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LAL-OKC: Rematch favors Thunder

5/14/2012
Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant are prone to hero-ball. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

The Lakers have the rings and the rep. Coming into their second-round series against Oklahoma City, I'm not sure they have much more.

Too harsh? Perhaps. The networks certainly hope so -- this is unquestionably the marquee series of the second round, partly because the other three series involve San Antonio, Indiana and Philadelphia, and partly because it's a story in its own right.

Not only is it the league's glamour franchise, the Lakers, doing battle against one of its most popular up-and-comers, but intrigue abounds all around. Derek Fisher taking on his former teammates from L.A. Metta World Peace renewing acquaintances with the ferocious Chesapeake Arena crowd after his suspension for elbowing James Harden in the head. And finally, a rematch of the memorable first-round series in 2010, when the Lakers needed six games to hold off the Thunder en route to their second straight title.