Better Watch What You Wish For
Hedu Turkoglu cheering after Orlando's game four overtime victory over the Cavaliers. AP Photo/John Raoux
I still say the Lakers will defeat the Denver Nuggets in six games. But it's not this series that I'm finding all that compelling.
Out in the east, we are witnessing an Orlando Magic team that is tearing apart the Cleveland Cavaliers. Aside from the Magic's 10-point victory in game three, all games have been close: one point margins in games one and two and a two point victory by the Magic in game four. This was the Cavaliers team that was supposed to be far beyond dominant, transcendent even, but the Magic are exposing them as nothing more than LeBron James and whole bunch of scrubs.
If you're a Lakers fan and want to see the them hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy, then you better be on your hands and knees praying to whatever god you worship that the Cavs can overcome the 3-1 deficit.
The Magic have a dominant big man in Dwight Howard, NBA's defensive player of the year, and a slew of perimeter shooters who can hit threes with their eyes closed. These are the ingredients that gave the Lakers fits during the regular season. The Lakers lost in Orlando on December 20 106-103 and at home on January 16 109-103.
Defending the Cavs is pretty simple. Don't let James get into the lane and force every other Cavs players to make shots. That's how the Lakers won both match ups during the regular season
As for the Magic it's not so easy. The Lakers could attempt to contain Howard, but Andrew Bynum will merely foul out in five minutes. Pau Gasol stands no chance against Howard. Then there's the matter of those perimeter shooters. Hedu Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis and Rafer Alston can knock down shots. And off the bench, Mickael Pietrus has shown that he can fill in on the scoring front.
If the NBA Finals ends up being a Lakers-Magic match up, I'm afraid the Lakers will lose in five games.