Ron Artest: The controversial small-forward has received a warm reception, but he has big shoes to fill in Trevor Ariza. He also needs to know he is at best the third best player behind Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. No funny stuff, no crazy antics, just plain basketball.
Andrew Bynum's Knee: In an effort to compensate for his right knee which was injured last season, the young center has opted to wear a brace on both knees. His regular season play was outstanding; his postseason play was far from it. He enters this season as he did last year: having to prove his worth.
Lamar Odom: Odom's tempermental play was thrown aside when he returned after his stunning playoff push. He will still most likely work off the bench, but now that it's a role he is acquainted with, his on-again-off-again play might be a thing of the past. Might be.
The Bench: The bench received some added depth when Shannon Brown was resigned. After abysmal seasons, both Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic have to return to their former glory. Luke Walton needs to remain consistent, and Josh Powell needs to take a few lessons from Odom on how to be versitile. We saw a glimpse of Powell's potential when he sank a 3-pointer in the Finals. He needs to capitalize on that.
Phil Jackson: The NBA's winningest coach was in limbo this year. His health remains an issue, his right-hand man left for Minnesota, and he will be tasked with keeping Artest in check. There has never been such a strange combination for Jackson in his career as a coach. The way he handles the new frontieres he must face will set the tone for the rest of the team.