Los Angeles Lakers:08-09 Championship Finalists

Brandon RibakSenior Writer IOctober 30, 2008

The Los Angeles Lakers will win their first Championship since the 2001 season. Why am I so confident in this team? Check this out.

Coming into this 08-09 season, the Lakers have the best head coach in the history of the NBA (Phil Jackson). To add to that, the Lakers have the best player in the game today (Kobe Bryant). Your probably saying to yourself right now, they have had these two on their team for years now...why haven't they won a ring in the last seven years? The answer to your question is simple, this year the Lakers have the oversized position players and the experience to win a Championship.

Lets start with the big men. Starting Center Andrew Bynum broke out last season averaging 13.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game in 35 games before falling to an injury that ended his season. L.A. fans were devastated because they knew that Bynum was a key part of their success. Coming into this season, Bynum is now 100 percent healthy and in great shape. The 7"0 285lb Center will dominate this season in the Western Conference and will be a huge part of the Lakers success in getting to the NBA Finals (Especially after just signing a 4 year $58 million contract). He has the potential to put up monstrous numbers even while playing alongside Kobe Bryant.

Next to the elite Center is Power Forward Pau Gasol. Although his real position is playing at the Center, playing at PF will enable the 7'0" Spaniard to get more shots(improving his points per game)and bully other forwards down low(improving his rebounds per game). Playing alongside of Bynum, I can confidently say that these two seven-footers are the BEST combo 4 and 5 players in the NBA today.

Moving along to the Small Forward position. The starting SF for the Lakers this season is 6'10" Serbian Vladimir Radmanovic. Already extremely oversized for the position, Radmonovic will easily be able to grab the boards and shoot as many threes as he desires. Rumors circulated this off-season stating that head coach Phil Jackson was going to move Kobe to the SF position. As of now, Jackson has no intent of moving Kobe.

Small Forward Lamar Odom is the sixth man for the Lakers this season. He will still log heavy minutes regardless if he starts or not. His 07-08 numbers should remain the same, although his rebounding numbers might take a hit. Odom is another key player that will contribute to the success of the Los Angeles Lakers squad.

MVP of the 07-08 regular season award went to the Lakers starting shooting-guard Kobe Bryant. Kobe averaged 28.3 points per game last season, along with 6.3 rebound, 5.4 assists, and 1.8 steals. Kobe Bryant is in the late prime of his career and you can expect him to lead his team to the NBA finals for vengeance this season.

Derek Fisher is the veteran starting point-guard for the L.A. Lakers. He is an experienced player, a great defender, and has a consistent shot from the perimeter and beyond the arc. Jordan Farmar will get the chance to show what he’s really about this season and could explode into the Lakers starting point-guard.

Bench: Luke Walton F- Luke is a great overall player when given a good amount of playing time. He is definitely a bench player to have on a team because of his both offensive and defensive ways.

Sasha Vujacic G- Sasha had a breakout season last year averaging 8.8 points and shooting 43% from three-point range. He only averaged 17.8 minutes per game, but that can change this season if coach Jackson thinks he is ready for a more significant role.

After losing last season to the Celtics in the Finals, the Lakers experienced what it was like to actually get a chance at winning the title. All the starters on the team are over-sized for their position and will have the chance to use that as an advantage. They have the talent to make it all the way.

This season the Lakers entire organization comes into the league stronger as a whole. They know exactly what they have to do to win the Championship and they are 100 percent more confident than ever before. The Los Angeles Lakers will win the 08-09 Championship Finals.