While the Los Angeles Lakers have endured their share of criticism this year, they've still compiled a respectable record (currently 41-24) and will likely secure the three-seed in the Western Conference.
Overall, they've had a handful of positive developments this season.
Andrew Bynum has become a superstar-caliber center and will arguably be the most formidable big man in the playoffs (now that Dwight Howard is out for the season). Kobe Bryant, despite a handful of atrocious shooting performances, is tied with Kevin Durant for the league's scoring title (27.9) and appears poised for another deep playoff push. And the addition of Ramon Sessions has given the Lakers a versatile point guard who can create and distribute.
What's more, the team appears to be buying into coach Mike Brown's schemes, especially after their emphatic double-overtime victory over the Thunder on Sunday.
This is all to say that the Lakers are going to be a tough out come the playoffs. Their experience coupled with their desire to avenge last year's playoff embarrassment (when they were swept by the Dallas Mavericks) make them as dangerous as anybody in the Western Conference.
Opponents of the Lakers must be decisively strategic if they're going to oust the 2012 Lake Show. The Lakers surely won't bite the dust as easily as they did last year, so what will it take to topple this year's squad?
Here's a guide to thwarting the Lakers' attack.