Lakers begin journey to repeat

By Regina Keller

It was June 12, 2009, Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Los
Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic. One year after having an
unbearable loss, The Lakers ended their seven year absence without
a title. The score was 99-86 as the final buzzer went off; they had
just won the NBA title. The question everyone is asking is: will it
happen again in the 2009-10 season?

It is the start of the season. The 82 games are the deciding
factor of who will enter the NBA Finals and the opening game
between the Lakers and the cross-town Clippers started out with a
bang.

A Ceremony was held before the game that kicked off the season.
A championship banner was added to the Lakers 14, making 15 Titles
in franchise history. The team’s championship rings were also
handed out along with yellow shirts that were given to the fans
that read “New Journey, Same Goal”.

Can the Lakers overcome the odds and defend their championship
title again? From the results of the first game it looks like they
are off to a good start. They defeated the Clippers 99-92.

Kobe Bryant was on top of his game scoring 33 points and making
11 out of 12 free throw shots; Along with Andrew Bynum with 26
points, and Lamar Odom with 16 points. New Laker Ron Artest did his
job on defense while managing to score 10 points.

The Lakers were missing one of their key players. Pau Gasol, the
6-foot center had a strained right hamstring. Gasol is expected to
play within the next few games along with forward Luke Walton, who
has a back injury. The defending 2009-10-season lineup of regulars
include: Bryant, Derek Fisher, Artest, Gasol, Bynum and Odom. The
Lakers lost Trevor Ariza but added Artest the6-foot-7-inch, 260
pound forward from the Houston Rockets. It is his 11th season and
he was a former All-Star caliber player and Defensive Player of the
year.

The odds from Online Sports Book Sports Interaction have named
the Lakers their 2/1 favorites to win the 2010 NBA Finals. The
Boston Celtics are 9/2 and The Orlando Magic is 8/1. Only time can
tell what will happen in the world of professional basketball, but
if the Lakers stay healthy and the chemistry is the same as last
years, then they may be able to pull off their 16th NBA title.

Reach Regina Keller at: sports@thepolypost.com

Lakers begin journey to repeat

Courtesy of Associated Press

Lakers begin journey to repeat

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