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Get your mouse ears ready: Lakers to face Orlando in the NBA Finals

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard will meet in the NBA Finals

Hope you picked the Magic, because with their 103-90 win Saturday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers (that's the team LeBron plays for, if you missed it), the 2009 NBA Finals are set.  Los Angeles vs. Orlando, tipping off Thursday, June 4 at Staples Center. 

By now, we all know the Playoffs are all about matchups, and as we touched on in this week's PodKast, I admit this one scares me.  The good news?  While I really try hard not to draw too many conclusions from how teams perform in games and rounds leading up to a given series, I admit that the way LA played in Games 5 and 6 to dispatch the Nuggets was very encouraging. 

How couldn't it be?

Obviously there will be plenty more to come over the next few days, but here are some of my early thoughts, on top of what Andy passed on earlier in the day:

  • Orlando shoots a ton of threes, but they're generally clean shots that come from good ball movement. The Magic make the extra pass on almost every trip, putting incredible pressure on the opposition to rotate properly.  It's also interesting to note how they run-- where most teams look to penetrate to the bucket, the Magic often push to create open looks from behind the arc.
  • This works, in part, because Dwight Howard really does demand a lot of attention.  He's like, really good, and managed to hit some FTs at different points in the Cleveland series, too.  But also because the Magic have guys that can both shoot and drive, making them tough to cover on the perimeter. 
  • For all the talk of Cleveland's suffocating D during the regular season, it was Orlando that led the league in Defensive Efficiency, allowing just under 102 points per 100 trips.  They haven't been quite that dominant in the postseason, but still lead all playoff teams that didn't spend two rounds playing Detroit and Atlanta.  Obviously Howard is a big part of that, allowing guys to play the perimeter just a little bit tougher, knowing the DPOY is there to clean up mistakes. 
  • We saw what happened to the LeBrons during the ECF.  One guy isn't going to beat that D.  The Lakers, though, when they're clicking are far from a one man show.  They'll need that same degree of activity, patience, and ball movement going forward.  Honestly, I'm not sure anyone has a defense for what the Lakers did to Denver in Game 6. 
  • Am I wrong, or is Marcin Gortat a pretty solid player?  Maybe it's just the kinship of Polish bald men.  
  • If ever there was a matchup that demanded Lamar Odom's versatility on both ends, it's this one.

While the world (or at least those parts controlled by Nike and Vitamin Water) wanted Kobe vs. LeBron, LA vs. Orlando has the potential to be a great series.  The matchups are tough for the Lakers, as evidenced by the Magic taking both games of the season series.  On a neutral floor, they'd be tough to bet against.  But the Lakers have the home court advantage, and in the Finals with the 2-3-2 format, that's a huge advantage. 

Get fired up, because it's officially on! 

BK

(Photo: Fernando Medina, Getty Images)

 
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Orlando will be the Victims,


GO LAKERS

Looks like I'm going to Orlando to pick up another Beat LA Tshirt.....I should start hunting those down and start a collection...

Any way....Its Man Child vs. KB24 , its Superman vs. The Black Mamba......Its Disney World vs. DisneyLand!!!
(Yeah I know, I'm invoking the Bluto Clause)

AND GOD DAMNIT!!!! NOTHING BEATS THE ORIGINAL!!!!

LAKERS IN 5!!!!

HAHAHAH...I'm so glad Cleveland lost because I was so sick of Chris Broussard's Lebron lovin articles!!! Where's your king now Broussard!?

Well, there ends Lebron's time in Cleveland.....on to New York City!

I have to say, Coach Mike Brown did a good job this year and he's a stand up guy. I imagine he learned a lot this year.

So, no more puppet commercials! It's going to be a black Monday moring in the Nike boardroom.

can we please put to rest the notion that the league is fixed? i dont think stern envisioned orlando/LA as his dream matchup for the finals. either way, i could care less! the lakeshow is there and it doesn't matter if they were playing the raptors, all that matters is four more wins baby!!!!!!!!!!!

Lebron is Legone and home court it shall be. So much for chasing the best record and working so hard to show up Black Mamba game for game. Time for our guys to shut these dumb Orlando fans chanting the Beat LA broken record. BTW did Rashard just tell Craig Sager he's headed to the Eastern Conference Finals? I guess he's as smart as the fanbase down there... must be something in the water.

Let's Go Lake Show!!!

Orlando is really fricken good.

Better than Denver good.

REALLY fricken good.

This game is going to be won through two factors:

1. Phil Jackson making appropriate defensive adjustments to the fact that Orlando is a scary accurate three point team with a major inside threat.

2. Andrew Bynum's play. We need The Beast each game, every game. Andrew Bynum, your time is now.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

BK,

"If ever there was a matchup that demanded Lamar Odom's versatility on both ends, it's this one."

Yep.

Lamar Odom once said that he felt it was his destiny to someday become a Champion.

Well, Lamar, that time is now. Not later. Now.

Be ready.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

interesting to note- if you recall in LA when the magic beat them Dwight threw not one but two elbows to the BACK of Pau's head, and Pau ending up getting the tech. let's hope there is some payback for him here because he ain't mr nice-guy and the league has been so inconsistent with that elbow call.

No your not wrong, I've been impressed with Gortat also.
Too late for the question, but Drew is right, I'd rather play the Magic and have home court.

Howard is a beast but don't double him, instead stay on their 3 point shooters, use DJs 6 fouls if you have to. Also our bigs have to go after Howard at the offensive end. I think he'll have trouble guarding either Pau or Drew, at least if Drew is healthy.

You can not make king through sports articles. Bring on Orlando. LO will be huge in final's
LA in 5(optimistic) LA in 6 (realistic)

Le Jerk left the arena - no post interview. is this the way the royal blue blood people behave? time to do some history lessons regarding Aristocracy.

