Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sportz' NBA Finals Prediction

Not that it means too much, but here is my NBA Finals prediction. But first, some things I'm looking forward to in the next two weeks:

KOBE'S LEGACY: As I said before these are the Kobe Bryant NBA Finals. His legacy is on the line. Another title places him among the greats to have every played this game. A loss would feed his detractors as the best finisher who can't finish a season.

PHIL JACKSON VS STAN VAN GUNDY: This is something I'm dying to see. Dying! In one corner, you have Phil Jackson. The man will be coaching in his 12th NBA Finals where he has won 39 of the 61 Finals games his been in. SVG will be making his first apperance. You have the "Zen Master" against the "Master of Panic". These are probably the two best coaches to have in your Finals news conferences. Both say things that they know will get under other people's skins ... and they both like it.

PHIL VS RED: Both Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach are sitting on 9 NBA Championships. Red passed away a few years ago, so a Jackson 10th ring would be nearly insurmountable. Do you really think that Pat Riley has 5 more in him? Greg Popovich has 6 more? And to those who side with Red's comment that Phil picks his spots and got to coach Jordan, Pippen, Kobe and Shaq ... do yourself a favor and look at how many legends that Red got to coach. Phil has had less. Not just that, but Red could get anyone he wanted. The NBA now has salary caps and every team has money to spend.

JEFF VAN GUNDY: It isn't a secret that Jeff Van Gundy is rooting for his brother, Stan. However, it will be interesting to see if it affects Jeff's job as analyst for ABC during the Finals.

SHAQ: Shaquille O'Neal won't be playing in this series, but his name will be uttered a few times. After all, Shaq left Orlando a year after their only previous Finals appearance. He left for Los Angeles, where he went to 4 Finals, winning three. Shaq left the Lakers for Miami (via trade) and played for ... Stan Van Gundy. Shaq has also had a few nice things to say about both Kobe ("how's my ass taste") and SVG ("the master of panic"). Also, you will hear about how Kobe is trying to win a title without Shaq, how Dwight Howard is the next Shaq and you will most likely see highlights of that last Magic appearance (1995) and the last Lakers title (2002) where Shaq was the focal point.

JAMEER NELSON: We all know by now that Nelson was the Magic's leading scorer in the two regular season meetings between the two teams. However, he has missed about half a season due to a shoulder injury ... yet there are rumblings that he may play in the Finals. I say that if he can go, they should at least run him out there off the bench. I don't think he could possibly be at his post-injury level but a little is better than none.

LAMAR ODOM AND ANDREW BYNUM: The scary thing for Lakers fans is that they/we must rely on two guys who have been very unreliable. You never know what you are gonna get with Odom. Some games he looks unstoppable. Other games, he looks uninterested. If he shows up for the bulk of this series, I think the Lakers win. As for Bynum, he hasn't been a factor during most of these playoffs. He is slower, less aggressive and has gotten into foul trouble. Not good when you are going up against Dwight Howard.

THE DISNEY SERIES: LA has Disneyland. Orlando has Disney World. Disney also owns ABC, who will be broadcasting the series. What is the over/under that we will see shots of those two amusement parks?

WHO ARE TYRONNE LUE AND ANTHONY JOHNSON? The only two Magic players with NBA Finals experience. Lue won three titles with the Lakers in 2000, 2001 and 2002 (he actually was a key player in the 2001 Finals). Johnson played for the Nets in their Finals appearance in 2002 and 2003.

MY PREDICTION: Lakers in six.
Game 1-Lakers
Game 2-Lakers
Game 3-Magic
Game 4-Lakers
Game 5-Magic
Game 6-Lakers

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