NBA Finals Game 1
(Orlando Magic @ Los Angeles Lakers)
It has been a great ride thus far in the NBA playoffs with some spectacular finishes and clutches performances, but we are now down to just two teams as the NBA Finals gets underway with the Orlando Magic taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in LA on June 4th at the Staples Center.
Well, the Lakers were favored to get as far as the Finals so they are on pace, but the Orlando Magic have been underdogs pretty much the whole way through except against the Philadelphia 76ers in round one.
First Dwight Howard and company dispatched Philly in six Games then they took out the defending champion Boston Celtics in a heated seven Games and finally they beat the best team in the East in LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in six Games to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since Shaq’s squad did it back in 1995.
NBA Finals Game 1 Orlando Magic @ Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers -6 O/U 206 at Bet 5dimes.com
It is not the dream match up everyone had hoped for with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant going head to head, but the Magic taking on the Lakers might be an even better series as both teams have come into their own by beating some tough teams down the stretch.
The Los Angeles Lakers will be the odds on favorite and I do believe they will be the NBA champs when it is all said and done, but the Magic may create some match up problems for Kobe and company much like they did for LeBron’s Cavs.
As of right now I see this series going six Games with the Lakers winning it all in Los Angeles in Game six, but I could easily see the series going the full seven Games especially if the Magic get Jameer Nelson back healthy for this series. Nelson has been somewhat of a LAker killer this year as he has proved to be a big match up problem for the Lakers guards.
Of course, unlike the Cavs, the Lakers have one of the best supporting casts and role players surrounded around Kobe Bryant and that was painfully apparent in the Game six victory over the Denver Nuggets recently. Not only do the Lakers have arguably the best all around player in Kobe who can be virtually unguardable at times, but players like Pau Gasol, Trevor Ariza and perhaps most notably LAmar Odom have all stepped up their Game.
The big difference here will be whether or not the Lakers can guard Dwight Howard in the paint and still be able to stick all their shooters like Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis and Michael Pietrus. With the great defenders the Lakers have like Trevor Ariza and Kobe Bryant, the Lakers should be able to contain the Magic’s high powered offense, but as we have seen in the playoffs so far with the surprising losses by the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers anything can happen and you can never count out the Orlando Magic.
My pick: Los Angeles Lakers take it in six Games starting with a win in Game one.
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