Anticlimax is a big word. But everyone was looking forward to this year’s big matchup. Kobe Bryant versus Lebron James. Eventually, Lebrons lack of team support and his own lack of being able to include lesser players in Clevelands game caught up with them. Over the general season, the superstars of the NBA can win matches on their own. Obviously, the Cavaliers is a very good team posting the best record in the league but you could actually see the missing pieces during the regular season.
No need to despair though, the finals matchup should be as great, though maybe not as anticipated. Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers will get home court advantage to the Orlando Magic, featuring Dwight “Superman” Howard.
The Magic will of course look to take at least one of the first two games played in Los Angeles and I think they will. Lakers has not have the good inside defense they will have to perform if they are serious for another championship ring.
Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum could post as the Lakers twin towers but will surely have to deliver much better than they have during the first rounds of the playoffs. Because that is where the Magic will strike. Inside. And I don’t really think Lakers has an answer to it. The only way to stop them is to get Howard off the court. Get him in to foul trouble and one leg will be chopped off. Kobe and his Lakers will only have to lean on them to make them fall.
We will see Kobe Bryant drive to the basket a lot more than he would have in a series with the Cavs. We will see a lot less outide shooting from Gasol and Bynum.
They will go in the paint early in the games to get the fouls on Howard. All the more important that the Magic will find “their” game. They rely a lot on Howard for sure. And they should. Any player averaging 20 points and 14 rebounds is a go to guy.
The problem in the finals is that the Magic will face a team with depth, defense and tactics. Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu will have to perform and have to be included by Howard. Something Lebron James couldn’t do with his teammates in the Eastern Conference finals.
Magic have one more advantage, if you can call it that. Andrew Bynum hasn’t really been himself since injuring his knee early in the regular season. Pau Gasol was the biggest disappointment during last years NBA finals and Lamar Odom is as inconsistent as ever.
The Lakers cannot survive on Kobe Bryant alone and if the big guys, Gasol and Bynum, doesn’t perform, they will be in big trouble. Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar, Trevor Ariza and, newly acquired, Shannon Brown provides significant and impressive depth. But they, like Odom, are inconsistent.
That will be the key for the Lakers.
Most experts picks this an easier finals for the Lakers than it would have been facing the Cavs. I disagree. The Magic can attack on many fronts and their ability to do that make them my pick to win the finals. sports betting