The Los Angeles Lakers have put together a very talented team this off-season, but there will still be critics who argue that they cannot get the talent to work together. Some cannot see all that talent meshing and there will be plenty of debate this season on whether or not Los Angeles can raise the Larry O’Brien trophy.
However, TNT analyst Charles Barkley is not one of those who believe the Lakers cannot succeed. CBS Sports reports that Barkley has the Lakers as the favorites in the Western Conference.
What team he thinks is the favorite in the Western Conference on paper:
“The Lakers. Host: Over Oklahoma City? Yeah. I’m not a big Oklahoma City fan because I don’t think they get any easy baskets. Like last year I didn’t think they could win and the reason I picked Miami to win the championship, the only way you’re going to beat Miami is beat them up inside. That’s what their weakness is. You’re not going to beat them on the perimeter shooting jumpers with Westbrook and Durant. The only way to beat them is the way the Mavericks beat them, with Dirk Nowitzkiand Tyson Chandler down low. Unless Oklahoma City gets some low post scoring, they’re going to win a lot of games because they have two terrific players and James Harden is terrific also, but you’re not going to win the championship just shooting jumpers.”
The Lakers have a very talented starting five and have drastically improved their bench with the additions of Antawn Jamison, Jodie Meeks and Chris Duhon. The Lakers fixed their point guard need by trading for Steve Nash and paired Pau Gasol with the best center in the league, Dwight Howard.
Still, before the Lakers aim to take the Miami Heat off the NBA throne, they have to beat the young stars in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City is a very explosive team and it can go on a 10-0 run in the blink of an eye. The Lakers will have their hands full when playing the Thunder and it will be the ultimate battle between the rising stars and proven veterans.