NBA Playoffs Prediction for Los Angeles Lakers: A quick breeze

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Despite the struggles the Los Angeles Lakers have been facing lately, Lakers fans are hopeful and optimistic as the playoffs begin tomorrow. The Lakers face the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the playoffs beginning tomorrow, and they will begin their series on Sunday, April 17th 2011.

The Lakers recent struggles of late have gone if anything unnoticed in Laker Nation. The Lakers finished off their season with a sour taste in their mouth. Although they ended the last two games of the regular season with a win, the Lakers had a five game losing streak right before. Added with the injury of their starting center Andrew Bynum, the Lakers seemed to be on the verge of a meltdown heading into the playoffs. However, Lakers fans have no need to worry, even with all these issues surrounding the team.

The Lakers face the New Orleans Hornets in the first round, a team that has also been struggling of late due to injuries. Ever since the Hornets lost their all-star power forward David West, they have not been the same team. Without West, the Hornets lose their biggest post presence threat, and also their leading scorer.

This is important and beneficial for the Lakers because even though they won’t have center Andrew Bynum for the first round, they still have solid big men in Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom who are both over six feet and ten inches, and whose length bothers many teams.

Without West, the Hornets will have to rely on a committee of big men, some of them who are still unknown players and not yet established. And although the Hornets still have Chris Paul, their all-star point guard, who is considered to be one of the best point guards in the league, he can only do so much against a stacked and very big Lakers team.

The length of the Lakers affect Chris Paul’s game in so many ways. Chris Paul is a small point guard at only six feet, and has never been known as a shooting or scoring point guard. His style of play is getting the other players on his team involved through pick and rolls and penetrations. However, with the length of the Lakers, Chris Paul will have a tough time penetrating the lanes, and without that part of the game, the Hornets offense is basically stagnant.

The Hornets run as Chris Paul runs, and without David West taking some pressure off, all the focus will be on Paul.

The main thing is the Lakers still have Kobe Bryant. As long as Kobe Bryant is playing for the Lakers during the playoffs, the Lakers will always have a good chance to win. On top of that, during the regular season, the Lakers swept the Hornets 4-0.

Despite all the recent struggles the Lakers have been facing, they will be facing an injury ridden team who is missing one of their best players. Get the brooms out Lakers fans, because I see a sweep for the first round. My prediction is Lakers in four games.

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