Lakers Come in at No. 2 in ESPN’s NBA Power Rankings

Media day for the Los Angeles Lakers will take place on Monday, Oct. 1 at the practice facility in El Segundo, California. LakersNation.com along with local and national media outlets getting an inside look at the revamped roster headlined by Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard.

The following day, Lakers’ training camp will get underway with all the new additions to the team coming together for the first time under Lakers Coach Mike Brown.

With the start of the 2012-13 NBA season a month away, ESPN’s Power Rankings have been released with four out of the top five teams coming from the Western Conference:

#5 Los Angeles Clippers

As arguably one of the deepest teams in the league coming into next season, the Clippers will be a legitimate force to be reckoned with in the West once again with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin leading the way.

With the additions of Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Matt Barnes and return of Chauncey Billups, the Clippers’ second unit will be stacked with veteran talent and will play a vital role in the team’s attempt to dethrone the Lakers in the Pacific division.

#4 San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs have been underestimated for the last two years with everyone anticipating this aging squad to fall apart and finally becoming nothing more than a mediocre team led by over-the-hill veterans Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

After heading into the NBA playoffs as the top seed in the West in consecutive seasons, San Antonio will have the same roster intact once again and will continue to be threat in the conference.

#3 Oklahoma City Thunder

It only took two seasons for this team filled with promising young talent to live up to expectations as Kevin Durant and company were able to dominate the competition last season and reach the NBA Finals.

Oklahoma City ultimately fell to Miami in five games, but much like the Spurs, this team remains intact.

The Thunder may be the defending Western Conference champions, but they’ll have their work cut out for them this season with the Lakers, Clippers and Spurs all gunning for the top spot in the West.

#2 Los Angeles Lakers

After acquiring Steve Nash and Dwight Howard as well as bringing in Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks via free agency, the Lakers have vastly improved their roster both in the starting lineup and off the bench.

It remains to be seen how all these new pieces to the puzzle come together in Los Angeles, but there’s no question that the Lakers are a legitimate NBA title contender this season and a squad that every team in the league will terrified of facing with so many different threats on the floor.

#1 Miami Heat

Three-time NBA MVP LeBron James has finally proved his doubters wrong by winning that elusive first NBA title. Now LeBron and company will try to live up to the expectations of a defending NBA champion by keeping the contenders at bay this season.

After adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to the mix in South Beach, the Heat may have done enough to improve the squad in order to keep up with all the moves the Lakers, Clippers and Boston Celtics were able to make in the off-season.

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In case you missed it – the latest episode of Lakers Locker Room Talk Focuses on Steve Blake
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