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Lakers roster

Statistics from 2005-06 season (*rookie, #played in Europe last season; statistics from 2006 exhibition season):

October 31, 2006|Mike Bresnahan

Smush Parker -- Career year forgotten somewhat after playoff slump

Aaron McKie--How much does he have left? Played only 14 games last season.

Shammond Williams#--An unknown after two years away from NBA

Jordan Farmar*--Showed energy during exhibition play.

Sasha Vujacic--Annoying, pestering defender has improved outside shot.

Kobe Bryant--Points won't be a problem ... as long as his right knee isn't one.

Luke Walton--Strong training camp has him looking at increased minutes.

Maurice Evans--Looking like a quality acquisition for an inexpensive price.

Lamar Odom--Trying to come back from tumultuous off-season.

Vladimir Radmanovic--How costly will sprained hand ligament be?

Ronny Turiaf--Will see a lot of early-season time as backup center.

Brian Cook--Outside shot still best part of his game.

Andrew Bynum--Was a handful at end of exhibition season.

Chris Mihm--Still not back from severe ankle sprain in mid-March.

Kwame Brown--Can he duplicate improved play at end of last season?

*

SCOUTING REPORT

* 2005-06 record: 45-37, third in the Pacific Division.

* Coach: Phil Jackson, second season (877-353 in 15 seasons with Lakers and Chicago).

* Who's gone: Devean George, Devin Green, Jim Jackson, Von Wafer.

* Who's new: Vladimir Radmanovic, Shammond Williams, Jordan Farmar.

* Projected starting lineup: Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, Radmanovic, Smush Parker.

* Projected bench rotation: Luke Walton, Maurice Evans, Brian Cook, Sasha Vujacic, Andrew Bynum, Chris Mihm.

* Keys to the season: Fifteen of the Lakers' first 20 games are at home, making a quick start imperative. They must get through the early stages with five players battling injuries (Bryant, Brown, Mihm, Aaron McKie and Williams). The defense, problematic for most of last season, must improve. So must the condition of Bryant's knee, which is still tender but improving almost daily.

* Outlook: They appeared to be on track again for the lower tier of playoff teams, and then the injury reports came trickling in. They improved their roster during the off-season, but so did many Western Conference teams that missed the playoffs last season (Houston, New Orleans, Minnesota, Utah). If a slow start ensues, the Lakers' playoff chances could be in jeopardy by midseason. Then they would have to close better than they did during their 11-3 run at the end of last season.

*

-- Mike Bresnahan

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