Now is the time of year when fans of seven teams in the Western Conference — the teams ranked two through eight — are coming up with reasons they could maybe upset the Lakers. Journalists are looking for storylines to make the playoffs interesting in the Western Conference.
Blazers fan Henry Abbott of the ESPN blog TrueHoop wrote a novella Thursday rationalizing how all the other teams in the West, together, changed the odds to better than half that the Lakers could be beat. By the end, he had convinced himself.
"But it does mean that I think the Lakers have a decent shot of losing a Western playoff series, and (the Blazers) team is as likely as any to be the one to beat them."
Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets had convinced himself of the same thing.
“When I look at the West, I don’t really see that one dominant team. Everybody says the Lakers. Yeah, the Lakers are pretty good. But I don’t really see that one team that you say is going to win the West. I think it’s pretty much even now.’’
The problem is, every time one of those teams gets on the court with the Lakers, the Lakers win. Handily. The latest victim was Denver, who fell to the Lakers 116-102, on the night that the Lakers got Andrew Bynum back in the paint. He looked rusty, and he still scored 16 points and had seven boards. Meanwhile Paul Gasol had 27 and 19 rebounds, and Kobe dropped a nice 33. The Lakers have now won 22 of 24 at home against the Nuggets.
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