Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 9/26/12

LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 07: Former NBA basketball player James Worthy (L) signs autographs at the Haier booth at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 7, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology tradeshow, runs through January 10 and is expected to feature 2,500 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 110,000 attendees. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

It would be hard to find a Los Angeles Laker fan who is not claiming the 2013 NBA title before the season even starts. There is no denying that adding Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to the team make them an immensely better team, but just how good?

One of the greatest Lakers of all time is not ready to give L.A. the trophy just yet. James Worthy likes their chances, but does not put them ahead of the defending champs.

“I would have to say Miami still has a little edge simply because they won last year,” Worthy said. “It will be so much easier for them to win again because they know how to do it. With them adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis they have tremendous scorers and three-point shooters off the bench. Then they also have the greatest player in the game with LeBron James. I give them the edge because they’re defending champions.”

So Worthy is picking the Heat for a repeat, but it looks like he thinks they will be facing the Lakers in the Finals, rather than a rematch of last year.

“Oklahoma City is younger. But with Dwight in at the same time with Pau, with Steve Nash, that makes a big difference. Last year, Ramon Sessions was young. Before Howard, the Lakers were second or third in the West. But with getting a 38-year-old point guard that still has some left and bringing in a franchise player, that puts them right back at the top. I don’t think too many people will bet against the Lakers against anybody in the West, assuming they’re a healthy team. But they still have to make it happen.”

As someone who prematurely jumped on the Lakers as championship contenders, I have to admit that Worthy’s opinion makes a lot more sense.

We have not seen anything from the Lakers yet, all we know is that they have talent. We do not know how healthy Dwight Howard will be or how much Steve Nash has left in the tank. We do not know how a team full of All-Stars past and present will gel together under the bright lights of Los Angeles.

Everyone has their predictions, some more extreme than others, but we have a long season to play.

Image: Fox Sports

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This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

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