vs. Los Angeles Lakers
This game is like an NBA fanís wet dream! Just couldnít ask for more
in this possible NBA Finals preview between the Cleveland Cavaliers
and the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night. First off you have the
inevitable passing of the torch between NBA greats Kobe Bryant and
LeBron James. Although Kobe is still considered the best player in
the world, LeBron keeps improving his game by leaps and bounds
showing everyone that sooner rather than later LeBron will be the
next best player in the NBA and the world.
It is no secret that this season King James has stepped up his game
by becoming just as dominant on defense as he is on offense. Just
when you thought this kid couldnít get any better, he becomes a
legit candidate for both the NBA MVP and Defensive player of the
year in a season that is shaping up to be the best in his NBA career
As for Kobe Bryant, he finally has the Laker team around him that he
has always wanted. With total confidence in his teammates for the
first time since the championship years with Shaq, Kobe seems
completely comfortable trusting his all star caliber teammates to
get the job done night in and night out. With the Lakers showing
obvious signs of weakness in their defense during the NBA Finals
last season against the Boston Celtics, Kobe and company have come
out this season on a mission to prove that they can be dominant on
both sides of the floor.
As a result of Kobeís new found confidence playing alongside Pau
Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom the reigning MVP hasnít had to do
everything on floor like in years past where the Lakers had
struggled just to get the 8th seed in the West. With Kobeís role
players stepping up and playing with great team chemistry the Los
Angeles Lakers are the best team in the Western conference and quite
possibly the best in the NBA.
Coming into this game the Lakers have stumbled a little bit by
dropping a couple games in a row to the San Antonio Spurs and the
Orlando Magic. Even though both of games will just be considered
losses for the Lakers, they put up one hell of a fight taking both
teams to the limit as both games ended with last second shots.
The Cavs on the other hand have been just as impressive as the
Lakers this season by being unbeatable at home with 20-0 record in
Cleveland and eclipsing the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics as
best in the Eastern conference with an MVP caliber season from
The keys to this game will be Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Who ever
is able to play his game and dictate the game will be the winner.
Last season LeBron had the edge in this match up, but Iím sure Kobe
hasnít forgotten and will be looking for a little bit of redemption.
One problem for both teams is their injuries. The Lakers are a
little thin on their bench with Jordan Farmar out for at least
another month and the Cavs just suffered a pretty big blow with
Delonte West going down with a broken wrist which will keep him out
of the lineup for the next six weeks or so.
Although West and Farmar arenít huge contributors like say Pau Gasol
or Mo Williams for the Lakers and Cavs, they still affect the
rotation and the wear and tear on the starters. Derek Fisher has
been playing more minutes in Farmarís absence and as a result has
been less affective on the defensive end of the floor. The Cavs
havenít struggled that much just yet with West being out as Sasha
Pavlovic has stepped up and has filled the void with West out.
The Lakers are coming off two heartbreaking losses, but that should
be all the motivation this team needs to put the breaks on LeBron
and company. This game will probably go down the wire once again for
With this being the most likely NBA Finals match up to this point in
the season, Kobe and LeBron will be battling for bragging rights and
will be looking to prove that their team is better. This game has
the makings of an NBA classic!
Our number on the game is the Lakers by 2.5 so we'll grab the
+4.5 with the Cavs here. Our Selection Cavs