NBA Playoffs 2012: L.A. Lakers Are NBA Title Favorites After First Weekend

After a fast and furious weekend of NBA playoff basketball, the basketball fan was treated to some exciting moments and a handful of good games.

But one team in particular stepped things up and made a statement with their dominant play.

After the Los Angeles Lakers dismantled the Denver Nuggets in their opening round win, Mike Brown's Lakers could be the favorites to capture another NBA championship.

The Lakers played big, and I mean that literally, taking advantage of their massive length with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol en route to a 103-88 Game 1 victory.

The Lakers offense came through in a big way, but slowing the Nuggets down was an even more impressive feat. Denver finished the regular season as the NBA's highest scoring team at 104.1 PPG, but were unable to do anything consistently against the Lakers defense.

The Nuggets couldn't get their up-tempo game in gear as the Lakers slowed Denver's transition game down to a snail's pace.

Los Angeles has the talent on offense with players like Kobe Bryant, Bynum and Gasol, but if the Lakers can bring the effort on the defensive end of the floor consistently, they will be tough to beat.

That includes a triple-double from Bynum, who grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked 10 shots to go along with 10 points. The Lakers' big men, who give them an edge over almost every team they could face in the playoffs, made a statement during Sunday's win.

The trio of Bynum, Gasol and Jordan Hill combined for 33 points on 16-of-31 shooting, 31 rebounds and 14 blocks. That's production that many teams are going to have problems dealing with.

Add in the fact that every Lakers starter scored in double-figures, led by Kobe's 31, and the Lakers look like a team clicking on all cylinders.

Their bench and perimeter shooting have been viewed as major weaknesses all season, but in addition to the production the Lakers ...

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