NBA Playoffs 2012: Lakers Eliminated by the Best Team & Future Champ of NBA

Los Angeles Lakers fans now know what San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys fans felt like watching each other's team beat up on a worse team than themselves in multiple Super Bowls during the '90s.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are most definitely a superior team to the Lakers and the better team won the series, but make no mistake about it, the Los Angeles Lakers were, at worst the third best team in this year's playoffs and at best the second best team.

Before the playoffs started, I predicted the Spurs would win in seven games against the Thunder if the two teams met in the Western Conference Finals. While that may certainly still be the outcome, I will revise my prediction now to the Thunder in six games.

I honestly believe the Lakers would have beaten the Spurs in six games at best or lost in seven at worst. I also believe the Lakers would have beaten the Heat in five or six games, Celtics in five or six games, Pacers in five or six games and 76ers in five games had they met any of those teams in the NBA Finals.

The simple fact is that the three best teams in basketball all reside in the Western Conference. While the Lakers are sitting at home watching the Conference Finals, at least two inferior teams will be playing in them, both in the Eastern Conference.

After watching this Lakers and Thunder series, I now believe the Thunder have what it takes to not only knock off the Spurs in six games but to absolutely run roughshod over whatever inferior team the Eastern Conference happens to place in the Finals as well. The Thunder are that good, period.

As for the Lakers, there are at least two positives that L.A. fans can take away from this Game 5 beating and playoff exit.

The first is that Kobe Bryant, at nearly 34 years old, shows absolutely no sign of slowing down whatsoever. Bryant was the best player on the court in the Thunder series and even threw ...

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