Edwin, we need your help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Lebron has left the arena”
-TNT

Refused to talk to reporters as demanded by the NBA

Refused to shake hands with Orlando

What a jerk –

Kobe hugs Melo, what a difference in character

Lakers vs Magic!! i was watching Barkley saying that the Magic will win in 7 on the Laker's home court...damn, that guy is a Laker hater. He loves talking smack against our team! What a loser.....another thing, LeBron is a loser too. I saw he did not congratulate the Magic after the game and then he left the arena without speaking to the media! What a punk and a sour loser. At least Melo and most of the Nuggets congratulated the Lakers..but the MVP? A sour loser indeed! Go Lakers!!!

This should be dubbed the "Disney series".

Worst matchup for the Lakers among all 3 Finals candidates (Magic, Cavs, Cs). 0-2 record this year, though I recall both games were close up to the final minute.

Kobe's adventure with Bynum's knee back in January looks especially unfortunate in hindsight now.

But that's spilled milk. To be the best you gotta beat the best. Magic are like the Lakers last year, shocked & happy to be here. Lakers are like Cs last year, weary from a tough playoff season but battle-hardened & determined to win a Ring.

I think the Lakers will pull it out this time by giving it all they got. Let's do this!

It is a fitting tribute for the Lakers to be in the finals playing against a team named after their greatest player.

Will JVG criticize his brother's coaching?

I don't know if my other cooment will get posted, so here is a repeat: You're right Gortat is solid, he's got a nice mid-range J.

LEBRON DIDNT EVEN HAVE THE DECENCY OR SPORTSMANSHIP TO GO OVER TO DWIGHT HOWARD AND CONGRATULATE HIM!!!

DID ANYONE WATCH LE-BRONZE??? HE RAN OFF THE COURT AS SOON AS THE BUZZER WENT OFF.. TALK ABOUT A SORE LOSER....

LE-CHOKE
LE-BRONZE (NO GOLD TIL KOBE)
LE-BRICK
LE-GONE
BURGER KING
QUEEN JAMES

ANYONE ELSE HAVE A NICKNAME FOR LE-LOSER?

KOBE THE BLACK MAMBA WILL SHOW HIM WHAT A GREAT PLAYER IS ALL ABOUT...

LAKERS BABY!!!

Queen James was brought down to earth by Magic. With the 4-0 sweeps of a dilapidated Detroit team and hopeless Hawks, life looked all rosy and sweet for him, and they spoke of the championship, not of the CF or Finals...

Well, Queen and his jesters, wake up to reality. I think you can start your fishing trip right away from FL than having to go to the wastelands of OH!!

Boy, that team Magic - when they play well as they did today, it does SCARE me!!

We gotta draw the match-ups and play well every possession. If we play as we did Game #6 in Denver, its LA in 5 games or max 6!!

Lets Go LAKERS!!

Cavs stink... Lakers win their next title.

That is all.

I HOPE LAKERS IN 6

Gonna be a tough series. Dwight Howard started these playoffs as a very good player, but has emerged as a great player. His Orlando team has eliminated a gutsy Philly team, the defending champion Celtics and the team with the best regular season record. Dumped the MVP in the process. Orlando is no joke. I'm sure they've got the Lakers' attention. Game knows game.

Lakers in 6!!!
GO LAKERS!!

I'd just like to reiterate:

With Kobe, he's LeGold.

Without Kobe?

LeBronze

Tom - I liked your big lineup from the previous thread (for next season) but I imagine we'll be going small a fair amount in the finals, look for Farmar to get some extra minutes, etc. Orlando runs a short rotation... I think it's important to get fouls on Rashard and Hedo... I wouldn't be surprised to see Sasha playing out of position as a defensive irritant... Trevor's going to be key as well.

Normally this matchup would worry me a little. Add in going 0-2 against them during the regular season and the way we got man handled by the C's last year I am truly concerned about this series.

I really hope the same team that played Denver in Game 6 is the one that shows up for Game 1 against Orlando.

Game 1, so important right now. Game 1.

Andrew Bynum...we are going to really, really need you in this series. Lakers in 6!

I'm watching the NBA TV wrapup show featuring LeBrawn Lover Rick Kamla and former Cav Eric Snow. There is no joy in Mudville...mighty LeBrawn has struck out!

Speaking of Brawny...he's so distraught that he skipped the postgame press interviews and went straight to the team bus! Way to man up, LeBrawn! This man has never missed the opportunity to manipulate the press before. He's especially fond of telling them that his range is ...unlimited!

but in this world, doesn't nike and corporations in general rule the world? just saying.

lets see if andrew steps up. because dwight is a BEAST

Good points, BK !

I believe the Lakers will have difficulty with Orlando's 3 pt shooters, as they double team the post too often, leaving outside shooters open.

However, a healthy Odom and a Bynum that is defending/getting boards, will put pressure on Orlando's front line, that is weak other than Howard.

Kobe has really matured as a leader and facilitator, and Orlando has no one to defend him.

And I'll take Jackson over Van Gundy any day.

Thus, Lakers, with home court advantage, win in 7 games.

LO definitely helps us match up with these guys, as does Ariza's length, so we should be okay.

Quick stream of consciousness analysis of match-ups:

PG - Even (Our 3-man PG is at least equal to Alston, Johnson and occasionally Turk);

SG - Lakers

SF - Even (Trevor/Luke/Odom equal to Turk/Pietrus impact)

PF - Lakers (Pau/Odom get better of Rashard)

C - Magic

We have the advantage with Kobe and Pau/Lamar, Magic have the advantage of Dwight, but we actually have a C who can physically defend him in Drew, so it should be interesting (we also have DJ in reserve).

This is just simplistic matchup analysis though by position, we really need to analyze each team's game, style and rotations, who has the advantages over the challenges, and there the Magic will challenge us with the Big Man and Shooters, but on the flip side we are going to kill them offensively.

3 keys to Finals glory:

1. Rotate, Rotate, Rotate!!! These guys live off of wide open three pointers from ball movement. Have to limit the open three looks.

