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Wednesday’s Eastern Conference Finals Game 1

2009

(Orlando Magic @ Cleveland Cavaliers)

 

The Cleveland Cavaliers have just cruised through the playoffs so far with no losses and seem to be destined to reach the NBA Finals.

As if having the best record in Cavs franchise history, Mike Brown winning the NBA Coach of the Year and LeBron James being the unanimous NBA MVP wasn’t enough, the Cavs are going for their first ever NBA championship title all in the same season, but they will have to get through the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic to do so.

 

Orlando Magic @ Cleveland Cavaliers Game 1

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a great team and I do believe they will reach their goal of reaching the NBA Finals, but there has been one thing that has gone unnoticed with the Cavs and that is that unlike the Lakers and the Magic they have not yet been tested in the playoffs yet.

This series against the Orlando Magic will finally test the Cavs and LeBron James to see if they are really a championship caliber team. Not that there is a doubt that LeBron’s are title contenders, but they have yet to see a real challenge on their path to the NBA Finals and that could prove costly in this series against the Magic.

The Lakers were tested in their series against a very tough, defensive minded Houston Rockets team which took Los Angeles the distance. The Orlando Magic also had their work cut out for them so far in this postseason as the have played two competitive playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers and the defending champion Boston Celtics who took Orlando to seven games.

The Cavs on the other hand have faced a Detroit Pistons team on the decline and without Chauncey Billups which resulted in a predictable sweep. Then they faced a young and inexperienced Atlanta Hawks team that had absolutely no answer for LeBron James and was no challenge for the Cavs or any other team they could have played in the playoffs for that matter. I think Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat would have without a doubt given the Cavs more trouble than the Hawks.

Even though the Magic have the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in Dwight Howard they are not the best defensive team. Howard could limit LeBron James penetration in the paint, but guarding him on the perimeter will be nearly impossible as they have no one that will be able to stay with him.

The Cavs will struggle with Dwight Howard’s rebounding and inside presence on offense. Yes, Cleveland do have center Zydrunas Ilgauskas in the middle, but he is no match for Howard who will have his way with the big fella. The only real threat Z will be is on the offensive end as he will be able to keep Howard out of the paint due to his ability to hit the outside shot.

All and all, I see the Cavs advancing, but game one will be a big indication of how the series will.

My pick is Cavs in six games.

 

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