Sure the Heat got two superstars to go along with D-wade, but the defending champions did some work in the offseason too. The Lakers bench last season was not very good and was a key concern going into the offseason. They had a young point guard in Jordan Farmer, a very athletic Shannon Brown, and Lamar Odom (a starter on any other team). On paper that is a pretty good bench, but they did not perform well at all. After this season Jordan Farmer and Shannon Brown were free agents. Farmer left for New Jersey and Shannon has not signed yet with anyone. The Lakers needed a back up point guard and they got Steve Blake. Blake a veteran, can shoot very well and is a pretty good passer. Also he is a tough defender unlike Jordan Farmer. Blake was a nice pickup for the bench, and will get a lot of playing time next season. Now they needed to get a backup guard or forward. Many players on the market signed and it looked like the Lakers would resign Shannon Brown. No deal was made, and they turned their attention to Matt Barnes. You may remember last season when Barnes and Kobe got into it in Orlando. The Lakers didn’t care about that dispute, and neither did Kobe and they signed Matt Barnes to be their backup guard/small forward. Matt Barnes is a very good defender and likes to get into his opponents head. He showed last season that he is not afraid of anyone. Also he can shoot the three. He will be a great guy for the bench and will come in with a lot of energy.
DJ Mbenga was also a free agent, so the Lakers needed a new back up big. They addressed this problem by signing veteran Theo Ratliff to a minimum contract. Theo won’t get much playing time, but if Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol get hurt he will be needed to fill in. There is still some talk that the Lakers will bring back Shannon Brown for a backup guard. They don’t have a lot of money to give him so he will have to take less money then he wants. All in all the Lakers improved what needed to be improved and have all the ingredients to beat the Heat and become the NBA Champions for the third year in a row.