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Added April 28th, 2010 by Ryan
NBA

Lakers Blowout Thunder in Impressive Game 5 Victory

When this NBA season began for the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers there was no way they could have predicted that they would be in a tough first round playoff battle with the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder.

Heading into their title defense this season the Lakers had high hopes of repeating as NBA champs as they had the same team relatively intact and were able to add some much needed toughness on defense after signing free agent Ron Artest. Even though Artest was a welcome addition to a team that needed to start playing a more physical brand of basketball, the Rodman-like guard/forward struggled understanding the triangle offense and hasn’t really been as effective as anticipated.

Despite Artest really not panning out for the defending champs just yet, Kobe Bryant and company were able to win the Western Conference for the third straight season and head into the playoffs as the favorite to represent the the West in the NBA Finals once again.

The biggest threat in the West to end the Los Angeles Lakers chances of being able to get back to the NBA Finals was the Dallas Mavericks who made a trade before the NBA trade deadline to add Caron Butler. Even though the Mavs ended the season on a strong note, the San Antonio Spurs have given them a run for their money and will most likely knock out Mark Cuban’s team much earlier than anticipated.

Just before the NBA playoffs began, the Lakers had three potential first round opponents lined up as they could have faced either the Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs or the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Fortunately, at least the Lakers thought it was fortunate at first, Phil Jackson’s squad were matched up against the Thunder who made the playoffs for the first time since moving from Seattle. Even though no one really gave the Thunder a chance against the defending champs, Kevin Durant and company have been an absolute nightmare for the Lakers and could quite possibly pull off the upset.

The Lakers may have taken a 3-2 series lead after Tuesday’s blowout win at the Staples Center 111-87, but they have had to give it their all throughout the entire series just to keep up with a much younger Thunder squad.

Now the series heads back to Oklahoma City where the Thunder are as tough to beat as anyone in the league. I still believe the Los Angeles Lakers can come out on top in this series, but it will be a battle from here on out and must see for any avid basketball fan!

 
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