2011 NBA Playoffs: Kobe Bryant’s Last Chance at a Title

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers need to pull something special out of the bag.

Make no mistake about it, time is running out for the NBA champions.

If Dwight Howard were to sign with the Lakers, and a lot would have to fall into place for that to happen, Bryant's shot at a sixth NBA title would remain a distant one.

If anyone can overcome the 3-0 deficit the Lakers currently face, it's Kobe and Phil Jackson.

I don't think it's likely, but it can be done.

Take Game 4 on the road, win at home and suddenly the pressure is back on the Mavericks. Dallas would take a 3-2 lead into their final home game, knowing very well that slipping up would result in the Lakers heading back to Staples with unstoppable momentum.

Suddenly, J.J Barea is reluctant to drive to the cup, Jason Terry's jumper is a little stiff and Nowitzki is shooting jumpers amidst a ton of good defense.

For the sake of the argument, let's assume the Lakers are swept.

Goodbye P-Jax. Thanks for the memories.

The front office gets busy in summer, the Lakers somehow manage to sign Dwight Howard and make another run at a championship.

Presumably, they'd lose Andrew Bynum.

Having three perennial All-Stars in the mix does wonders in theory, but it hardly addresses the Lakers' current weaknesses.

There's no potency at the one guard, and Lamar Odom aside, no bench depth.

Sure, Shannon Brown can provide aerial highlights, but he's only taking Kobe's minutes.

How would Dwight and Pau Gasol co-exist in the low post?

Would Odom still see his 30 minutes?

If he does, there's less room for Ron Artest and Matt Barnes.

The unpredictable nature of the West means Kobe and the Lakers are no certainty to return to the top of the conference next season.

Regardless of how far Oklahoma City progress this postseaso...

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