Los Angeles Lakers
Team Page | Roster | Stats
Regular Season Record: 65-17
Head-to-Head Record: 0-1
Last NBA Championship: 2002
Last NBA Finals Appearance: 2008
Last Postseason Appearance: 2008
How They Got Here: In the first round, the Lakers finished off the Utah Jazz but didn't display the kind of dominance you might expect. The Lakers faced a tough test against the Houston Rockets in the second round and finally prevailed in seven games. In the third round, they disposed of the Nuggets in six games to earn a berth in their record 30th NBA Finals.
A reason to cheer for the Lakers: Los Angeles dropped last year's championship series to the Celtics, 4-2. The Lakers have the second-most NBA championships in the NBA after the Celtics (16, 17 respectively) and will be extra hungry to knock off their long-time rivals should they meet again in these playoffs. By mid-December of 2008, the Lakers were 21-3 and they beat Boston in a much-anticipated Finals rematch on Christmas Day. Kobe Bryant has had some outstanding performances this campaign, including a 61-point effort at MSG against the Knicks. Bryant is arguably the best player in the league and has the power to take control of a game and change its outcome almost single-handedly. With three NBA championships to his name, Bryant knows how to tough it out in the post-season and his experience and maturity should be helpful in the locker room. He's on the record as saying he wants to win this thing really badly this year. There's no reason to doubt that.
Players to Watch: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher