Heisler’s NBA Power Rankings After Week Two

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OK, I think I know how this is going to go….

The No. 2 Heat should run No. 1-2 all season, with no one in the East close to them, pending future developments like a Derrick Rose return. The No. 9 Celtics may once more be dangerous by spring… like last season when they took Miami to Game 7 of the East Finals as a No. 4 seed.

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Heisler: Jerry Buss wanted his organization back

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Jerry Buss to Phil Jackson: Enjoy your retirement, big guy. 

The Lakers say Jerry Buss, Jim Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak decided the triangle wouldn’t be as good as pick-and-rolls and picked the droll guy with the West Virginia accent who’s relatively conventional but has 11 fewer titles than the Zen Master of Disaster.

Fat bleeping chance.

Here’s what we know for sure: As the Lakers-Kings game ended Sunday night, Mitch Kupchak called D’Antoni’s agent, Warren Legarie, at home.

“Let’s do a deal,” said Kupchak, according to LeGarie.

“C’mon, Mitch, you’re not using us, are you?” said a stunned LeGarie, according to LeGarie.

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Video: Are the Los Angeles Lakers in trouble?

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There’s two schools of thought on what may be wrong with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The first is that the offseason acquisitions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash created the customary overreaction from NBA fans – specifically Lakers fans – who had visions of 70-win seasons and dynastic dominance dancing in their heads.

When the Lakers followed a winless preseason by losing their first three games – pretty much scuttling any talk of 70 wins – there was another obligatory overreaction. This one blamed the newly installed Princeton offense, coach Mike Brown, Nash’s injury and climate change. Why else would the sky be falling?

The answer, as it usually is with two highly polarized knee-jerk responses, is somewhere in between.

However, the second school of thought has a bit more validity. The Lakers’ issues aren’t a product of their new offense, or their coach, or Nash sitting on the sidelines, or climate change. They are a function of their personnel.

The Lakers’ starting lineup is long and skilled and talented. It also devoid of energy and athleticism. The bench has some energy and athleticism, but is woefully short on talent.

So what to do? How do the Lakers begin climbing out of the depths of our latest Power Rankings?

Mark Heisler, our resident Power Ranker, discussed a number of possibilities with Noah Coslov of Cinesport. One of those includes an unlikely big change to the starting lineup.

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Heisler’s NBA Power Rankings After Week One

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This guy also had a higher ranking week ago, like the Lakers and Thunder

OK, who had the No. 3 Knicks starting 3-0, the No. 15 Thunder and No. 20 Celtics falling on their faces and the No. 24 Lakers going into the toilet?

Not me. On the other hand, here at the World’s Greatest NBA Rankings (According to Us) we don’t just rank teams, we provide solutions to their problems!

(We also take them one season at a time.. If you want to see something more orthodox, or to put it another way, a lightly edited version of last season’s rankings, check someone else’s)

Take the Lakers… please.

Everyone in L.A. is going around saying “Princeton, phooey,” as if the new offense was the problem.

They wish.

The Lakers are so unbalanced, they could tip over, starting the tallest, most skilled lineup in ball, but also its oldest and slowest.

If Steve Nash works off a Dwight Howard screen with Kobe Bryant lurking on the weak side, where does Pau Gasol come in?

What athleticism they have, aside from Howard and what Bryant has left, comes off the bench, even if the reserves can’t hit the ocean from a boat, having been outscored by 18 a game.

Here’s where Pau should come in–off the bench.

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Heisler: In Lakerdom, it’s already a long season

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It was fun while it lasted, or can someone call the Lakers and tell them the season has started?

Ending three months of post-resurrection celebration, the legends-in-their-own-minds are 0-10 this fall, losing eight exhibitions, getting turned every which way but loose in the opener by the Dirk-less Mavericks, then getting bombed, 116-106, in Portland by last season’s No. 11 team in the West.

Of course, the Lakers have been here before, will be OK, etc.

No, Coach Mike Brown isn’t in trouble. He’s safe, at least another two or three months.

Talk about your fun starts, at least for people who like to watch crockery that’s full of it fall a great distance and shatter.

Two days ago, despite the Lakes’ injury-plagued preseason, they looked like the scariest team in the West, even to Laker-hating Dallas owner Mark Cuban.

Asked before the opener if they were a super team, Cuban told the Dallas Morning News’ Eddie Sefko, “I don’t know, I don’t care. I just hope they suck.’’

Cue the suckage.

Of course, losing makes everything look bad and losing as the Lakers did against two teams not expected to make the playoffs makes it look like there’s no reason to go on living.

In the really bad news for the Lakers, it may be more than a passing impression.

Remember how old and slow the Lakers had become?

They’re even older and slower now.

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