The 2009 NBA Champions, the Los Angeles Lakers came into the 2010 Season as firm favorites to repeat as champions. Phil Jackson gets his 11th Championship Ring while Kobe Bryant moves even further away from Shaq and Duncan and closer to immortality with the likes of Magic and MJ. That was the plan! With the loss of Trevor Ariza, they acquired the services of the ever entertaining Ron Artest. This brought both a sense of anticipation and confusion into the minds of many around the league. The question that was brought up a lot was; “Why fix what’s not broken?”
The 2010 playoffs are now here and still, the Los Angeles Lakers have looked rather ordinary and out of sorts at times. We have had instances where they have been so brilliant and others where you wonder if they would even get past the first round of the playoffs. One thing we do know though is that they have the best player in the world on their side, Kobe Bryant. He may not be the most athletically gifted right now nor have the legs that carried him in his early 20’s but he has a loaded repertoire of shots and moves that really set him apart. His Basketball IQ is also second to none. Now we will look at a few of the Western Conference teams that will line up against the Lakers in the 2010 playoffs.
First Round: Portland Trailblazers
The Portland Trailblazers have been to the Lakers what Kryptonite is to Superman in recent years. Here is a team that has youth, speed and skills to really test the Lakers. Led by Brandon Roy whom Kobe thinks highly off, the Trailblazers have been a real test for the Lakers. However, the problem that has plagued the Trailblazers has been injury especially to 2008 number one draft pick, Greg Oden. I doubt though the Trailblazers would give the Lakers too many problems over a seven game series. The X-Factor: Lamar Odom (Lakers in 5)
Second Round: Denver Nuggets
This will be the first real test for the Lakers. The Lakers have no match for Denver’s PG’s Chauncey Billups and Ty Lawson. Aaron Afflalo is also someone that has been able to give Kobe Problems. If Ron Artest is able to trouble Carmelo Anthony who scores at will, than the Lakers would be in a good position to end the series early. There will be a good match-up between Centers, Nene and Bynum. The X-Factor: Pau Gasol. (Lakers in 6)
Western Conference Finals: Dallas Mavericks
After the Mavericks acquired Butler and Haywood, they have really established themselves as serious contenders for the 2010 NBA title. There are juicy match-ups all over the floor and this one will go down to the wire. I would not be surprised if there will be blowouts and overtimes in the series. The X-Factor: Kobe Bryant (Lakers in 7)
Though we can’t wait to see how the Lakers Playoff’s will turn out, it seems an even bigger issue during these trying NBA times is where to get tickets? Check out http://www.barrystickets.com/tickets.php?EID=Los-Angeles-Lakers – for years I’ve counted on them for decent seats at prices I won’t be choking on.