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History says Lakers won't win NBA title

October 9, 2008 |  3:04 pm

Kobe Bryant can't stop Utah's Paul Millsap from scoring in the first half during a preseason game at the Honda Center.

Several oddsmakers have pegged the Lakers as favorites to win the NBA championship this season.

After all, the Lakers made it to the NBA Finals last June, without Andrew Bynum, before losing to the Boston Celtics in six games. This fall Bynum is healthy. So is Trevor Ariza, and Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are already up to game speed after their busy summers playing in the Olympics.

So Las Vegas thinks the Lakers are a good bet to win the NBA title -- but history says otherwise.

Why?

Because the last team to lose in the NBA Finals and then rebound the next year and win the championship was the 1989 Detroit Pistons, with Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars and Bill Laimbeer, who swept the Lakers in the Finals.

Every other NBA finalist since then, 19 clubs in all, have suffered a big disappointment the next season.

Check out this list:

Losing team in NBA Finals     Next season’s playoffs

2008 Lakers                          ???????

2007 Cleveland                 Lost in Eastern Conference semifinals.

2006 Dallas                            Lost in first round of Western Conference.

2005 Detroit                          Lost in Eastern Conference finals.

2004 Lakers                         Missed playoffs.

2003 New Jersey                    Lost in Eastern Conference semifinals.

2002 New Jersey                    Lost in NBA Finals to San Antonio 4-2.

2001 Philadelphia                 Lost in first round of Eastern Conference.

2000 Indiana                          Lost in first round of Eastern Conference.

1999 New York                   Lost in Eastern Conference finals.

1998 Utah                              Lost in Western Conference semifinals.

1997 Utah                              Lost in NBA Finals to Chicago, 4-2.

1996 Seattle                          Lost in Western Conference semifinals.

1995 Orlando                         Lost in Eastern Conference finals.

1994 New York                       Lost in Eastern Conference semifinals.

1993 Phoenix                         Lost in Western Conference semifinals.

1992 Portland                        Lost in first round of Western Conference.

1991 Lakers                          Lost in first round of Western Conference.

1990 Portland                        Lost in Western Conference finals.

1989 Lakers                          Lost in Western Conference semifinals.

-- Barry Stavro

Photo: The Lakers' Kobe Bryant can't stop Utah's Paul Millsap from scoring in the first half during an exhibition at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Tuesday. Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times

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