The Lakers would find pros and cons with this matchup.
A pro: unexpected home-court advantage from the three (or two) seed.
A con: home court against the Thunder is a scary proposition. Any court against the Thunder is a scary proposition, actually.
The Lakers put on a good face after escaping the Thunder in last year's six-game first round. Don't be fooled: That series scared the daylights out of them. It was the hardest series they played before getting to Boston in the Finals.
This year, the Lakers are a year older and creakier, though currently rounding into form. This would be a third-round series following two five or six-game series'. The Lakers would presumably be at the top of their game at this point, but they'd be tired nonetheless.
The Thunder would be too, especially after an emotional upset of the Spurs. However, the effects of fatigue would have much less of an impact on the young, spry Thunder than on the Lakers and Kobe Bryant.
Another problem the Lakers have is guarding Russell Westbrook. He erupted for 20.5 points, six assists, six rebounds, 1.7 steals and 47 percent shooting in the six game series. Phil Jackson didn't have an answer and luckily, the Thunder just ran out of games before they figured out how to beat the Lakers consistently.
Well, Phil—I have your answer to the Problem of Westbrook: Quit the charade, bench Derek Fisher, start Lamar Odom and stick Kobe on Russ.
Fisher and backup Shannon Brown are not equipped to deal with Westbrook's size and quickness, but Bryant is. At 6'5", Kobe matches up much better with Westbrook's length, and is able to keep him out of the lane and force him into his somewhat-improved jumpshot.
Odom's presence in the lineup creates a counter problem for OKC without Jeff Green. Can Serge Ibaka—Green's replacement in the starting lineup—guard Odom? Odom won't have to worry too much about defending Ibaka's limited offensive role, so he can help Ron Artest and Matt Barnes with Durant.
There's so much more to say about this potential series, so I don't want to run it all out there right now. This rematch would be the most fun series to watch after the Chicago-Miami second-round tilt, and I hope that it comes to fruition so I can talk about it more as a reality, not a wish.
Series prediction: Lakers win in six games to advance to the NBA Finals