It goes beyond talent and depth to the experience of three straight Western conference championships and consecutive NBA titles. While superstar guard Kobe Bryant has continued to prove that he can dominate the game even when nagged by a variety of injuries, his supporting cast has developed to a level where they can consistently overcome adversity. While it didn’t help their cause in pursuit of the top spot in the west during the regular season, the injury to Andrew Bynum allowed them to play with Lamar Odom in the starting lineup and give their bench more minutes. That experience has added another element to their game, with arguably the best head coach in Phil Jackson the Lakers are rarely behind in terms of strategy, so much so that the MLB betting Dodgers’ staff can take a note or two on the lessons of Zen.
While Derrick Rose has dominated in an MVP-caliber season, Los Angeles has two of the game’s best defenders that they can match up against him in Bryant and Ron Artest. Unlike in the east where Chicago boasted one of the best groups of big men to dominate down low, the Lakers can matchup Bynum and Gasol against Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer and earn the edge in that category as well. The Bulls won’t get as many second-chance opportunities without the rebounds available, and that will put pressure on their pay per head scorers to perform.
With the Miami Heat lacking the big men and reserves to stop them and the Celtics slowed by fatigue after reaching two of the past three NBA finals with a veteran core, there wasn’t enough to slow them down in the Eastern conference. But a matchup against Los Angeles will represent an entirely different animal, one that the Bulls might not be ready for. Chicago’s success has had a lot to do with the fresh legs of their young talent, but that won’t make up for a serious lack of experience in the finals. The Bulls have laid the foundation for future success by surprising nearly everybody with their run through the eat, and will learn a valuable lesson about what it takes when they clash with the best team in the NBA. Like the Kentucky derby betting race there can only be one Thoroughbred that gets the job done, and this year it will be Los Angeles.