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It wasn’t easy, but the Los Angeles Lakers managed to grab the seventh spot out West. Now they have the unpleasant privilege of taking on the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
Sans Kobe Bryant, L.A. has its hands full. The Spurs have been banged up, but they fail in comparison when it comes to the injury-riddled season the Lakers have endured.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears, Steve Nash may be ready to make his return by the first game of the series. The question is, will he be healthy enough to produce on offense, and can he stay in front of Tony Parker on the defensive side of the floor?
Nash aside, the entire roster is one big question mark. Pau Gasol, despite coming off one of his best games of the year, has been plagued with inconsistency. Metta World Peace can’t hit a shot coming back from injury, and the bench gets shallower with every injury that takes place.
Even Dwight Howard, the undisputed star of the team without Bryant, can’t be fully trusted late because of his foul shooting.
For all we know, the Lakers may shock the world. But in the more likely scenario where they fall to San Antonio, the 2012-13 season will end in truly disappointing fashion.