After finishing off the Utah Jazz Monday night, there was more concern than joy in the Los Angeles Lakers camp.
Although the Lakers won the series in five games, they didn't display the kind of dominance you might expect from a team looking to make a championship run. They will move on and likely face the Houston Rockets, who currently lead Portland 3-1.
The Jazz revealed some chinks in the Laker armor.
For one, Utah out-rebounded the Lakers in the series. Andrew Bynum was supposed to shore up that issue, but has been ineffective ever since his return.
Midway through the series Bynum was removed from the starting lineup in favor of Lamar Odom. Despite Bynum's play, coach Phil Jackson reiterated that Bynum would be back as a starter to spar with Yao Ming in the likely Houston matchup.
Another sign of how close the series was is that the Laker starters were on the court at the end of a Game Five they once led by 22 points.
The Laker bench couldn't hold the lead. Could the reserves be a factor as the playoffs move on?
In addition, forward Luke Walton will be out indefinitely with an ankle injury, making the bench even thinner.
The Lakers won this series going away, but they weren't very impressive in doing so. They will not have an easy road to the Finals.
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