West v. East: NBA Finals Breakdown
That's it folks. The 2009 NBA Finals has finally arrived and is leading up to be as exciting of a series in league history as it has ever been, with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic vying for the Larry O'Brien Championship trophy starting this Thursday.
The Lakers and Magic have fought tough battles throughout this postseason, with the toughest battle yet to come as they take to the court in a best-of-seven games series on June 4, with Game 1 set to take place in Los Angeles at 6 pm PST on the ABC Network.
This year's match-up has sprung in tons of intrigue with a pleathora of storylines that play into this year's Finals.
From the Lakers' record 30th Finals appearance in league history to the Magic's first Finals appearance in 15 years to the notion that this could be the 10th title, Lakers coach, Phil Jackson will win thus cementing his legacy as the winningest coach in league history, to the many other plots that accompany this year's championship run- it's safe to say that this year's Finals will surprise many in its sheer entertainment and historical value.
The Lakers and Magic are the only teams in the league that are equally matched by creating havoc on both sides of the court.
The Magic have an obvious advantage in post-play with the league's most dominating big man in the game, Dwight Howard, owning the paint while being virtually unstoppable within seven-feet from the basketball.
As for the Lakers, their obvious advantage lies within the game's best player, Kobe Bryant. According to NBA.com, Bryant is the only player in the league who has been voted for the past five years as "the guy you want taking the last-second shot to win a game."
Regardless of both teams' upsides, the match-up won't be an easy task to accomplish for this year's Eastern and Western Conference Champions.
Judging on the way both teams have played throughout their postseason performances, the Lakers and Magic seem to be on an even keel with the main factor in winning the whole thing coming down to whomever competes the hardest at the stretches of every game.
The Lakers will try to utilize their perimeter-defensive talents by containing the Magic's sharp-shooting forwards Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu while also manning-up underneath the basket against the intimidating Howard on both sides of the floor.
For the Magic, their strategy will consist of stopping the continual ball movement the Lakers rely on when running through their famous triangle-offense plays while plugging up the lane when a penetrating Bryant will attack the basket.
Regardless of the outcome, this year's Finals don't look to disappoint its viewers as more people have been tuning into the NBA's family of networks, in record fashion, to watch both teams historic playoff-run.
Speaking of the outcome, I still believe the Lakers have the upper hand in the series and will fight to the end until they earn that elusive piece of hardware they so valiantly are chasing after.
My prediction: The Lakers win the series in seven games at home with Bryant earning his first ever Finals MVP trophy and his first championship ring post-Shaq