This is what the Lakers played for the entire season, playoff time. They are the only team (outside of the Celtics) that have been able to flip that switch when it comes to the postseason. The Hornets are a good team, but with the loss of David West, they are in one of the most unenviable positions that I've seen a team in in a long time.
The Lakers limped in to the 2nd spot in the West, whether that's Bynum's knee or the losing streak that they were experiencing. Kobe probably is somewhere practicing his shooting (that's a joke). The Lakers have it all when healthy with Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, and Odom. What we haven't seen much of this year is Artest really playing well and Fisher being able to play some defense. Barnes is hurt, Steve Blake is getting over his chicken pox, and I'm not sure the Lakers can win it all with Joe Smith and Luke Walton playing too much. If Bynum's injury is major, this makes the Lakers suspect, although not in this series. They always have Kobe when things break down.
The Hornets are a decent team. That's about it. I know Chris Paul didn't think it'd be like this. They lost David West to injury and to me that pretty much ends their season after these next 4 games. I like Okafor for this team (when West is there) and no one else really impresses me. Trevor Ariza is really an athlete (run and jump) and that's it. I don't think he's hit a shot all year long. Marcus Banks can fill it up, but you can't have him and Paul on the floor together too much or Kobe's going to post one of them up.
Lakers - Luke Walton. The Lakers don't need an X-factor for this series, but they need to know that Walton will be available for the next round.
Hornets - Got prayer? Paul would have to have the series of his career and probably some other people too. It's have to read like 20 pts, 20 asts, 10 stls, and 10 rebs. Even then I think they would have a tough time winning.
Prediction: No chance for the Hornets. At least the season will be over in 4 games. Lakers 4-0.