By Melissa Rohlin
12:00 PM PDT, April 19, 2013
The seventh-seeded Lakers will play the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
After acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash over the summer, the Lakers were thought to be title contenders. On Wednesday, they narrowly escaped missing the playoffs.
Now that they're in, how far will they go?
The Lakers caught a break by avoiding the speedy Oklahoma City Thunder when they defeated Houston on Wednesday. They are much better-matched against the aging Spurs.
The Lakers are entering the postseason with some momentum, having won eight of their last nine games, but they are hobbled by injuries and will be playing without superstar guard Kobe Bryant, who suffered a torn left Achilles' tendon last week.
Dwight Howard insisted that the Lakers can win without Bryant and has maintained that the playoffs are a new season.
How do you think they will fare against the Spurs? Vote in the poll below and feel free to leave a comment explaining why you voted the way you did.
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