Los Angeles Lakers Playoff Watch: Previewing Potential First-Round Opponents

Last time I checked the calendar, it indicated it was almost April. This can only mean one thing: The NBA playoffs are on the horizon!

Currently, the Lakers are the second seed in the Western Conference.

Considering the Spurs built such a cushion throughout the course of the season, it is very unlikely the Lakers will be able to catch them for the conference's top spot, despite their outstanding play as of late.

The team is playing as well as they have all season. The Lakers have won 13 of 14 games, and the team is looking primed for a deep playoff run once again.

There are three likely opponents the Lakers could be facing in the first round when the playoffs kick off next month: New Orleans, Memphis or Portland. 

How do the Lakers stack up against these potential first round opponents? Let's take a look.



New Orleans Hornets:

If the postseason started today, the Lakers would be in a first round battle with star point guard Chris Paul and the Hornets. The Lakers have defeated the Hornets three times this season, and the team will be looking for the season sweep when the teams meet for the final time Sunday in Los Angeles.

It's clear to see that of the three potential first round match-ups, New Orleans is the most favorable draw for Los Angele because of how drastically the match-ups favor the LA.

Despite the Hornets' glaring advantage at the point guard position with Chris Paul, The Lakers have an advantage at every other position. While center Emeka Okafor is certainly a quality player, when center Andrew Bynum is dominating, the match-up is fairly one-sided.

Likewise, David West is an All-Star caliber forward for the Hornets, but he's not quite in the same category as forwards Pau Gasol or Lamar Odom. the Lakers win this match-up, too.

The most interesting match-up of the series would be bet...

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