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Lakers fans are eternal optimist. They believe the Lakers will always have a chance to win the championship as long as they get into the NBA playoffs.
It doesn't matter who you talk to the majority of them will do their best to convinced you that with Kobe Bryant scoring with reckless abandon, Lamar Odom rebounding and passing like a young Magic Johnson, the return of Kwame brown providing a presence in the paint and their Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson's post season record, that this Lakers team will have a chance to beat Phoenix and from there anything can happen.
Bryant averaged a league leading 31.5 points per game this season and was among just 22 players with more than 100 steals with 110. His teammate Smush Parker had 118. Bryant had seven games where he scored 50 points and three where he had 60 or more. Clearly there is no one player in the history of the NBA who has more gifts that he does.
However, the big knock against Bryant is that he doesn't make players around him better, but to his defense he players around him with the exception of Odom are not very good to begin with.
Odom finished second on the team in scoring averaging 15.9 and led the team in rebounds with 534 although he played in just 55 games this season.
For the Lakers to be a championship caliber team they need for Odom to average 20 plus per game, but they also need for Kwame Brown, who has been a colossal bust, to emerge as a consistent post player, and for the Parker who had 152 turnovers to protect the basketball more.
Lakers fans don't want to admit it, but this is just one big mess and how can a team that struggled to make the playoffs and lost as many games at it won to defeat the Suns which won more than 60 games and led the league in scoring?
Not even Jackson is confident the Lakers will do much in the playoffs. This is a team that allows as many points (103) as it scores per game.
Phoenix leads the league at 110 points per game and employs four starters who average 16 points or more per game. Which Lakers point guard is going to guard Steve Nash? Jordan Farmar has not been really afford a chance by the stubborn Jackson and Parkers is like a deer in front of headlights when the playoffs begin.
Don't hold your breath for Andrew Bynum to be the second coming of Shaquille O'Neal. The Lakers would probably be better with one of the bigs coming out of college than they will be now or down the road with Bynum.
I guess the light at the end of the tunnel is the Lakers making the playoffs and the Clippers not. Sounds to me like a dark cloud soon to burst and over flood the lake with excuses and wishes.