Written by: Dustin Malcolm
Call me an arrogant fan, but the Lakers are going to repeat as Western Conference Champions when all is said and done after the 2010-2011 season. While many believe a young team like the Oklahoma City Thunder or a team with possibly resurgent players like the Houston Rockets could challenge the Lakers for their fourth straight Western Crown, they forgot one thing: the title runs through Los Angeles.
While Oklahoma City has great young talent in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the standout names end there. The team has an abundance of heart and hard work, as shown in the first round of last year’s playoffs, but the inexperience is likely to yield a similar exit so long as the Lakers are proactive.
With the also talented Rockets, their competitiveness seems to pivot on Yao Ming’s all too fragile feet. Other typical challengers like the Suns and the Mavericks seemed to fall by the wayside in terms of free agent signings, and teams like the Spurs just seemed to get a year older.
With the steals that the Lakers made this off-season, it seems all but inevitable that the Lakers will be back in defense of their title in the NBA Finals next year. The question remaining is, who will they see?
Next: Beasts of the East