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L.A. Lakers vs. OKC Thunder: Who's the Western Conference Favorite in 2012-13?

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L.A. Lakers vs. OKC Thunder: Who's the Western Conference Favorite in 2012-13?
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

By trading for Steve Nash and Dwight Howard this summer, the Los Angeles Lakers proved once again that they're not content fading into the sunset.

Instead, they're on the short list of NBA championship favorites heading into the 2012-13 season.

Last year's Western Conference champions, the Oklahoma City Thunder, won't just roll over to the Lakers, though.

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka should all benefit from their Olympic experiences this summer, allowing them to impart lessons learned to their young teammates.

Before we crown the Lakers as new Western Conference favorites, let's take a position-by-position look at how the two teams match up, post-Howard trade.

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