Can one of the league’s glamour teams continue to stay near the top?
They have been the most discussed, analysed and criticised team this off-season in the NBA and it is not going to change at all.
After the much-publicised departure of Dwight Howard for Houston everybody who follows the NBA has been asking, can the Lakers still compete?
The answer is yes and no.
Yes there will still be nights where Pau Gasol looks like an All-Star at both ends of the floor and Steve Nash looks like he has wound the clock back 10 years and is a smokey chance for the MVP.
But then there will be the nights that the side’s elder players will be rested due to niggling injuries, young players will need to step up and make big contributions and their defence will leak points.
All of this is without discussing one Kobe Bean Bryant.
Nash will be doing well to play more than 50 games this season with a lot of responsibility falling on the shoulders of Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar.
Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry will battle it out for time at the two spot until Bryant is ready to come back, which looks sooner rather than later for the superstar who continues to show good signs in his recovery from Achilles tendon surgery.
At small forward Los Angeles really do not have anything to fear despite the emergence of Nick Young as a scoring threat during the pre-season games.
Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill will be dependable up front for the Lakers alongside Gasol and they will need to be because they will be challenged down the lane.
LA does not have the explosive backcourt and versatile defenders needed to fend off the explosive backcourts found in the Western Conference and that will be exposed.
The Lakers again might limp into playoff contention again this year, and even if they do the unthinkable will happen for a second year in a row, the Los Angeles team in purple and gold will still to be relevant at the top of the power rankings this season.
Los Angeles Lakers: 9th
Front court: 7
Back court: 8.5