LA Lakers: Durant and Bosh Turn on the Mind Games, Turn Up the Pressure for LA

First, Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh broke the unison of silence from NBA stars regarding the Los Angeles Lakers' acquisition of center Dwight Howard and how it potentially impacts the league, but it didn't take long for a major star from a conference competitor to follow suit.

According to Marc Spears at Yahoo!, Kevin Durant agreed with Bosh by declaring that the Lakers have the NBA's best lineup on paper. But just as Bosh mentioned, the trick for Kobe, Howard, Nash and Co. is changing that paper perception into something a little more solid on the court.

And that's certainly not guaranteed to happen.

Since Howard joined Nash in Los Angeles I have often wondered how the rest of the NBA's top-tier teams, particularly Miami and Oklahoma, have felt about the Lakers' offseason coup and their return to elite status.

Apparently not much at first, but as the finality of the Lakers' golden summer finally sinks in and a new season approaches, Durant and Bosh have begun to accept the reality of the new NBA landscape

But don't get it twisted. Neither Bosh nor Durant is conceding anything to the Lakers. In fact, the tactics each player used come straight out of a Psych 101 class.

Sure, Durant and Bosh confirmed what anyone who knows anything about basketball realized the moment Howard's introductory interview ended—the Lakers are loaded. It means absolutely nothing unless they can make their potential translate on the court.

And by declaring the Lakers 2012-13 "paper favorites," Durant and Bosh somewhat removed the targets from their own backs and shifted the public's attention back to Los Angeles.

It seems like a ploy designed to create an environment of pressure for the Lakers' star-laden team, and it could have a chance to be successful as well—if it was employed on a team full of 25-year-olds and it was any franchise other than the Laker...

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