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I would not be shocked if Los Angeles wins the title next season, but a second-round exit would not shock me, either. For all the talent and hype of the big four, there are still many unknowns.
The biggest questions right now are, "How healthy is Dwight Howard?" and "When does he return?" But beyond that, Los Angeles has some overlapping roles to figure out.
Kobe Bryant has ostensibly functioned as this team's point guard over the course of his career (he often leads the team in assists). While I expect Steve Nash to improve the Laker offense, Kobe and Nash might have some initial difficulty in figuring out their roles initially.
The other role-overlap is in the frontcourt, where Dwight is forcing Pau Gasol into yet another year at the 4-spot. Gasol is a center, and he would play that position in a perfect world. The Lakers might struggle defensively against opponents who boast fast, three-point-shooting power forwards.
Obviously, Laker fans are happier than they were a few months ago. But an NBA Finals appearance is far from assured.