Originally Posted by Real Men Wear Green
LA has the same problem the Celtics have: Age. I hope I'm wrong, as I don't want to see any Lakers hurt and certainly want the Cs to be healthy at the end of the season but players that are 34+ are officially old and it's a never a surprise to me to see a player in that age range miss games. Nash, Bryant, Pierce and KG are all guys who should have their minutes managed (something I'm not sure Bryant would even stand for) while the key guys for OKC and Miami are all in their primes with the possible exception of Wade and even he is still 30 and still capable of being All-NBA first team. The Cs and Lakers will either need to rest guys in the regular season and thus cede home court in later rounds or run vet stars to the ground and need Rondo to average 25 in the playoffs/Howard to become the centerpiece of the offense to have a deep run.
Meanwhile you can run James, Bosh, Durant and Westbrook as much as you want. James and Durant are the two guys in the league that can take anyone to 60 wins and then still average 30 all the way to the Finals. That's why their teams are the favorites. LA and Boston wouldn't be unbelievable upsets but the smart money is on experienced superstars that still have some youth over experienced stars in their mid-thirties.
Big issue is the LA bench is poor generally unless Jamison starts to play better so managing the mins will be tough without having more losses than normal.