Los Angeles Lakers: 10 Reasons No One Can Beat Them in a 7-Game Series
In the midst of all the panic surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers this season for not being on pace to win 70 games, people seem to forget they are the defending back-to-back world champions.
Anyone who underestimates the Lakers come playoff time will do so at their own peril. Despite the team's struggles this season, there is no reason why they shouldn't be the favorites heading into the postseason.
Here are 10 reasons why the Lakers are unbeatable in a seven-game series.
10. Matt Barnes and Steve Blake Are Upgrades
Much was made in the summer about the signings of Steve Blake and Matt Barnes improving the team. Unfortunately, Blake has struggled to find his niche and Matt Barnes spent two months recovering from knee surgery.
However, when push comes to shove, the Lakers are still an improved team with Barnes and Blake donning the purple and gold.
Don't be surprised come playoff time when these two guys really start earning their keep.
9. Outstanding Perimeter Defense
Much is made about the Lakers' big advantage in the frontcourt.
However, the Lakers have some of the toughest, experienced perimeter defenders in the game.
Between Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant, Matt Barnes and Derek Fisher, the Lakers have a lot to throw at opposing teams' perimeter players.
8. Phil's Last Stand
It looks as though this will be Phil Jackson's last season as coach of the Lakers.
While the team or Jackson would never admit it, sending the Zen Master out with another championship is something that I am sure is in the back of everyone's mind.
7. History Has a Way of Repeatng Itself
For a second, let's go back to the 2000-2001 season.
After coming off their championship the year before, the Lakers struggled through most of the regular season to regain their championship form. It looked as though the Lakers were going to be a one-and-done championship team heading into the 2000-2001 playoffs.
Then the Lakers went on playoff run for the ages, going an historical 15-1. I am certainly not saying the team will have a 15-1 postseason this year. However, would it shock anyone if they seriously start kicking butt and taking names come playoff time?
6. Opposing Teams Have Too Many Question Marks
While the Spurs and Mavericks are currently ahead of the Lakers in the standings, they still have much to prove. No one is convinced the Mavericks won't fold like a cheap suit in the playoffs.
San Antonio has a championship pedigree, but can the team win in the playoffs relying so much on their offense?
Same thing in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls and Heat are very much unproven in big games, and even Boston has something to prove now that they have traded Kendrick Perkins.
So, the Lakers have the least amount of mystery amongst the big-time contenders.
5. They Are a Great Road Team
Unfortunately, the Lakers will be forced into winning more road games this postseason than they have in the past. However, there is no need to panic.
Despite their backslide at home, the Lakers have more road wins than anyone in the league this season. Not to mention, the Lakers have proven themselves the last two postseasons with huge wins in Boston, Phoenix, Denver and Houston.
4. Three-Headed Frontcourt Monster
The frontcourt combination of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom is a matchup nightmare for other teams.
Don't expect this to change anytime soon.
3. Kobe Bryant
Come playoff time, Kobe will undoubtedly turn up his game. In Kobe, the Lakers have one of the best players of all time, one of the most competitive players of all time, a five-time champion and the best closer in the game.
Safe to say that Kobe enhances the team's chances of securing their three-peat.
2. Andrew Bynum's Health
I know I am jumping the gun. However, it looks as though Andrew Bynum will be heading into the playoffs healthy for the first time since Pau Gasol joined the team in 2008.
It has been said time and time again that Bynum is the team's X factor, and if he is healthy, the Lakers are nearly impossible to beat.
The team has managed to win the last two years with a less-than-healthy Andrew Bynum in their lineup.
Kind of scary to think what they can do when he is at full strength.
1. Experience, Experience, Experience
The Lakers can say something that no other team in the league can: Their best player and point guard have five rings apiece and their head coach has a championship ring for every finger and one toe.
Not to mention, they have won the last two championships.
All of that experience will come in handy as the team attempts to win its third straight championship.