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LA Lakers no longer favored over OKC Thunder?

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12:33 PM ET 11.08 | There was supposed to be a new favorite in the Western Conference this season. And when the Oklahoma City Thunder traded James Harden just a few days before the start of the regular season, that notion was believed to be true more than ever. The Los Angeles Lakers were supposed to return to NBA title contention after acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash this offseason. It may take a little more time than people thought. The Lakers have started the season 1-4 and most recently lost to the Utah Jazz 95-86. Their only win so far came at home vs. the Detroit Pistons. The new additions, Howard and Nash, haven't exactly fit in seamlessly. A big reason for that has been the introduction of the Princeton offense by Lakers head coach Mike Brown. The Princeton offense takes time to learn and the Lakers are trying to learn it on the fly. It doesn't feature the individual stars on this team like they have been in the past. Instead, it relies on reading and reacting to the defense and moving the ball all around the floor. With ball stoppers like Kobe Bryant and Howard, maybe it's not the best fit for this team.

Thunderous Intentions

Los Angeles Lakers, Getty Images/ Noah Graham Los Angeles Lakers, Getty Images/ Noah Graham
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November 8, 2012  03:45 PM ET

I love it when sports writers speak, because like Mitt Romney their thoughts change in a New York minute. Whatever one might have thought about D12 hooking up with KB25 and Steve "CaskMoney" Nash, a championship wasn't the lock one might have thought it would be. D12 is damaged goods and Kobe whether he wants to admit it or not has more miles on him than a 64 Chevy. Nash is even worse. That's the price one pays for being a Star of the highest magnitude.
They may indeed turn things around, but the fact of the matter is there are more question than there are answers. As long as Gasol is anchoring the Bigs they will continue to have issues. long gone are the days when Pau can even be considered an Elite Big. Another damage big man in the long line of many that have played with Kobe. The problem with this whole situation is that unlike Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce, or for that mater LeBron, D. Wade & Bosh, Kobe has yet to learn the one truism when it comes to sports, No one man can carry a team indefinitely. He will have to learn to trust his teammates and not just with his mouth. Over the fisrt few games of the season I have seen Kobe force his game and there in lays the problem. He has to see the writing on the wall and realize that he may be able to tap into the days of old from time to time, but it won't be happening every night!

And you can take that too the bank! Stay tuned .....

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