2. POUND THE ROCK INSIDE. I am glad we went 7 with Houston and Pau got pushed around by Chucky Hayes. Thank you Chuck and Scola for pounding our guys and forcing them to play tough! Now lets hope that experience helps Pau/LO/Bynum be physical against Dwight, who absolutely punked them in the regular season.

3. Kobe must be dominant. His previous two finals will not be featured on his all time career video reel. Let's hope this go around makes the cut. While Pietrus played LBJ tough, and the Magic have length to throw at KB, they have nobody close to Artest/Battier or even Carmelo in terms of tough, physical defenders. Again, I think the houston series benefits LA greatly in the finals.

X Factor: Who else? Lamar, Lamar, Lamaaaaaaaar. Four strong games = massive pay day plus a huge status boost in Laker lore. His legacy, as much as PJ's and Kobe's, is on the line. I am pullin for you big time Odom, get it done and go down in history with your name remembered in the same breath as Horry/Fox/Cooper/Worthy and the myriad other integral pieces to a Lakers championship puzzle.

Unlike many teams, we can and will attack D-Howard at the basket, not just with penetration but with post players, he should and will be put in jeopardy at all times, so if we do our job, Orlando is also going to need a big contribution from Gortat, who should not be overlooked or taken lightly either, when given an opportunity.

Magic are probably too good to lose to us 2 out of 3 in their house, so Lakers in 6.

Greetings Lakeshow Fans,

It's official! Orlando Magic vs Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008-1009 NBA Finals. Let the games begin!

I find this matchup intriguing from the aspect that the Lakers went 0-2 against them this season. However, both games were quite close with Jameer Nelson being the factor in their victories. That was then, this is now!

With this in mind, knowing that Jameer Nelson is out for the season, don't underestimate Rafer Alston who has been a thorn on every opponents side thus far in his place.

This is why "matchups" are going to decide the championship this year. The Magic are a very good team, especially from the perimeter with Hedo and Rashard at 6'10 as their sharpshooters. Heck, even with Dwight inside. It's going to be a tough out for LA no doubt! Game planning is going to be of great importance.

Well, here's the recipe for a Lakers parade in June:

1. Exploit the INTERIOR all day and everyday! With the Lakers size in the frontcourt with Gasol, Bynum and Odom, this will shift Orlando's defense a bit and force Dwight Howard to make quick decisions on the defensive end. Foul trouble will follow him if the Lakers are patient enough. Keep their defense moving!

2. Do not throw too many hard double teams on Howard defensively. See whether Bynum or DJ Mbenga can play him straight up with their size and strength. Both guys do have 6 fouls to give each. Powell from the bench can also get in on the act. The key is not letting him dunk! Put him on the FT line, despite the fact he is hitting them. Let him earn every point! The idea is to wear him out.

3. Limit Rashard Lewis and Mikkael Pietrus' looks beyond the three defensively. I look to Trevor Ariza and Odom to take on those tough duties, including Walton at times. Odom is going to be the key not only on defense, but offense. Ariza as well.

4. Control Alston by using either Kobe or Brown along with Fisher. Pressure the ball early and often to limit the effectiveness of their half-court sets!

5. Run the break when the opportunity presents itself. This will put pressure on their bigs to run.

5. More importantly, make Hedo play defense! I'm sure he will be helping Lee with KB24. Keep his big body moving as well! Sooner or later, he will tire out.

Of course, the Lakers must display the will, commitment, and desire the "close" the deal playing as a "team." As long as this happens, KB24 will be the most dangerous player on the court from start to finish.

After all, going through the tough Western Conference by way of Utah, Houston, and Denver teams respectively should bode well for the Lakers preparation and psyche.

All the adversity and criticism in closing each team out may be the ingredient that gets the Lakers going mentally and physically the rest of the way.

The bottom line? Just win the "damn" game! Four of them to be exact. No more excuses! Put last June to rest. Go get em' Lakers.

I expect the Lakers to play well and win it all.

With this said, Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!

First Commandment:

Hedo the Turk shalt not dribble around the perimeter till he finds a shot or pass. That gangly, no dribblin', ex Sactown scrub should keep his Eastern conference champion hat in a safe place.

He'll need it this summer to avoid the sun's harmful rays.

Could you do a matchup by matchup before the first game? Is Kobe going to guard Rashard Lewis, for example? Is Andrew strong enough to neutralize Dwight Howard at least somewhat?
Lakers in 6!

No, we don't really really need Bynie. We haven't needed him all year, didn't need him in the first three rounds of the playoffs - why do you numbies say that we need him? We're not going to get him, so we'd better not need him. Numbies.

orlando is tuff but we are too so it will be fun and to see how pj will adjust vs this team. I can wait. The 2-3-2 format really suck for orlando but they even play better on the road so they dont care and we dont care. But the guy that was defending lebron james really did do a good job on him even tho lebron went crazy he made him tierd. I hope kobe kills him but we will see. the hard matchup is howard for sure. We have to out rebound them because they shoot a lot of threes's and that results in a lot of long balls and also we gotta defend the threes and the transition three.

"Lebron have you seen my four champioship rings? I guess you will once I beat the Magic and become Finals MVP"

"Adversity is our biggest strenght! When our backs our against the walls, we rise because that's what champions do".

This is a bad mach up for Lakers because they have to choose do they defend the three point shot a let Dwight Howard unload for 25+ and dominate the paint or double team him and led the Magic back court unload three pointers.

one more thing no jemer nelson so that a good thing. skip to my lou or what ever is not as good as nelson so we get brake from that.

John The Stats Hollinger picked Cavs to win the finals. Hmmm, how is Hollinger going to explain this statisical anomaly?

Kimg James and his "court jesters" showed no class by walking off the court without congratulating Howard and the Magic. Next time they should not anger the basketball god by their bench antics and trophy snapshots. Looking back, it seems a bit premature. Nothing beats hard work, dedication and a will to win. LBJ, YOU DON'T HAVE THE STOMACH GROWLING HUNGER TO WIN A RING.

