A great article on the West, which now includes Shaq back in it. I like the “pecking order” listed in the article. He mentions the Lakers #2 behind the Spurs:
S.I.: The addition of Gasol has vaulted them into this position. The 7-foot Spaniard gives L.A. an All-Star-caliber threesome (along with Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom) to match the Spurs’ and Suns’. Gasol’s ability to play in the post and draw double teams will be huge, and he will take pressure off young Andrew Bynum in the middle. When the game slows down in the playoffs, the Lakers will be able to put a tall lineup on the floor with the 7-footers Bynum and Gasol, the 6-10 Odom, the 6-6 Bryant and the 6-2 Derek Fisher. But, most of all, the Lakers have Kobe. He’s going to be so hyped to carry them to the Finals after the past few years. Along with coach Phil Jackson, it’s enough to get the Lakers back to the top.