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If Kobe Bryant & The Lakers Make The Playoffs, Do They Have A Chance To Make Any Serious Noise?

Submitted by on April 12, 2013 – 9:43 amNo Comment

Don’t look now, but it appears as though Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are actually going to make the 2013 NBA Playoffs. There is still some work to be done. But, as of last night, the Lake Show is still sitting in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, just ahead of the Utah Jazz. And, truth be told, that’s a great thing for the NBA. Outside of the fact that L.A. is a huge market for basketball, the league also wants—and probably needs—stars like KB24 and Dwight Howard in the playoffs in order to get good ratings. So, we’re rooting for the Lakers to make it, even though they don’t necessarily deserve it after the subpar season they’ve had. But, if they do make it, do they have a chance at making any serious noise in the playoffs?

Although they’ve struggled at times this year, there are a lot of people out there who think that Kobe & Co. could be a real threat to either the Oklahoma City Thunder or the San Antonio Spurs, who are jostling for the No. 1 seed in the playoffs right now. The thought is that the Lakers have the talent to beat either of those teams, specifically the Spurs who have just as much age on their roster as the Lakers have on theirs. But, after watching a number of Lakers games this year, it’s hard for me to believe that the Lakers have a real shot at making it out of the first round. Why? Because, unless Kobe plans on duplicating the 47-point performance he had on Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers just don’t have enough firepower to hang with either the Thunder or the Spurs.

For whatever reason, people feel like the Lakers are going to magically come together during the playoffs and get hot when it counts. And, while it’s true that they could do that for a game or two, this is not the NFL or the NCAA Tournament. You can’t simply ride a hot streak in the NBA Playoffs and hope to be successful. You need to have legitimate scorers, defenders, and rebounders on your squad and have them consistently deliver. And that has been one of the Lakers biggest problems this year: They simply cannot maintain any level of consistency. In fact, the only thing that the Lakers have done consistently all year is play bad defense. From the team’s best players (including Kobe!) to the team’s worst, they’ve been an awful defensive team. And that doesn’t bode well for them against the Thunder or Spurs.

In the end, I hope that the Lakers make the playoffs, simply because they’ll provide a better narrative than the Jazz. But, I wouldn’t expect them to win more than one game against the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. They just haven’t shown an ability to beat great teams this season. So, why should I believe that they’re going to start doing it now?

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