Check this link out if your Kobe lover and Lebron Hater.
Just copy and paste the link. You'll also find all the unreleased Puppet commercials of Mamba and the Queen.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4VhI4re7Q0&feature=related


"Adversity is our biggest strenght! When our backs our against the walls, we rise because that's what champions do".

Howard is a shot blocker like the Birdman, but with better skill.

Utilize the most potent weapon possible against htis type of player – The Pump Fake.

Lakers in 5.

It's going to be a good series but Lakers in 6.

12 DOWN, 4 TO GO.

Last night was beautiful, Lakers doing it as good as they can and should. The whole package came together, everyone playing their role, sans AB, Farmar and Sasha, but they have better games ahead.

Mamba had the line of all lines. The line I've been waiting, hoping, pleading for. 35 points on 20 shots. 10 ASSISTS!!!! That spells only one thing......LAKER CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

If Kobe can keep his assists in the 8 plus range and his shots in the 20 minus range, we become the most dangerous team on the planet.

Now comes Orlando, (as I predicted a couple of weeks ago) with a serious squad and some serious matchups.

Right off the bat, I'd start Lamar over Andrew. Don't see the sense in starting Drew and making Pau cover Rashard Lewis. That's not where we want Pau, though it's a great matchup for us on the offensive end, I think it plays into their offensive philosophy to our detriment. Why have Pau chasing Lewis around the 3 point line when we can have him playing Howard in the post and making him work on D? Bring in AB to guard Howard for a change up, but all that will happen if he starts is get quick fouls and sit on the bench. Lamar can guard Lewis, Trevor, Kobe and Walton can guard Hedo.

By the way, they have no matchup for Mamba. Pietrius? Kobe torched him when he was on Golden State, will do the same now that he's on Orlando.

Just my early thoughts on the matchups. Bottom line, I like our squad against anyone. This Championship is ours for the taking.

Piggy-backing on Long Time Laker Fan's excellent breakdown of the two regular-season games the Lakers played against the Magic (posted in the previous blog entry), it's important to note that Ariza didn't play as many minutes against the Magic as he has more recently. Luke started one of the games, and though he only played nine minutes, he was -9 in the ol' +/- category.

It also helps that the Magic didn't have the services of Jameer Nelson, who torched us in those two games (combined, he shot 20 of 34). But then, the Magic didn't have an answer for Kobe in those games, either, although Pietrus will play more minutes now and will probably do a decent -- but not great -- job on him. Will Kobe be disciplined enough to stay with Pietrus, who is a good three-point shooter?

The only significant worry is Bynum and the way he's played recently. Does he honestly look strong enough to hold off Dwight Howard? Cause you know Dwight will get some calls. (He shot an average of 15.5 free throws in those two games. That's scary.)

Interestingly, Phil did not play Powell or Mbenga in either of those games (Mbenga wasn't eligible for one game). Maybe getting that extra body out there is an answer. Then again, maybe it isn't.

I don't think anybody honestly knows what's going to happen in this series, so I'm donning my purple-and-gold hat and picking the Lakers in 6.

Lakers in 6 Sorry Orlando

Disneyland vs. Disneyworld
Good Mickey vs. Evil Mickey
California Adventure vs. The other six parks

Regardless how you look at it, this will be a series that will be both challenging to the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic. Orlando has it's beast in the middle Dwight Howard surrounded by three point threats whereas the Lakers have a twin towers of their own along side the best player (in my opinion) in the league today Kobe Bryant aka Black Mamba!

What I see this series coming down too is match ups, physical intensity in the post and player rotations both from the coaching standpoint and movement on the floor. I think the Lakers X-Factor in this series will be Lamar Odom. I do agree that Andrew Bynum needs to have a good series, but I don't see him as someone stopping Dwight Howard regardless what he does. But if Andrew can contain him to the best of his abilities, I think that is all we need to ask of him.

Going back to Lamar Odom, I call him the X-Factor because I believe him to be the best match up for Rashard Lewis. How will the Magic react if Rashard is limited by Odom's defense and length. To the best of my knowledge, Rashard is Orlando's number 2 man.

As far as what took place in the regular season, that is irrelevant at this point in time. The line up's are slightly different then it was in the regular season and the NBA Finals is a whole different environment in itself. But homecourt will be the factor in this series and I can't see Los Angeles losing at home after the way they played in game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The Lakers found their mojo and will win this series in 6.

FOR SALE,

250,000 Cavalier 2009 Championship Caps.
500,000 Cavalier 2009 Championship T-shirts.
1 2009 Championship Golden Kings Crown.
1 2009 Championship wrist band.
14 2009 supporting cast championship pinky rings.

Folks, this is a lump sum clearance sale..... submit your bids to The Cleveland Cavaliers.com

ok so lebron walked off. his team just wont follow through for him. at least he didn't walk off and rape someone. *cough* *cough*...kobe

As one of my friends reminded me tonight (after it was too late): Be careful what you wish for. The Cavs would have been much easier for the Lakers to decimate. But I was so incensed by all the Lebron Love all season, I rooted for the Magic to send King James (a name that annoys me no end) on summer vacation. I should have been rooting for Kobe to send Lebron on summer vacation.

But here we are. As has already been written, Disneyland vs Disneyworld.

I'm thinking Lakers in 7. LA wins Game 4 in Orlando. Magic win Game 6 in LA. This Orlando team is a behemoth. They have enormous fire in their belly. They come out of the Eastern Conference Finals with enormous confidence. Van Gundy is under-rated.

As the Lakers prepare for the Magic, Mbenga can play Superman in practice. He should do everything possible to give Bynum fits, so AB17 can build up his moves and his poise. Andrew needs to come out of his shell and give us at least four solid games.

Defending against the 3 is going to be critical, something the Lakers have never been known for. We dare not let the Magic light us up from downtown.

Pau, Ariza and Lamar are going to need their A-Game. Except for Kobe (who will carry the Kryptonite), PJ will need to find a hot hand somewhere in the other guard rotations. I suspect Shannon Brown will earn plenty of minutes.

