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Could Andrew Bynum lead the Lakers to a championship?
This isn't wishful thinking (unless you happen to be a Lakers fan); it's merely something that could happen, but is not (at this point in time) expected to happen.
There's a reason for all those pesky seedings. The Lakers aren't seventh or eighth, but they're not first or second either.
The No. 3 seed in the West will have to go through the No. 2 seed Oklahoma City, and it won't be a shock if they have to beat the No. 1 seed Spurs as well. To suggest that the Lakers would also have to tackle the Miami Heat, yet another team with a better regular-season record, wouldn't be a stretch.
Can Los Angeles win the NBA Finals this year?
Absolutely. The Lakers have size and rebounding. That combination has led to plenty of championships over the course of NBA history.
However, there are plenty of reasons why this might not happen; the Lakers aren't very deep and a decent interior defense could take away some of the offensive impact of Bynum and Gasol. If that happens, then Kobe can drop 40 points in each game and it might not be enough.
The trick to beating L.A. is to force their role players to expand their scoring roles on offense. Nearly the entire team, with the exceptions of Bryant, Gasol and Bynum, are limited in their offensive capacity.
The Lakers don't have James Harden, Manu Ginobili, Stephen Jackson or O.J. Mayo coming off the bench. These are all players who have the ability to put bunches of points on the board in a small period of time.
While that may be the case, it's not as if an assignment of limiting the effectiveness of Bryant, Gasol and Bynum is an easy task. It's not, and the Thunder are young. The Heat are very weak at center and power forward and the Spurs and Celtics are both teams that are old, and in Boston's case, lack depth.
At this point, the Lakers are the best non-top-two seed with a legitimate shot at a championship.