that this will be an experiment that will likely need a whole lot of TLC in order to make it work.
The other issue is just how well these three will work together. With Kobe Bryant refining his low post game, Dwight Howard crowds the paint and doesn’t give much room for Kobe to operate. Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant makes a lot more sense as Paul can run the offense and take pressure off of Bryant. CP3 and Howard make sense because Paul to Howard would be freakish on the break. But all three? It’ll be interesting. Not to say it won’t work, but everyone knows that this is still Kobe’s team and Howard will have to alter his game to mesh with Bryant.
Can it work? Yes. Will it work immediately? I doubt it.