The Lakers best ally will be the Ghost of Playoffs Past. No one on the Purple & Gold Express could handle another derailment. It's going to be an exciting series. Go Lakers.

ESPN, TNT, ABC, NBATV and the rest of the talking heads have to be perplexed.....they bet everything on Lebron and lost big....They hail him as "The King","The Chosen One", "The games best by 5 miles" "Lebron the GOAT" ....Witnesses and media disciples every sang praises to their King.....He put up an amazing 39/8/8 for the series but his team lost in 6.....No championship, No Finals MVP, No getting rid of Kobe's legacy for good....They had the perfect plan.....Unfortunately none of these accolades were earned and now THE HYPE MACHINE IS EXPOSED......Kobe will win his 4rth in a tough six game series against Orlando while the media groupies will accompany their CASH COW to Oprah shows, Movie premiers, radio appearances, to reassure him that he is the King no matter what.......I said it before and I will say it again......Talent,STATS, HYPE = greatness but Championships make legends.


Lakers 2009 NBA CHAMPS

PL

The NBA officiating is a joke.... lets toss t shirts and entertain ! wow sheed was right , the game is rigged, i think the nba needs a retool , esp. after that sad game 5 cavs/magic game. where the refs swallowed their whistles, lol they put the magic there so they can say ,see it isnt rigged, makes me sick, they should make stern retire, then maybe the nba can be credible again, i mean its hard not to play for money when no matter how hard you play they give it to the team they want in there! the lakers arent that good, but its hard to beat them when the refs are working in their favor. sick nba fan out

MORE THOUGHTS....

We should play Orlando straight up, limit double teaming to a real minimum. I'll take my chances with Superman in the post. Yes he'll get his dunks and put backs, but he's not a prolific enough offensive threat to double and Orlando's half court offense thrives on those doubles. They swing the ball extremely well and will usually find an open shooter when we double. We have the size and speed to play them one on one as long as we communicate on their pick and rolls.

Offensively, I think we need to really attack the rim on these guys. After Howard, their not a long or dominating team on the glass. We attack Howard, we crash the glass, we'll get a lot of stuff near the rim as well as hopefully getting Superman in foul trouble. We must continue to use our length and skill in the paint to wear down our opponent. This is our big advantage against almost anyone at this point.

ps. Lebron got beat because he has an inferior supporting cast. Dude is a straight stud, but you can't win championships or conference titles without help. Lebron was doing the most with the least all year. That stuff is exposed in the playoffs. Especially once you get to the ECF. Orlando was a much better team from jump. It was obvious the Cav's were overmatched after the first game of the series.


The king is dead. Long live the EMPEROR!

Orlando better hope they can recruit Jesus, otherwise they are going to have some match up problems of their own!

LET GET THIS DONE LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DEFENSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm glad to see that you Laker fans are confident in your team winning, yet not arrogant about it (memo to Celtics, Cavs). I'd love to see Orlando win it, but I say Lakers in six. Should be a great series, and I'm excited to see Orlando take on what is and has always been a great team: the Los Angeles Lakers. What better team to play in the Finals than them?

Peace out Lakers!

oh and all you kobe fans suck, the dude cheats on his wife , cheats the nba with his gimmie foul calls, probably cheats on his taxes too, guy makes me sick, im proud of lebron james, i feel he is superior to kobe on every level. im a spurs fan and tim duncan is my fav player, if james goes to the spurs its a wrap! of course the nba would never allow that cuz its rigged lol im not watching the finals , i already know they are giving it to the lakers, makes me wanna puke in an nba hat!

Oh, one more thing: I'd take Kobe over Lechoke any day. Kobe at least had three rings before Lechoke even made it to the Finals.

Want to talk greatness, Cavs fans? Look no further than a real champion: Kobe.

Nobody's going to to be able to stop Howard 1 on 1. Lakers must rotate and get after the ball. Although the Magic don't have Nelson, Rafer is still a legitimate point guard. Lakers need to get after it.

I find it very funny that people and the media praise how Lebron makes his teammates better but yet only blame his teammates' inferior skills when the Cavs lose.

I am now a "WITNESS"

Yes, I saw the self proclaimed king of basketball choke on national TV and then refuse to explain what happened. I witnessed this and now I want a t-shirt

There are unsubstantiated rumors that Magic dust was substituted into Lebron's powder container prior to his pregame ritual and this caused him to choke. Nike is investigating the allegation and will report their findings to the NBA on Monday.

ok so lebron walked off. his team just wont follow through for him. at least he didn't walk off and rape someone. *cough* *cough*...kobe

Posted by: go clev | May 30, 2009 at 10:29 PM

Over the line there clev.

But lets face it, LeBron walking off the court like a crybaby goes to show who really is the best player in the NBA -- Kobe Bean Bryant.

LeBron has been Witnessed! Now pass him a tissue.

Laker Larry,

EXCELLENT!!! Well played.

I'll give you 50 bucks for the crown

Correction: Lakers in 5

Because:

1) no Jameer Nelson
2) the 2-3-2 format greatly favors the team with home court advantage, i.e. Lakers
3) Magic beat a Cavalier team that didn't play as a team, but instead was the Lebron James show
4) Lakers are playing much better on offense, with good ball and player movement

The Magic beat a Cavalier's team that was a shell of the team they were in the regular season, while the Lakers beat a Nuggets team that played their best in the Laker series and in the playoffs.

The Magic are soft inside other than Howard, and the Lakers will wear him out with Gasol's offense, Bynum's length and defense/rebounding, and Odom's rebounding and versatility.

Howard is a very good center, but not yet a Hall of Famer type in the class of Jabbar, Chamberlain, Russell, Shaq, or Hakeem.

Lakers in 5, as the Magic are going to play against a team that plays as a team,. unlike Cavs...

