Why the Lakers Should Be Favored to Win an NBA Title in 2011-12

While it may not be the boldest of predictions, the Los Angeles Lakers should certainly be favored to be playing in June.

Why?

Because even though this team got manhandled this past year by the Mavericks, the Lakers are still the most feared team in the league.

Certainly the Miami Heat have components that will make any coach sweat, but when it comes to a team overflowing with talent, the Lakers take the cake.

We often take for granted how hard it is to win three championships in a row. For many people, the Lakers were expected to simply jog their way to a third straight title. However, Dirk Nowitzki reminded them that this is a 30-team league and nothing comes easy, no matter how talented the Lakers may be.

One player who seems to need no additional motivation is Andrew Bynum. For a player who has had many question marks going into previous seasons, this year Bynum is one of the most reliable players on the team. During last year’s playoffs Bynum proved that he still feels like he has much to prove and isn’t willing to go down without a fight.

And while his hit on J.J. Barea was completely misguided, it demonstrated a part of his personality many people hadn’t seen. Bynum has inherited Kobe’s hatred for losing. But he isn’t the only player that will be itching to get back on the court.

I fully expect Gasol to come back in top shape as he has had to take a sufficient amount of criticism from his mediocre performance during the playoffs. As passive as Gasol can be, I have no doubt that he has worked on facets of his game and will start the new season strongly.

As for all the questions about Mike Brown, I think fans will be surprised how smooth the transition it will be for the team. While Mike Brown is very far from the Zen Master, his offense will undoubtedly be simpler than the Triangle Offense. 

In addition, Brown has inheri...

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