Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant and Lakers Poised and Ready for Championship Run

To be the NBA Champions you've got to beat the NBA Champions.

The Los Angeles Lakers have won two consecutive NBA Titles and will be searching for their third come playoff time.

They have won 16 of their last 17 games since Kobe Bryant won the All-Star MVP award at the NBA All-Star game on February 20.

If a team wins multiple championships it would seem likely that they would get bored with the regular season. It happens in a lot of sports.

They may have dropped some strange games to inferior opponents this season, but the Lakers will be fine come playoff time.

With a 110-82 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, the Lakers are now just 2.5 games back of San Antonio for the first seed in the Western Conference.

Bryant has won only one League MVP title in his career, which seems amazing in itself.

However, he's fine with it, as long as he and his team are on top of the mountain come seasons end.

That's not to say he shouldn't be considered for MVP more than he is right now. He averages 25.2 points per game as well as a team-leading 4.8 assists per game.

The Lakers are a much better team when Kobe is taking less shots.

Pau Gasol is quietly having another outstanding year with his 19 points and 10 rebounds per game. Lamar Odom is contending for the Sixth Man Award like usual. He's also third on the team in scoring (14.3 PPG) and third in rebounding (nine RPG).

Most importantly, Andrew Bynum is healthy, scoring 11.5 PPG and grabbing nine rebounds per game, too. This is a scary sight for Western Conference foes.

Ron Artest is looking better and better, ever since he began kissing his biceps after every half-decent play. Whatever gets him going is fine for Lakers fans.

With the experience that the Lakers have and the fact that this is Phil Jackson's last year of coaching, I wouldn't be surprised ...

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