Monday, June 1, 2009
Magic-Lakers Final Preview
The so-called dream matchup of Lebron and Kobe was not to be. Dwight Howard and his Orlando Magic will face off against Kobe and the Lakers. The Magic proved in the Eastern Conference Finals that they are a very good team. They are by far the best team in the East (maybe next year Sixers).
This is a very interesting matchup because both teams have a player that cannot be defended. Dwight Howard is the hardest player to defend in the NBA. His height and strength combined with his explosiveness make him unstoppable.
Kobe Bryant cannot be stopped most of the time (Hint: key word is most). Kobe is a shooter who can drive to the basket. Shooters are not always consistent. Maybe the Magic will be able to stop Bryant by putting two of their best defenders on the Laker star. Bryant's driving ability will be neutralized by Howard. When Kobe drives, one sound will signal the end of a Laker possession. That sound will not be swish, it will be Swat!
Of course, everyone one knows the supporting casts will ultimately decide which team wins. Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant will both come to play like stars, but which role player will step up for each team. The Magic have a bunch of three point shooters who can put away a game when they are hot. Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis are both top notch three point men.
Will Trevor Ariza step up for the Lakers in the Finals like he did against Denver? I think he will but the Magic have to avoid the stupid mistakes Denver made. They cannot be lazy with the ball late in games because Ariza is an intense defender who is always looking for the steal. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum are good big men but they may be stopped by the defensive proness of Dwight Howard and backup Marcin Gortat.
Overall, I think the Magic will win the series in seven games. The refs will hold the destiny of Howard in this series. They can't call the cheap fouls on Howard every time Kobe gets within one foot of him. Then again Howard has to be smart and not commit anymore technicals.
The Magic will win the championship because Dwight Howard is unstoppable and the Magic shooters can put a game away before you know it. Bye, Bye Kobe.