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Thursday, June 4, 2009


The NBA Finals of 2009 doesn't have the glitz and glamor of the Boston-Los Angeles matchup a year ago but it should be more competitive and closer. The Lakers are very hungry after flopping to the tougher Celtics last June, while Orlando has zero pressure on it after vanquishing heavily-favored Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Magic could be like the Pistons of 2004 - being so loose that they feel they can do anything. And with Dwight Howard playing like he did against the Cavs, they have a right to feel that way.
Orlando beat L.A. in both regular-season games, so there's no intimidation factor going for the Lakers. But I do think Los Angeles will use the home-court advantage to squeak out a thriller, seven-game series. They have better athletes on the perimeter to distract the Magic's 3-point shooters and the combo of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum should be somewhat more effective on Howard than Cleveland's lumbering big men.


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