I've seen the Lakers make a lot of bad 3 point shooting teams look like great 3 point shooting teams and a lot of good 3 point shooting teams look like they couldn't hit the side of a barn. Don't think Orlando is

Howard isn't going to be able to mow through Bynum, Gasol, and Odum. KOBE IS A NIGHTMARE there is no answer to. And last time I checked, there wasn't much altitude in Orlando so plenty of air to breath to keep Kobe going. Ariza, Kobe, Brown, Fish, Sasha can be like glue to a shooter when they are on their A game. If the big men come through with swats and blocks, this is a done deal. Contrary to what the AK says the 2-3-2 can quickly turn into a home court disadvantage if you don't come out strong and take care of business at home. That's exactly what the Lakers shall do. Both teams with a long lay off, but a lot easier to get back into the funk at home.

TIME TO EXECUTE LAKERS! MEN, FINISH THESE BOYS!

This is the United States of America....we don't have a king!

GO LAKERS!!!

There's no debate at this point as to who the best player is as Kobe leads his team into the finals while LeBron falls short. Nike should do a commercial with the Kobe puppet trying to find out where LeBron went only to discover that he packed his things and went fishing. That would be hilarious. Kobe calling out LeBron's name throughout the house and then finding a note saying "I've gone fishing..." signed LeBron James.

I've supported and believed in Andrew Bynum all year long and for this series against Dwight and the Magic, he has to show up and play big. This is the matchup that can help define him and launch him back into the conversation for up and coming big men in this league. It would be generous for me to say that Bynum's play has been less than subpar in these playoffs so far, but he can certainly redeem himself against Howard. PJ must include in the gameplan a steady diet of going inside to Drew to challenge and possibly get Dwight into foul trouble. Drew must also be decisive offensively and go at Howard and then challenge him on the defensive end as well. Andrew also has to understand that he can't always leave Howard to help defensively on people driving to the hoop because Howard will either get a dump off pass or offensive rebound or putback. Our perimeter players are going to have to play staunch defense.

Otown fan

great to see that kind of humble comment from a magic fan. i always knew that magic fans had class. we are confident, yet cautious, because the magic DO have a great team. theyre inside out game is the best in the league, and they pass the ball around just as good as the lakers do. so as a laker fan and as an nba fan, it should be an entertaining series to watch.

Watch out Laker fans. The Majic eat "puppets" for breakfast. Just ask Lebron. One "puppet" down, one to go!

>>>>
sick nba fan out
>>>>

If only they kept their word.

I think Orlando will be a much tougher match than the Cav's. But I have confidence that we can win, since the guy that hurt us the most is out for the duration.

Can we stop the nuts who say the games ar erigged for a Kobe/Lebron finals?

Jonathan, where are you?

go clev,

>>>ok so lebron walked off. his team just wont follow
>>>through for him. at least he didn't walk off and rape
>>>someone.

Classless to the core, just like your star.

The accuser went to Kobe's room with the intention of having
sex with him. She admitted that. She also told it to another
employee of the hotel. She dropped the case because she
would have lost it. Kobe had an extramarital affair and the young
woman thought she could turn it into a big payday. That's all.

And even faced with THAT, Kobe was man enough to stand
up and make a statement to the press.

And when he lost in the finals to the Celtics, Kobe was man
enough to make a statement to the press.

LeBron may be more ethical than Kobe, I don't have any knowledge
of LeBron having extramarital affairs. But that just makes him
a pouty ethical little boy, who isn't man enough to congratulate
the team that beat him and to talk to the press.

Afraid the series will go seven with a Magic ending. It's clear the Lakers have no answer to Superman. And, he's smart enough to dish in a double team.

Andrew doesn't have the foot speed to keep pace with Superman. Gasol can't match his physicality. Hey, the Cavs had Z and Shirley Temple and they couldn't come near handling him.

He kicks it out the two of the best 3-point shoots in the league. So, no lead is safe.

The Lakers better hope Fish can stop making really stupid passes in open court like he did against the Nuggets. Fish has not played well in the playoffs.

Ouchhhhhhh,

It is not aristocracy but immaturity. Lebronze (3rd place) should be aware of etiquette in congratulating their worthy opponents in the Eastern Conference. Magic is the representative of all teams in East, it is not always about King Lebron, the petrified pet of ESPN but that' life - you win some, you lose some as the kid on the Ad say: "Lebron, basketball is just a game." It is not winning or losing but people will judge you how you played the game.! By not acknowledging his fellow Olympian's success means Lebron is self centered with the mental maturity of a grade school kid and it will be recorded in his resume. I'll bet, that's a prelude to his future plan of aborting the Cavaliers and move to NY. The message there, I'm opting out, let the bidding begin. Will there be Lebron's rant during the Finals or after the season. (Lebronze soap opera to be continued......)

I was cheering for the Cavaliers to win and extend it to 7th game. Lakers will have a big problem with the disney characters, we can win it but don't be surprised if Magic frustrates the Lakers again. If we follow the Cavalier formula, then it could end on the 6th game. Lakers has to be aggressive every night on man to man or an agile switching defense. Our strength lies on our 2nd unit, I compare it to a 2 income household, the salary of the husband will be devoted on expenses and more withdrawals from Dwight and the 7 dwarfs (Lewis, Turkoglu, Alston, Pietrus, Lee, Redick, Gortat) therefore, the salary of the wife that's the 2nd unit has to contribute more on savings to cover those withdrawals and keep the family, Lakers household afloat and withstand the challenges, the anxious kids are awaiting for a big parade in Figueroa.

I think this is more exciting than going with the Cavaliers, Jon K will be safe there in the sports bar. What a loss to Nike is a gain to Disney in high stake promotions. Fortunately, Nike did not drop Kobe in '03 or else they lost 100% representation in the Finals. Puppet Kobe will be asking puppet Lebron: "what happened to all those powder, will you take them on your fishing trip with little Lewis." On the other hand, Disney will gain mileage without much investment except for ABC coverage but the Champ will either visit the original Disneyland or the copy-cat Magic Kingdom, that's a win-win situation.

