Being that Bill Simmons got around to an NBA Finals preview, I think Lost Angeles needs to weigh in. Especially since the Lakers are playing. I could roll like our LA fans do and show up late, but in this case that would mean I wouldn’t post a series preview until sometime in the middle of the 1st quarter of Game One. I wouldn’t play you like that. Game time is coming this evening. We need to get on the same page here.
So here it is…
LAKERS DEFENSE v MAGIC OFFENSE
The Magic offense is not unlike the French Army’s system of military defense: stand as far away from the enemy as possible and throw shit at them and hope it works out for the best. This worked against the Cavs. Cleveland was short on the perimeter and could not contest the barrage of three’s from Alston, Turkoglu and Co. The Lakers are a very long team on the perimeter, the Kobes, Odoms and Arizas are more than capable of contesting a jump shot. If the Lakers can cool down the three point shooting, they have a good chance.
MAGIC DEFENSE v LAKERS OFFENSE
The Lakers need to knock down shots. It’s that simple. You need to double team Kobe or he will eat all day. Literally, he will eat. He gets so bored sometimes, he just passes to Mbenga on the bench and dares him to “pop a trey”. Mbenga just laughs, but Kobe keeps it real and continues on to say “pop it, brah”. You know it’s on when Kobe calls you brah. And it is. It’s on. Tonight.
All year it seems like the Laker’s offense sort of dictates itself. Aside from the Houston Rockettes, the Lakers haven’t had a group of defenders really disrupt them. They get their shots, they need to make them. There is no one to guard Ariza in this series. He needs to knock down shots and drive the lane when Kobe gets doubleteamed. That sounded awkward.
It took Ron Artest and Shane Battier combining for filthy defense for me to get truly scared of a Laker offensive let down. People make a lot of the Denver series, but it didn’t go seven games and the Lakers won twice on the road.
This section is always tough because sportswriters use it to explain all the minutia they study and make you think it matters. The only real intangibles here are will the Lakers experience last year give them enough seasoning to hold off a team that no one expected to be here playing great basketball in June. I think so.
Let’s instead decide which team has the ugliest player. You may think this doesn’t matter, but it does. The Celtics won it all last year, and they had Sam Cassell. Game over, bro. Game over.
The Magic bring it pretty strong with Hedo Turkoglu. This guy looks like his body is awake, but his face is still asleep. At times, he appears not to have showered since the preseason.
The Lakers counter strong with my favorite center in the league, the mysterious Mbenga. Check this dude out!
He’s smiling because he knows he is going to beat up on the Shoulders, or Dwight Howard. He’s got 42 fouls to give over the course of the series. We need to put the Shoulders on the line and see if he can keep shooting free throws at a 70% clip. I doubt he can.
We should use Mbenga to scare their three point shooters. That will also help.
I know this doesn’t have anything to do with the Finals, but I thought I’d take the time to point out the Celtics are officially one and done and are resigned to watch the Lakers play in the Finals. The only thing that comes close to my joy of watching the Lakers in the Finals is knowing somewhere Paul “The Truth is I Fake Injuries” is watching the games. You know deep down, he is rooting for the Lakers because he is from Inglewood, born in the shadows of the Great Western Forum where Magic and Kareem got it done.
I just want to have Los Angeles appreciate this right now. You win some and you lose some. But the Celtics lost this one. They got old. They got injured. It’s toaster strudel for them. Not sure KG will ever play with the same fire he once did. I am sure he will try to as he’s a warrior (and a total punk on the sidelines), but those knees are like two pieces of sandpaper rubbing together at this point.
Ray Allen is so old he could play Denzel Washington’s part in He Got Game.
So win or lose, Los Angeles, let’s all enjoy the fact that the Celtics are done, the Patriots videotape their opponent and have a QB coming off knee surgery, and it won’t be until October until we need to think about the Red Sox. Enjoy your window of “No-Bostonisitis”.
DWIGHT HOWARD ON STEROIDS
This may play a factor. If Manny taught us anything, people who are doing well in sports are cheating by taking steroids. How do we know the Lakers aren’t roiding? Too inconsistent. We’d be good all the time if we were cheating.
How do we know Dwight is roiding? The Shoulders. They are like a dragon’s wings except in shoulder form. Look at these things!
Honestly, you could write 100 Chuck Norris jokes about his shoulders. He looks like Optimus Prime. He’s thinking the Lakers are Decepticons. But you are the Decepticon, Dwight. You are Decepticonning us to believe you got shoulders like that from hard work and protein shakes. But I know that isn’t the case.
Lakers in Six Games: (wins in games 1, 2, 4, and 6)