As game one approaches, I will be giving breakdowns of each Conference Final match-up. In this article it is the Cleveland Cavaliers vs the Orlando Magic. So without further ado, here's the breakdown!
Orlando Magic Starting Lineup
Dwight Howard C Height: 6-11 Weight: 240 lbs.
Rashard Lewis PF Height: 6-10 Weight: 215 lbs.
Hedo Turkoglu SF Height: 6-10 Weight: 220 lbs.
Courtney Lee SG Height: 6-5 Weight: 200 lbs.
Rafer Alston PG Height: 6-2 Weight: 171 lbs.
Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup
Zydrunas Ilgauskas C Height: 7-3 Weight: 238 lbs.
Ben Wallace PF Height: 6-9 Weight: 240 lbs.
LeBron James SF Height: 6-8 Weight: 240 lbs.
Delonte West SG Height: 6-4 Weight: 180 lbs.
Mo Williams PG Height: 6-1 Weight: 185 lbs.
Starting Lineups Provided By: http://www.basketball-reference.com
All height and weight numbers also provided by: http://www.basketball-reference.com. Some numbers may have changed in the time the website was last updated to today. However these will not be so far off as too ultimately effect the result of a matchup.
Each matchup will go Cav players on the left, Orlando Players on the right, which helps to maintain consistency and readability.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas vs Dwight Howard
Height Advantage: Four inches to Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Weight Advantage: Two pounds to Dwight Howard
Winner: Dwight Howard
Here is the key to this matchup: Dwight Howard HAS to be physical with Z. If Howard doesn't dunk on Z he will have a hard time in the series because Z will contest every SHOT Howard tries to make. Those four inches of height really help Z on his ability to defend Dwight's shot.
Also Dwight needs to be physical in the paint when the Magic make their jump shots. If he is not, Z will win most of those and his ability to rebound-dunk will be virtually useless because he won't be getting the rebound.
Dwight also has more muscle to him so it can't be too hard to overpower Z, right? This series could all depend on whether Dwight isn't dunking because he is going to have a hard time scoring this series.
Power Foward Matchup
Ben Wallace vs Rashard Lewis
Height Advantage: one inch to Rashard Lewis
Weight Advantage: 25 Pounds to Ben Wallace
Winner: Rashard Lewis
Wallace may be beefier and arguably more physical, however, I like Lewis ability to score from anywhere on the court, he also has been known to throw up a good three point shot, which Wallace can't do. Lewis doesn't have to rely on getting in the paint and putting up the high percentage shot, although he can dunk with some of the good one, he can also take it back a bit and go mid-range.
Small Foward Matchup
LeBron James vs Hedo Turkoglu
Height Advantage: two Inches to Hedo Turkoglu
Weight Advantage: 20 Pounds to Lebron James
Winner: LeBron James
Who else? This is a pretty one-sided matchup like the Z-Dwight match-up. LeBron has already proved he can score from pretty much anywhere on the field, and can dunk off anybody. So what's the key so that Hedo makes sure LeBron doesn't run wild over the Magic offense? CONTEST SHOTS! Hedo won't go point-for-point with LeBron but Hedo doesn't have a bad mid-range shot himself so keep himself in the ballpark and contest every shot LeBron puts up.
The same way you would deal with Kobe—contest the shots and pray LeBron isn't on top of his game, but there is no delaying the inevitable. LeBron is the main source of offense for the Cavs, despite his pass happy type of play.
So for the Magic to stay in Hedo has to defend LeBron to the best of his ability, and maybe then some for the Magic to win this series.
Shooting Guard Matchup
Delonte West vs Courtney Lee
Height Advantage: one Inch to Courtney Lee
Weight Advantage: 20 Pounds to Courtney Lee
Winner: Delonte West
Despite the height and weight advantage Delonte West will win this matchup. West is more efficient than Lee in almost every way. West averages more PPG, rebounds, and assists, which is why I just don't see Lee finding a way to get around West. West isn't a physical guard he is more of a mid-shot guard, which is what goes against Lee. Even though West is faster than Lee, I have no reason to believe Lee could not stop West if it comes to the paint. So the reason West will win this one is because he will get more open mid-range shots that he can make.
Point Guard Matchup
Mo (Maurice) Williams vs Rafer Alston
Height Advantage: one inch to Rafer Alston
Weight Advantage: 14 Pounds to Maurice Williams
Winner: Your Call
These boys pretty much have the same stats, average the same rebound per game (2.50). Though Mo averages two more points a game than Rafer (14.8). Rafer, however, has 0.2 more assist per game (4.7). Overall this may come down to the three-point shots.
Rafer shot 34 percent in the regular season from beyond the arc to Mo's 44 percent.
In the postseason, Rafer has 33 percent compared to Mo's 37 percent. Arguably Mo is better from the three-point line, but I can see Rafer still doing better in this series. This in fact may be where the result of the series may lie and proves how close this series will end up being.