Magic, Jon Barry, Michael Wilbon and a host of others said that the Cavs would win and go back to Cleveland for game 7. Jon Barry even said that he already had his things packed and a plane ticket ready to be in Cleveland on Monday for game 7. Not happening as the Magic proved them all wrong.

I think the guarantee by Mo Williams that the Cavs would win the series was foolish on his part. Seriously. You don't need to give a great opponent more bulletin board motivation and then put added pressure upon your own team. The Cavs coaching staff, LeBron or one of his other teammates should've put Mo in check for making such a statement after losing game 3 and trailing the series 2-1 at the time. Why would you want to make such a bold and now after being eliminated a very stupid guarantee when you're best player doesn't even say it??? Sure LeBron believed and may have said it to his mates, but he never said it publicly.

Charles Barkley continued to say several times during the post game show that LeBron is the best player on the court and then choose the Magic to win it all. It's clear that despite some positive things he's said about Kobe and the Lakers, he dislikes Kobe and the Lakers. I'm fine with his prediction, because he also chose the Nuggets to beat the Lakers too. Go Lakers!!!

HAHAHA! Its real nice to see all you stupid L.A. People excited to see Orlando... Hey guys, YOU GOT SWEPT IN THE REGUALR SEASON! You don't Have anyone to guard either of Orlando's forwards. Think about that.... Magic in 6.

Nemaia,

We are all praying for Drew's success but I more worried of being a foul prone Center. If he gets in trouble w/ Scola and Hilario and riddled w/ fouls in the 4th, how is he going to perform with smiling Superman. Gasol can help but we cannot afford to lose Gasol on fouls as well. Mbenga and Powell has to help as well as Odom in distributing fouls. Dwight's weakness, he is foul prone C too w/ FT 60%. Of course, Magic will have a problem in the paint to stop our three big men and post slashers in Kobe, Ariza and Odom. The earlier Lakers can dismiss Dwight, the better our chances for their perimeter shooters. Lakers are familiar w/ Turkoglu but hardly we know the rest.

Lakers in 4....just defend the 3 point area and howard.....thats easy...Go lakers!

It's the PALM TREES SERIES!!

Jon K.

Please in your early morning thoughts tell us how the Lebroniacs are feeling after being sent home.

LBJ is the real deal but heck those Stanlies who were putting him up already to the legends are so into their heads.

Thanks a bunch Jon K.

howard will probably make bynum look like the 2nd coming of eddy curry. bynum is big enough and long enough where if he doesn't get lazy and doesn't let howard camp out 2 feet from the basket, just standing btw howard and the basket with his arms straight up would be sufficient to stop howard. but bynum doesn't look like he's in good enough shape and i don't trust he is disciplined enough yet to put in that effort to move his feet to try and beat howard to his spots. instead, he'll get beat to the spots and then reach and get into foul trouble. best defense against howard may be good post offense and using bynum and pau to try to get howard into foul trouble. let howard get his points and brick his free throws and shut down the rest of the guys. the magic don't have a good one on one player and i don't think they have enough offense to beat the lakers. relying on jumpers is a recipe for disaster. lakers in 5 or 6, depending on their mood.

also, no way kobe and ariza start together at guard spots next year. nice video game lineup probably but you can't have 6-6 or so guys chasing chris paul, deron williams, tony parker, etc. around.

oh yeah, tiger better be rooting for the lakers lest he forgets his roots.

BEWARE LAKERSNATION!!! your biggest nightmare is about to come to Hollywood.

Well, Drew got what he wanted - a matchup with Dwight Howard. As they say, be careful what you wish for, Drew. You can prove your supporters right by playing great against Howard, or you can give more ammo to your detractors by stinking it up.

I can't see this series going more than 6 games.

In order for us to celebrate on our home floor, we have to spot them 2 games in this series. I think we owe them one game for giving us Trevor and taking Brian Cook off our hands.

"HAHAHA! Its real nice to see all you stupid L.A. People excited to see Orlando... Hey guys, YOU GOT SWEPT IN THE REGUALR SEASON! You don't Have anyone to guard either of Orlando's forwards. Think about that.... Magic in 6."

Hey it's better than to see a flood of Lebroniacs come in here. LBJ is great but his fan base is too mentally disturbing especially the ones who already put him in Michael Jordan's level.

Hey think about this: It matters NOT in the regular season. Both games were actually close and there was an All-Star who goes by Jameer Nelson who was there. No offense to Rafer but he is no Jameer. The Lakers swept the Rockets in the regular season but took 7 games to finish them. San Antonio in 2007 were swept by Cleveland in the regular season yet went to sweep the Cavaliers in the Finals. So moot point.......

As for that "no one to guard your forwards"? They said the same crap for Carmelo and after two games of shooting lights out he shoots very poorly and only gets points from free throws (something that neither Rashard nor Hedo are as good as Melo or James). Ariza has improved as a defender and Kobe will guard Rafer and Hedo at times as well....so another moot example.

Now to break off those hocus pocus tricks and beat the Magic on Thursday!

"Stupid LA people." LOL, its good to be hated.

Welcome to the Orlando fans.

Maybe Phil was on to something when he said he would pick Howard over LBJ if building a team...

Laker fans dissing on Lebron sound so petty and small. Did you say the same thing when Lebron was getting deep in the playoffs and Kobe was getting knocked in the first round? Did Kobe not deserve his MVP because he got spanked in the finals? Just be pumped for the finals, man.....anyway, Lakers in 6

Brilliant analysis, Keen. You, most of all, should now know that the regular season is meaningless. It's understandable though. You never thougt you'd get to post with the big kids. Enjoy the finals and try to lay off the caps.

GO LAKERS ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Vman sez:

"First Commandment: Hedo the Turk...

He'll need it this summer to avoid the sun's harmful rays."

Two errors I caught in your message:

First, there can be no avoiding the SUNS' harmful rays, as they will melt even the most expensive cremes and parasols. Not to mention the SUNS feature the Big Harmful that CLE could have used to complement LeBrawn, or LA could use to tame the DPOY.

