Odom Signing Locks Things up in LA

By James Londak

And just like that, all of the Lamar Odom speculation is over.

For Laker fans this is one catastrophic re-signing that finally lets you take a deep breath and wipe that dripping sweat right off of your forehead. For Heat fans, well, there is always next year. Actually, not really. If the Heat do not make a move quickly Wade's future in Miami will certainly be in jeopardy.

Does this success on the Lakers' part lock up another NBA ring for the team in 09-10? I do think they'll win - however, I think they would win again with or without Lamar on their squad.

With Odom on the team alongside Ron Artest, I really can't see any way an analyst can put any team ahead of Los Angeles when compiling pre-season power rankings. They're simply the strongest team in the league.

With Odom intact, the Lakers now have an extremely dangerous foursome of Odom, the newly signed Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, and Kobe Bryant. I'm not sure there's a better combo of four players on any single NBA team. In fact, I am sure. There's no better combo out there.

This is the Superman of NBA teams. If you thought the Celtics were beefed up when they acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen alongside Paul Pierce, prepare to see what this Lakers team looks like next season.

With a roster that is so experienced, dynamic, and such well-coached, the only thing stopping the Lakers from making a third consecutive appearance in the NBA Finals would be if Bryant decided to retire mid-season. Although a few contending Western Conference teams have bulked up during the offseason, not one is even close to stepping onto the Lakers supreme level.

This Lakers team should win more regular season games than it has in any recent years. I wouldn't be surprised to see somewhere between 68 and 71 games. Very little stands in the way, short of major injury. Anything can happen, but I predict a repeat in Los Angeles. - 31494

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