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NBA Playoffs: 5 Reasons Why the Lakers Will Beat the Thunder

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NBA Playoffs: 5 Reasons Why the Lakers Will Beat the Thunder
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers weren't expected to outlast the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs—they were expected to breeze past them. 

Nevertheless, the Lakers used all seven games to dispatch Denver and advance into a second round confrontation with the Oklahoma City Thunder

The Lakers ran the entire spectrum in Round 1, looking like a legitimate title threat after Andrew Bynum's Game 1 triple-double before appearing as a hapless doormat on its way to an early playoff exit in Games 3 and 6.

Overall, Mike Brown's squad noticeably underachieved in the Denver series to the point that no one has any confidence in their ability to topple Kevin Durant and OKC in Round 2.

After all, the Thunder are cut from the same basketball cloth as the Nuggets are, only with a deeper rotation, two unquestioned superstars (Durant and Russell Westbrook) and two vicious crunch timers (Durant and James Harden). 

If the Lakers struggled so mightily to fend off the Nuggets, what hope could they possibly have to send the Thunder home?

Notwithstanding the fact that the Lakers are not hitting on all cylinders at the most crucial point of the year, they still possess marked advantages over OKC that could show up in big ways to give the Lakers more than a puncher's chance to move on to the West Finals. 

If the Lakers beat OKC, you'll point to these five factors as the biggest reasons why.

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