Are the Los Angeles Lakers Truly Ready for Playoff Basketball?

Timothy MusickContributor IApril 15, 2010

PHOENIX - MARCH 12:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to Pau Gasol #16 during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on March 12, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Lakers defeated the Suns 102-96.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Depending on how they start out, the answer to that question has yet to be determined, as the Lakers get set to take on Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City ThunderKobe Bryant hasn't been the same through the second half of the regular season.  In fact, the same could be said for the whole team. 

Since the All Star break, the Purple and Gold have seemed disinterested in playing quality basketball.  Their road record hasn't been as good as last year.  They have lost to teams they should have beaten. 

The players will say that they'll be ready when the time comes.  That translates to “we'll turn on the switch when it matters,” but I've never been a fan of that philosophy.  This could be the year where that mantra could come back to bite them in the butt.

I wouldn't be surprised if Oklahoma City doesn't give them a run for their money.  While I think Phil Jackson and company will get past the Thunder, the rest of the West will not be so easy. 

Even if the Lakers do survive in the Western Conference and play in the Finals, I don't think they will be on the winning side this time around against the Magic or Cavaliers.  One thing that is for certain, we should have the answers to these concerns come Sunday.

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