It has been a long and painful season for the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers as they have been able to clinch the number one spot in the Western Conference for the third straight year, but have been pretty banged up as a result of quite a few injuries that could affect their title defense heading into the playoffs.
The one key player that has been affected more by injuries this season on the Lakers than any other has been reigning NBA Finals MVP Kobe Bryant. Despite having the reputation of being an Ironman, and that he is more than any other player in the league, Kobe will be looking into the playoffs as he is nursing multiple injuries to his fingers, knees and ankles.
This is on the scene not good for the defending NBA champs, but if anybody can fight through injuries and still play at a high level it is Kobe Bryant and as he shown in the past he tends to excel once in the playoffs.
Along with Kobe licking his wounds heading into the postseason, the Lakers also have a huge concern once again, for the third straight year, with Andrew Bynum nursing a strained Achilles.
Reportedly, Andrew Bynum should be good to go because he was healthy enough to finish out the NBA regular season but head coach Phil Jackson thought it would be a smart idea for him the rest of the little but more the 40 got back on the floor.
Obviously, that is a smart decision by the Zen Master as Bynum has been as fragile as any other big man one week, especially when it comes to playoff time.
Even though no one will be picking the Oklahoma City Thunder to upset the defending champs in the first round of the NBA playoffs, Kevin Durant and company are not a team to be taken lightly as they have shown they can compete with almost any team in the league on a nightly basis.
The one thing that will be working against the Oklahoma City Thunder in this first round matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers is there serious lack of experience. It is common knowledge that the Los Angeles Lakers are the most experienced team in the playoffs right now with arguably the best head coach of all-time in Phil Jackson and arguably the best player of all-time in Kobe Bryant. Just the combination of these two great basketball minds is enough to scare any inexperienced playoff team, but the Thunder could expose the Lakers as they haven’t played well to end the regular season and that could carry over to the postseason.
Ultimately I really don’t see any way that the Oklahoma City Thunder can beat Kobe Bryant and company in a seven-game series, but miracles have happen the past and that won’t stop anytime soon.
The Thunder will win more games than anticipated, but they will still fall short against the Lakers.
Series Prediction: 4-2 Los Angeles Lakers