2010-2011 NBA Predictions: Los Angeles Lakers

With two straight championships in their hip pockets, the Los Angeles Lakers are poised to make a run at a third straight NBA Championship and have all the main components coming back. Vegas is confident in their abilities to three-peat, posting the Lakers as 2/3 favorites to win the Western Conference and 9/4 chances of winning another championship.

The Lakers are off to a hot start in 2010-2011, with a 6-0 record and averaging 112.8 points per game, highest in the NBA. In the early going, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant are leading the way, both averaging nearly 25 points per game. Is there any player better than Bryant in the NBA? Hampered by a knee injury in the preseason, Bryant seems 100% and has reached his basketball prime at age 32. The Lakers have also gotten strong play from PF Lamar Odom (15 ppg, 11 rebounds per game) and SF Ron Artest (9.5 ppg). Youngster Shannon Brown has been pushing for playing time at point guard and Matt Barnes continues to be the first sub off the bench at forward.

With few legitimate challengers, the Lakers really are still the team to beat in the West, though an injury to a key player such as Bryant or Gasol could derail this train. Look for the Lakers to make a serious run at another NBA title, though a few guys down in Miami might have a thing or two to say about the Lakers raising another banner.

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