The 7 Biggest Obstacles to an L.A. Lakers Championship Run

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The 7 Biggest Obstacles to an L.A. Lakers Championship Run
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant remain on the same page for the Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers will start the 2012-13 season as the favorites to win the NBA championship in 2013. 

Talk about pressure.

Las Vegas oddsmakers peg the Lakers at 5-2 to win the crown next June, ahead of defending champion Miami (9-2) and runner-up Oklahoma City (9-4). Chicago and San Antonio are both at 10-1 to win it all.

In the course of just a few days this summer, the Lakers went from being playoff castoffs to legitimate contenders, thanks mainly to the arrival of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. The four-team trade that sent Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia and brought D12 to L.A. was a game-changer for Los Angeles, especially considering that premier power forward Pau Gasol was not uprooted and remains with the Lakers.

Yet, being a championship-looking team on paper and actually going onto the court and achieving that are two vastly different realities. The Lakers will be hard-pressed to get to another finals and ultimately win their 17th world championship.

The Lakers will encounter numerous roadblocks, both real and imagined, along the way to a title. They will need hard work, tremendous coaching, career years from role players and luck to get to the NBA's promised land.

In a recent poll conducted by L.A. Times beat writer Mark Medina, an overwhelming 91 percent of respondents predicted that the Lakers would win the championship this season.

A lot of pieces must fall into place for that to happen. Let's take a look at the obstacles that could impede the Lakers' march to victory next June.

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