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09 CHAMPS LAKERS
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Lots of smiles in L.A right now and for good reason. Kobe just got done carrying his team on Sunday against the Mavs to pull out a 4 point victory in O.T. Bynum is coming back very soon and should gel well with his new teammate Gasol in time for the postseason. So what's not to smile about, Kobe looks as if he will be getting his 1st MVP award (about time) and the Lakers are favorites to win it all. Yeh the only thing not to smile about is that the Lakers who are currently 24 games over .500 are only 4 games out of the 8th spot in the playoffs, the West is so tightly packed this season that a team could go on a 3 game slide and be out of the postseason. That means all the teams vying for a spot will be buckling down in these last 20 somewhat games left in the season, which means very physical play will be coming towards the Lakers since they are one of the top teams right now. Kobe better protect that pinky and Phil has to work Bynum back into the line-up and not just throw him in there.

If the Lakers do manage to get home court advantage through out the playoffs they should have a phenomenal shot at winning the chip. Kobe being the bes player in the league is more than capable than leading a cast that includes two 7-footers and Odom to the Finals. The bench seems like they are consistent enough to make big pushes in the playoffs. Sasha and Farmar are spark plugs off the bench with they're dangerous outside shot and pesky defense and Turiaf will do his job as an enforcer and do a good job defending the likes of Amare or Duncan in the playoffs when called upon.

It's going to be tough in the West but the Lakers have the Coach, superstar, and supporting cast to take them to the top.

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