And, it's The Turkish MJ.

Brilliant analysis, Keen. You, most of all, should now know that the regular season is meaningless. It's understandable though. You never thougt you'd get to post with the big kids. Enjoy the finals and try to lay off the caps.

GO LAKERS ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Posted by: Stockton Showtime | May 31, 2009 at 12:36 AM

Your right Stockton Showtime. I should layoff the caps and the drugs. I really do love L.A. But in reality, I want people to feel bad for me because I'm a die hard Clipper fan.

I digress. Go Lakers! L.A. is the best, and if I say anything else negative, please forgive my ignorant well being.

Lakers are #1

I was scratching my head when Orlando signed Lewis to a $100M+ deal. I'm still scratching my head over that one. It's kinda like giving Luke mid-level money when no other team was bidding for his services. Lewis is a good player no doubt, but he's nowhere close to a superstar.

I would keep the starting lineup as is, and pound the ball into Pau. No need to adjust our lineup to match up with Orlando.

"Laker fans dissing on Lebron sound so petty and small. Did you say the same thing when Lebron was getting deep in the playoffs and Kobe was getting knocked in the first round? Did Kobe not deserve his MVP because he got spanked in the finals?"

I agree it is very petty to be dissing Lebron. LBJ will be a great player and the way he is put down it is like putting down Derrick Rose. I mean come on, its good to have the home court but if it weren't for the fact we would get home court I would be cheering for LBJ a ton.

That being said Lebron didn't have to go through the Phoenix Suns in 2007 or 2006. Those Suns were a very good team and consider the competition that Lebron went through. Washington? A choking Detroit Pistons squad? New Jersey? The Spurs showed how good the West was especially at that time.

Lebron will be a legend in his time but come on, there's so much talk about him being compared to Michael it's sickening. Years b4 Kobe could not guard Lebron as much since he was the 1st option and had very little help worst than James (Lamar Odom couldn't even score as much as Mo Williams) even in those days. This season Kobe because he had Pau guarded Lebron with great tenacity and made Lebron struggle with his shot. If Kobe Bryant who while is a great player isn't as athletically gifted as Michael could do that to Lebron imagine what Michael would do or Michael Cooper would do against him defensively? Clyde Drexler would also do a good job on Lebron. Lebron deserved his MVP but comparing him to Michael or even Magic? Those kind of talk deserve to be laughed at. Not to mention that Lebron got swept in the Finals.

I agree with the sentiment that you don't immediately double Howard. He's not dynamic enough to consistently score in the post. Pau can get a little Euro with him and pull the chair, flop, etc.

He'll get his, but at the same time, Dwight hasn't had to guard anyone for the past 3 series, just patrol the lane. Pau and LO represent a much more dynamic pair of bigs for the Magic to defend as a unit.

And for those Orlando fans that suggest that Rashard and Hedo are somehow unstoppable, there is no one to guard Kobe, and Lamar will draw double teams all day in the post. Sure Dwight is a great great player, but he can only guard one of them.

The onus is certainly on the Magic to find answers to our sets, not the other way around.

I agree with the sentiment that you don't immediately double Howard. He's not dynamic enough to consistently score in the post. Pau can get a little Euro with him and pull the chair, flop, etc.

He'll get his, but at the same time, Dwight hasn't had to guard anyone for the past 3 series, just patrol the lane. Pau and LO represent a much more dynamic pair of bigs for the Magic to defend as a unit.

And for those Orlando fans that suggest that Rashard and Hedo are somehow unstoppable, there is no one to guard Kobe, and Lamar will draw double teams all day in the post. Sure Dwight is a great great player, but he can only guard one of them.

The onus is certainly on the Magic to find answers to our sets, not the other way around.

We're going to have to put up with some obnoxious JVG television now. Holy crud, he's gonna pile on the Laker hate very, very deep.

I really, really don't know if we can win this series.

The way to beat the triangle is with 3 point shooters and the Magic have a lot of them.

Oh Bynum. Please don't vanish. Defend and rebound. Don't get 2 fouls in the first 30 seconds.

Wes

Wes

LeCrab/LeBrick is a big JERK. Not bothering to give props to the Magic. Classless! Kobe hugged Melo after they clinched the West. And, correct me if I'm wrong, they congratulated the Celtics even after they were humiliated last year. Much as they hate to admit it, Stern and the NBA need to rethink this idea of annointing the next great thing before he has done something. Why is it so hard to give props to Kobe and the Lakers, a classy organization? Give credit where credit is due!

PL exults:

"ESPN, TNT, ABC, NBATV and the rest of the talking heads have to be perplexed.....they bet everything on Lebron and lost big....They hail him as "The King","The Chosen One", "The games best by 5 miles" "Lebron the GOAT" ....Witnesses and media disciples every sang praises to their King.....He put up an amazing 39/8/8 for the series but his team lost in 6.....No championship, No Finals MVP, No getting rid of Kobe's legacy for good....They had the perfect plan.....Unfortunately none of these accolades were earned and now THE HYPE MACHINE IS EXPOSED......Kobe will win his 4rth in a tough six game series against Orlando while the media groupies will accompany their CASH COW to Oprah shows, Movie premiers, radio appearances, to reassure him that he is the King no matter what.......I said it before and I will say it again......Talent,STATS, HYPE = greatness but Championships make legends."

Don't let your hatred for LeBron rob you of your common sense. Do you think koby would do any better playing with those terrible CLE bigs, and Scerbiak? Give CLE a real C, and a PF that scores, and they will be the team to beat, along with the SUNS.

Queen James left the court without talking to reporters or addressing the media... WTF is that??

He does not even have the minimum courtesy to congratulate the opposition or being gracious in defeat. What a jerk!

And worse of all, the media is not even talking about this. Imagine if Kobe had done this?? They would have told he is In-Human and Anti-Social etc etc and incarcerated him...


Yes yes yes but... WHAT ABOUT THE PUPPETS???

Won't somebody PLEASE think of the puppets??

 
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