Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Los Angeles Lakers Look to Repeat

By Michael Fadner

The Los Angeles Lakers made a statement last season. In the face of so many naysayers, Kobe Bryant proved that this team had what it takes to win a championship. Many fans and experts doubted Kobe Bryant once the Lakers lost Shaq.

Well, for one, they're the defending champions. They defeated the Orlando Magic with relative ease in the NBA finals, and looked very solid throughout the duration of the 2009 NBA playoffs.

He also proved that he would win the next championship before LeBron James would, quieting critics who point out LeBron's superiority with respect to that rivalry. And what a great rivalry this is!

Much of the Lakers' success last year should be attributed to a lot more than just Kobe himself. This was a team effort through and through.

Ron Artest, having come to LA by way of Houston, is one of the great defenders in the game of basketball, and a strong force on offense too. He's said to be responsible for much of Houston's success during the past two seasons, and his presence in LA bolsters an already strong roster. His veteran experience should feed well into the culture in Los Angeles, and many believe that the Lakers should run away from the competition this season.

The Lakers are looking to repeat this season - their chances are very good. The last time a team repeated as champions were the Lakers 01' & 02'.

Still, other teams in the league have steadily improved over the past few years, and some like Orlando, Cleveland, San Antonio, and Boston have all made worthy acquisitions too.

Having said that, I'd peg the Lakers as the favorite but wouldn't expect them to dominate. It's definitely up for grabs, but Artest makes this powerhouse even stronger. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do with Kobe.

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