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Bet on the NBAThe Los Angeles Lakers are used to struggling through the first round of the NBA Playoffs; they have been doing it for three years now.

Whether they are playing the Rockets, the Thunder, or as is the case this year, the Hornets, the Lakers take a round to wake up and get moving, and while it probably won't be too late this year (They are much more talented than the Hornets), it may carry over into the next round and that could cause problems.

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According to Laker center Andrew Bynum, they need a scare to get them into the flow of things, without the scare there is no sense of urgency. Bynum commented,” We like to have a good first round opponent, kind of like Oklahoma City last year. They started running and really made us play with a sense of urgency. We are pretty good when we play like that.”

One thing is for sure, the Lakers are experienced champions, and they know what works for them. So while the rest of us sit around and comment on how they have lost it, and that they are not as dominant as they once were, they will continue to do what it takes to come out on top. They are still defending western Conference Champions. Someone needs to take that from them before we start jumping to conclusions about the nature of their motivation. Phil Jackson is a motivator, and Kobe Bryant is a leader, both will make sure their Lakers are where they need to be.

However, when we see them struggle against a team that really only has one offensive threat in Chris Paul, we begin to wonder. How will they handle a dynamic duo like Westbrook and Durant? They are arguably, behind James and Wade, the most dynamic one-two punch in the league. Once the Lakers get past the Hornets, that will be their worry, but until then, lets not sell them short just yet.


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