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Posts Tagged ‘playoffs’

Finals preview: Lakers vs Magic

By: Michael Dunham

Unfortunately, the Kobe-Lebron matchup we all, including the NBA, wanted to see was put off for at least another year by Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic.  Instead we will get to see the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Orlando Magic in the NBA finals.  While this match-up will not generate the revenue that a Kobe-Lebron finals would have generated, it will undoubtedly be just as exciting to watch.

The Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets in six games and a times were dynamite on the court.  The problem that could get in the way of the Lakers on their quest to get their 15th championship, and 10th in Los Angeles, is their hot and cold unpredictability.  In both the Western Conference Semi-finals and Western Conference Finals, the Lakers have been up and down.  They will go out and win by 20 or 30 then the next night they will lose by the same amount.  This rollercoaster type basketball could, and in my book will, be what costs the Lakers the championship.

The Magic have taken the role of underdog and run with it.

They have been placed under the radar all season while they quietly beat all of the “great” teams in the league.  Even though they had taken the regular season series from the Cavs 2-1 i thought the Magic wouldn’t be able to show up like that in the playoffs and they proved me wrong.  They turned a 5-5 game into a Lebron-5 while the rest of the Cavs flat out did not show up.  I think the Magic will take advantage of the fact that they will be written off as not good enough again and use it to their advantage in the series.

I am not going to make the same mistake that I made in the Eastern Conference Finals and write off the Magic and that is why I am picking them to win their first NBA championship in 6 games over the Lakers.

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Categories: Basketball, Sports

Preview: Cavaliers vs. Magic

While it only took the Cleveland Cavaliers eight games to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, it took the Orlando Magic 13.  This huge difference in number of games presents fears for both Cavs fans as well as Magic fans.

The obvious fear would be in the eyes of Magic fans, who not only have to go up against the Mvp of the league and the team with the NBA’s best record, but also have to worry about the fatigue of playing so many extra games.

To beat Cleveland you have to bring your A game, and when the Cavs are at home, even that will probably not be enough.

With all these extra games, fatigue could prevent that Magic from playing at their A game, in which case Lebron and the Cavs will keep on coasting strait to the Finals.

With Cleveland’s last game being a week ago, Cavs fans fears might be that Cleveland will come out rusty and give up a home game to the Magic.  While it doesn’t sound like a big deal to give up a home game, in a 7 game series it is huge.  Not only does it give the Magic home court advantage, it will also give them the confidence that if they can beat Cleveland at home, they can win the series.

While it is a possibility, I don’t think that a few days off will slow the Cavs roll at all.  This being said, Orlando will be more of a challenge than the Hawks or the Pistons were and they will not be able to sweep.  As long as the Cavs don’t come out rusty and give up one of the first two home games, they take this series in 5.  If they do lose one of the first to games then it will be more of a series than the Cavs want it to be and will likely go to 7.

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Categories: Basketball, Sports

Preview: Lakers vs. Nuggets

As the Lakers played the Rockets in Game 7 of their Western Conference Semi-final series the Denver Nuggets and the fans watched and waited to see who they would be playing.  What they saw was a fairly dominating game by Kobe, Lamar, and co. over the Yoa and McGrady-less Rockets; winning the game 89-70.

Kobe and Melo will square off in the Western Conference finals starting Tuesday, May 19th and you can expect it to be a show.  The Lakers have been the best team in the Western Conference all you, but as of late they have been very hot and cold.  They will go out and get dominated by a Rockets team that has just lost their superstar then win the next game by 40.

This inconsistency could prove to be a problem against the Nuggets (or Thuggets as we in Dallas like to call them) who have had their eyes on one thing this entire post season, the first NBA championship in the teams history.

Behind the Cavs, the Nuggets have been the hottest team in the playoffs.  With a playoff record of 8-2 they really haven’t been that tested either.  The Lakers are that team that can really test them and that is exactly what will happen.  If the Lakers can play with the same intensity and mindset that they played with in game 7 then this could be a very fun series to watch.

I think that the Lakers will heat up when the bright lights turn on and that is why I’m picking them to win in 7.

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Categories: Basketball, Sports

Kobe’s Doin’ Work

Spike Lee’s new “Joint”, Kobe Doin’ Work, premiered on Espn on Saturday.  By using multiple camera angles and mixing on-court audio with game commentator audio and commentation from Kobe Bryant, a new, interesting dynamic was shown on Kobe’s game.

I’ve always viewed Kobe as a ball hog and not much of a team player but after watching this show it is apparent that he tries to focus just as much on his teammates game as he does his own.  This is good from the aspect that most people do not know that about him but throughout the show also became kind of a negative to me.

As the show went on and on it seemed that Kobe did not respect the basketball I.Q. of his teammates.  He would talk to them and give them instructions as if they were a group of middle school basketball players instead of a group of top tier, NBA basketball players.

I can understand him calling out “i got ball” or “cutter, cutter” to warn his teammates about certain actions taking place on the court, but some of the things he would call out seemed completely pointless and a bit annoying.

By the end of the show, I would not have been surprised at all if he called out the he was about to dribble before doing so.

With all this being said, I acknowledge that Kobe is one of the best, if not the best, basketball players on the planet at this present moment; so he must be doing something right.  Outside of how he communicates with his teammates, this program showed me a lot of good things I did not know about Kobe, and how the professional basketball game is played.  I also gained a lot of respect for Kobe’s ability and knowledge of the game of basketball.

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Categories: Basketball, Sports