Can the Lakers Contend for a Title?

matt stevensContributor IMarch 1, 2008

It has been a long time since the Los Angeles Lakers have had a reasonable shot at winning the NBA Championship.

I do think, however, that they have a great shot at winning it this year thanks to the Memphis Grizzlies for their gift of Pau Gasol, and also to the maturing Andrew Bynum.

With the Lakers frontcourt of Gasol and Bynum, it could be the best in the league.  I know that this is a bold statement considering the Suns acquired Shaq recently, and have the wonderful presence of Amare Stoudemire, but I do believe that Gasol and Bynum are overall better players then Stoudemire and Shaq. 

Another thing about the Lakers that hasn't yet been discussed, is about the new-found leadership of the best player in the NBA and who could be the greatest player to ever play the game.  Kobe Bryant doesn't have to put up 45 points a game to have the Lakers keep up with other good teams.

If Kobe can still put up 20 points a game, and dish out assists to their two big men.  And as long as he doesnt forget about Derek Fisher, then the Lakers will be fine come playoff time.  They might be making Shaq wish that he had never left the Lakers in the first place.