What the Experts Are Saying About LA Lakers’ Postseason Chances

As the Los Angeles Lakers enter the postseason without their leader, Kobe Bryant, their transition throughout the season from potential contenders to underdogs is complete.

Entering the postseason with a load of momentum, there are varying viewpoints in the NBA community regarding whether or not the Lakers can have a successful playoff run without the Black Mamba.

From the good folks on TrueHoop TV via ESPN.com, these analysts are predicting that the Lakers are going to get steamrolled by the San Antonio Spurs due to their inconsistent defense. 

Steve Smith from NBA TV feels that in order for the Lakers to have any success, Dwight Howard has to go right at Tim Duncan and enforce his will on both ends of the court.

Mike Fratello, on the same broadcast, is expecting a close series given how close their games have been this season.

Despite these varying opinions, there is one key that will decide the Lakers' chances against the No. 2 seeded Spurs. Whether or not this factor is controlled by the Lakers, there is no doubt that Smith and Fratello have the right idea in terms of expecting a good series from these two veteran teams. 

The key to winning this series is control of the paint.

Although Duncan has had a resurgent season, there is no doubt that Howard is the far more physically dominant presence at this point in their careers. 

With Howard and Pau Gasol matching up against Duncan and his host of front court teammates, the battle inside the paint will be one of the deciding factors in this series. 

It is common knowledge that the team that controls the boards controls the tempo of the game. While both teams work well in a half-court set, the Lakers will need Gasol and Howard to control the paint in order to take an advantage.

Although there are different ways to play offense, the Spurs are more proficient in almost every othe...

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