tclakin

NBA Finals Pick: Lakers in 5

In Uncategorized on June 4, 2009 at 11:22 am
Even Kobe knows who the boss is

Even Kobe knows who the boss is

This is an easy pick and I’ll tell you why:  Kobe Bryant is not going to let this Lakers team lose in the Finals. 

Again

He’s too competitive, he has the right teammates and the right coach, and he’s developed too good of a jump-shooting game late in his career to lose to the Orlando Magic. Kobe is a great player and I have to admit that, regardless of how I feel about his weirdly insincere persona and the career he has built off of decent – though rather creepy – Michael Jordan imitiations. At this stage in his career, beneath all the cliches and the bluster, he has to want this Finals win very, very badly. I mean, if he has any sense of his basketball legacy – and I think he does – Kobe has to know that this NBA Finals is going to paint what might be the lasting picture of his reputation as a player.

He realizes this, right?

So I fully expect that Kobe will play out of his mind, the series hinging as it does on the attitude he brings to the court each night. Above that, I just don’t think Orlando has what it takes to win. Sure, they’ve got Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol has basically no chance of stopping Howard if he summons any semblance of a power inside game, but the Lakers shouldn’t have any trouble shutting down the rest of the Magic. If I’m the Lakers and Phil Jackson, I just let Howard get his while containing the Magic’s shooters and making sure they don’t get open looks behind the arc. What are they going to do then? The Lakers should simply let Howard get as many as he wants – 35, 40 even – and make sure that the Magic snipers don’t heat up. Do that and it’s game, set, match Lakers. The Magic will probably steal a win at home or take a game if Kobe has an off night, but otherwise the Lakers should win this series quickly and easily.

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