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Lakers save best for playoffs

Unlike other NBA teams, Los Angeles is just starting to play top-level basketball

Updated: March 1, 2011, 12:59 PM ET
By J.A. Adande | ESPNLosAngeles.com

The best thing the Lakers have going for them is that so many things have gone against them. They lost six of their first seven games against the current top five teams in the league. They've had three losing streaks of at least three games (Phil Jackson's first five championship teams in L.A. had a total of two three-game losing streaks). They lost to Cleveland. Cleveland.

They have given skeptics and doubters ample reason to believe they won't win a third consecutive championship ...

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