Interesting stuff from Hollinger over at ESPN. Claims the early surprise is our solid defense which has helped us get off to an 8-1 start!

ESPN: I touched upon this when I saw the Lakers hold New Orleans to 30 points in the first half, but their upgraded commitment to the defensive end has been something to behold. L.A., which made the NBA Finals last season primarily as an offensive juggernaut, is leading the league in defensive efficiency by a sizable margin.

The return of Andrew Bynum has played a big part, obviously. It’s not just his size, it’s also that he’s in shape and moving well. As a result, he has become a real presence roaming the lane and blocking shots, and he has allowed Pau Gasol to slide over to his more natural power forward role. Bynum is spiking three shots a game, the Lakers’ now-huge front line is controlling the defensive glass and L.A. in general has found a more physical edge in the wake of last year’s embarrassing conclusion to the Finals.

If they keep it up, they’ll be virtually impossible to beat.