How can any Western Conference squad defeat Kobe’s Lakers?
This is an intriguing challenge because ever since the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Pau Gasol as a gift from long time former general manager Jerry West, the team is unbeatable. The squad can be beaten in one game because it’s just one game – mad random. In a seven game series, however, no team in the West can knock off the Purple and Gold. I just do not see this happening as long as Kobe Bryant is at his peak running the team. What does a team have to have to be able to defeat them?
There are reasons why this subject is brought up because the power is shifting from the West to East. Think about that supposed free agent summit occurring any time now with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Joe Johnson. They really do hold a good chunk of power in the NBA. The majority of them will remain in the East. They are the present and the future. This parallels the West’s dominance in talent from 1999 to 2009 after the Michael Jordan era. 2010 is here. It’s a new decade, which brings a new era of basketball brewing.
The Lakers’ roster is very strong for 2011 and (perhaps) 2012 then Kobe Bryant will start to go over the hill. Most of the core (Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Odom, and Artest) remains intact for the next 2 seasons unless Lakers can upgrade somewhere. There is this Andrew Bynum for Chris Bosh rumor going around, but that’s more of a pipe dream than anything. Look at the rest of the West. What team can possibly beat Kobe Bryant’s Lakers in a series next year and (maybe) the season after that?
Utah Jazz – There’s a good chance that Carlos Boozer is gone. Lakers swept them with Boozer on board! I don't see it here.
San Antonio Spurs – They’re old. Tim Duncan is on the tail end of his career. Tony Parker might be traded.
Denver Nuggets – Again, it’s like watching the movie “Dangerous Minds,” but without Michelle Pfeiffer. Melo is probably in a New York state of mind.
Phoenix Suns – Steve Nash had his last shot.
New Orleans Hornets – What’s eating Chris Paul?
Portland Trail Blazers – Brandon Roy’s team can only be as healthy as Andrew Bynum.
Houston Rockets – They have a shot, but no Yao Ming? No bling. No bueno.
Dallas Mavericks – Dirk Nowitzki’s fighting spirit might be broken. Jason Kidd is done.
Oklahoma City Thunder – Here is the team that can do it. Kevin Durant is currently a top 5 player at 21 years young. Russell Westbrook is a beast. They need more experience, a bruising center, and better coaching.
Aside from the Thunder, no other team is a bona fide threat to dethrone the Lakers in a playoff series for the next 2 seasons. The West's elite superstars are suffering the ravages of time or the team is in such disarray that there is no glimmer of hope. The Purple and Gold squad stays the premier elite team in the West while the rest of the scrubs are dying out or venturing East.