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Bruce Bowen not sold Lakers will be better than Thunder

Aug 17, 2012, 1:45 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant Kevin Durant Getty Images

Finally, we have reached that time in August when we can definitively speculate on what teams will be playing like next May and June. Because we all nailed that Mavericks championship two years ago and got that Heat vs. Bulls Eastern Conference Finals we expected last year.

On paper it does seem to be a two-team race out West. The Thunder just went to the finals and their young core — Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden — returns wearing gold medals. They are young and should be improved. But the Lakers could be even better now that they have a monster lineup after adding Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

That roster has a lot of people are now leaning Lakers in the West, but former Spur and ESPN commentator Bruce Bowen isn’t one. He was on Sports Radio 560 WQAM and Project Spurs gives us the transcription.

“There’s a team out West called the Oklahoma City Thunder. Those young boys, it seems like each and every year they get better… I don’t think you can rule them out with their starters, their bench. You look at Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka down low, I think they will be aggressive and challenge Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. Then you look at James Harden coming off the bench, who’s going to matchup with him? It’s not even a question with Steve Nash and Russell Westbrook. So now it leaves Kobe and Kevin Durant…. I’m not sold on this new Lakers team because it takes time to gel.”

Bowen isn’t wrong, it does take time for a team to come together, especially since Howard could be out at least for most of training camp and maybe the start of the season. The Lakers have overhauled their roster and overhauled their coaching staff and will run some Princeton sets. It’s all new. There are a lot of things to bring together for Mike Brown and staff. A lot of things for the players to figure out.

Really, we’re not going to be able to judge the Lakers vs. Thunder until what we see the Lakers are playing like in March. Remember, it took the Heat more than a season to win with their superstars and the idea it could take a couple years for the Lakers is very possible (even if they get by the Thunder there will be the Heat to contend with).

But we should speculate about it now.

  1. omniusprime - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Bruce Bowen is just jealous that the tired ancient Spurs have nothing left to chase another title with. Bruce is jealous the Spurs didn’t make the kind of deals the Lakers did to improve. Just a jealous crybaby who gets to watch his ancient Spurs bite the dust as a cellar dweller next season.

  2. progress2011 - Aug 19, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    The fakers won’t get by the Clips…forget playing the Thunder !

    Jordan vs Howard – Howard (but both may be in foul trouble)
    Blake vs Gasol – wash
    Butler vs Jamison- wash
    Chauncey vs kobe – kobe
    CP3 vs Nash – CP3

    Bench – Clippers

    Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom, Grant Hill, Eric Bledsoe, Willie Green
    Steve Blake, Devin Eubanks, MWP, Goudelock, Chris Duhon

    The difference will be the Clippers far superior bench scoring !

    The Clippers are gonna take the fakers lunch ….out in FIRST ROUND !!!

    • pop562 - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:26 PM


  3. jimeejohnson - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Kobe’s wife could be the difference. After all, she can only be married to a champion. Yeah, right!

  4. manchestermiracle - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    A guy who gets fined not once, but twice, for kicking opponents (literally) in the face and back and then kneeing Steve Nash in the groin, and is called a “cheap player” by an ESPN columnist, then gets a gig at ESPN? Of course he’ll claim the Lakers won’t be any good, he got knocked out of the playoffs by them more than a few times. What a chump. A chump with an ax to grind.

  5. tajhman34as - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    He right

  6. nycalldayz - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    not sold on LAL.

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