Orlando Magic v. Los Angeles Lakers
Position by Position look at the 2009 NBA Finals.
Point Guard: Derek Fisher v. Rafer Alston
Fisher has the Finals experience but Alston is the type of player that can change the complexion of at least one game.
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant v. Courtney Lee
No comment necessary. Look for Kobe to attract the defense and get his teammates involved early and often.
Small Forward: Rashard Lewis v. Trevor Ariza
My favorite matchup of the Finals has the chance to be a real turning point for whomever shows up to play. I like Ariza’s game a lot, especially his defense, and Rashard’s stroke is smooth like butter when his shot is on.
Power Forward: Pau Gasol v. Hedo Turkoglu
Hard to look at this one straight up. Hedo is not a PF, but the Magic style of play can cause major problems for the Lakers. Hedo is the primary ball handler in the 4th Quarter so it will be interesting to see how the Lakers play it. Gasol can dominate this series so long as Dwight is not guarding him. I think the Lakers will start the game trying to get Gasol going on the low block.
Center: Dwight Howard v. Andrew Bynum
This can be a huge boost for the Lakers if Bynum can even play somewhat mediocre. Howard will elevate his game to a new level in the Finals, so Bynum will be using up all 6 fouls. I can’t wait to see Dwight’s averages when it is over; I say at least 15 boards and 4 blocks per game.
Now for the intangibles...I will take the Lakers bench because Luke Walton will play a HUGE part in the series' outcome. Jameer Nelson is a possible addition after being injured since before the All-Star break, and he could be a game changer. How can you take Van Gundy over 9 Championships in 11 Finals appearances? The Magic crowd should be rowdy in their home games, and the Lakers fans will be chaotic as always.
---I FORGOT COMPLETELY about Lamar Odom when this blog orginally posted. Let's hope Lamar Odom doesn't forget to show up, as he has in the recent past.
I will take the Lakers in 7, BUT if the Magic steal one of the first 2 in L.A. that could change.