Two Possible NBA Finals Matchups Tonight

Chris ThompsonContributor IJanuary 16, 2009

Two games caught my eye as I looked at the NBA schedule for tonight:

Cavs-Hornets and Lakers-Magic.

All four of these teams have playoff potential, and a very good chance of winning the title come season's end.

The Cavs are looking like a championship-caliber team this year, as they are now sit at an impressive 30-7, and have one of the front runners for the MVP this season in LeBron James.

What do the Cavs have to do to win tonight? I know—dumb question, right?

They must close out Chris Paul. With Paul averaging 22 points a game and just over 12 assists per game, watch for double teams to try to trap him to try to force the turnover.

CP3 and the Hornets have a tough matchup before them tonight against the impressive Cavs. The Hornets have a record worse than how they look when they play. 23-12 appears to be a little low for how well they have been playing as of late. The Hornets should watch video of the Bulls vs. Cavs game from last night to see what they did to slow LeBron down.

My prediction for this game: Cleveland -3 (point spread from

The other matchup, Lakers vs. Magic, which airs tonight at 10:30 PM, also has National Championship-caliber.

The Lakers sit atop the Western Conference with an unprecedented record of 31-7. Kobe is having another All-Star-caliber season, but one thing that the Lakers must do to slow down the Magic is—you guessed it—cover Dwight Howard. Dwight has averaged nearly 14 rebounds per game this season. Box him out, to win the game.

The Magic are second overall in the Power rankings this week, seated behind the the Cavs (King James, King Cavs, ironic), with their record at 31-8. You guessed it—guarding Kobe Bryant is the way the Magic are going to win this game tonight. Expect this one to be a great game.

My pick Orlando by +4 1/2.

Enjoy the games tonight, everyone.