The Los Angeles Lakers became the heavy favorites to win the Western Conference after trading for Dwight Howard. The Lakers have three of the top 15 players among the top 25 in the league and one more very good player in the lineup. All five starters have made All-NBA teams and three have been All-NBA defenders.
Fortunately, there's competition out in the conference for the Lake Show. One team that won't lie down and watch the Lakers run away with an NBA title is the Memphis Grizzlies.
While Memphis is considered by many to be a dark-horse candidate to win the Western Conference, the "grit and grind" squad is capable of beating any team in the conference. The Grizzlies can shut down any team on their home floor. Their stifling defense is strong enough to contain a high-flying offense.
Following is a breakdown of matchups between the Lakers and Grizzlies that looks at each position in the starting lineup and then compares the two teams' benches.