NBA Finals: Lakers in 4
|So DJ Mbenga and Josh Powell will have a ring but Dirk Nowitzki won't. Yeah, that seems fair.|
We all wanted Kobe vs. LeBron. Instead, starting with tonight's Game 1, we got ourselves a sweep.
It's a nice story that the Magic and coach
Ron Jeremy Stan Van Gundy beat the Celtics and LeBrons to win the East with a beast in the middle and a bushel of 3-pointers. But this is June basketball, and there's no way Orlando's momentum-laden novelty act beats the more talented, more experienced, better coached Lakers four times.
Or, for that matter, even once.
Don't care whether Jameer Nelson plays for the Magic, L.A. is too disciplined and too deep for an Orlando team running on emotional fumes at this point.
Howard will dominate for stretches, but Jackson - unlike Cavaliers' dunce cap Mike Brown - is too smart to let him win games by himself. Pau Gasol will guard him. Lamar Odom will try him. Andrew Bynum will get a crack. Even former Maverick wide body DJ Mbenga will use up some fouls and bruise him. All to give Howard different looks. All to keep Howard from getting comfortable. All to make Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu try to beat them from 24 feet.
When Kevin Garnett went down I wrote that it was the Lakers' title to lose. (Maybe next year LeBrat will spend less time on pre-game choreography and more time on post-series sportsmanship.)
Now, against the Magic, I don't think there's any way the Lakers won't win.
And, oh yeah, Kobe Bryant.