While the losers, sorry, non playoff participants of the NBA gather for the NBA Draft Lottery tonight. Four teams are now left to fight for the championship. The Nuggets beat the Mavs on and off the court. Cleveland has not lost a game yet after beating Atlanta. The Magic outlasted the Celtics in seven games in what was the best series of the semifinals. And Los Angeles had to beat the Rockets in seven. All the excitement is now geared towards finding out if the NBA gets its dream matchup of Laker vs. Cavs or the latter Nuggets vs. Magic.
Eastern Conference Finals
1 Cleveland vs. 3 Orlando
MVP LeBron James is very close now to getting that chance again at a championship. I didn’t think it would be this quick that he would be back here. We all knew the supporting cast needed tweaking and boy has it worked. Mo Williams and Delonte West are great additions and LeBron has been playing great basketball at both ends. I have never seen a player more motivated and physically dominant in the NBA. The Magic have another start in Dwight Howard who poses a matchup nightmare for Cleveland. Howard’s supporting cast of Turkoglu, Lewis and Lee have to be making their shots. Orlando’s coach Van Gundy has to keep his cool as well. Major cred goes to him after beating Boston in the last two games to win that series. The key player in this series is no one. It’s all of them on both teams. Everyone has to do their job in order to get to the Finals. Cavaliers in six.
Western Conference Finals
1 LA Lakers vs. 2 Denver
The Lakers got through a scary wake up call against the Rockets. Denver got through a near brawl with the Mavericks. Kobe and Pau have to become the dynamic duo that was realized when Pau came to LA. The Lakers can’t fall asleep at any point in this series because the Nuggets will exploit that. Chauncey Billups will be ready to rip the Lakers defense up just like in the 04 Finals. Carmelo Anthony is as good if not better now than in any other time in his career. The Nuggets bench of Smith, Anderson and Kleiza are performing at a high level and will be difficult to contain. This series will show the Lakers true colors. Will they play like a team that wants to win it all or just treat it like another day at the arena. Once again there is no key player because at this point you must show up or go home. Lakers in six.