Lebron Who? Dwight Howard and Magic Are Headed to the NBA Finals

Michael InglisAnalyst IApril 17, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 20:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic points to a teammate after scoring a basket against Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 20, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The Orlando Magic are the most underrated team in this years playoffs. In fact, they have been the most underrated team the entire season. One would think that this team is mediocre at best they way they get mentioned, or the lack there of from the media.

Orlando won 59 games! That's more than Miami, Atlanta, Denver, Houston, San Antonio, Utah, Portland, Dallas, and New Orleans.

Yes, I know they play in the Eastern Conference so you're probably thinking it's easier for them to win more games then some of the Western Conference teams I mentioned.

However, the Magic had a tougher schedule then five of the eight teams in the Western Conference playoffs.

Orlando is also 26-13 against teams in the playoffs, which includes a 6-3 record against the big three. (Boston, Cleveland, and Los Angeles)

So why is no one talking about Orlando being in the NBA Finals? Let's take a look at the road they have ahead of them.

First Round Match up: Philadelphia 76ers

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The Magic won the season series 3-0, which included two victories in Philadelphia. Elton Brand is out for the season which makes this an even tougher task for Philly.

Prediction: 4-1 Orlando

Then more than likely they will face the Boston Celtics. However, don't sleep on those Bulls, I've got a feeling they'll give Boston all they can handle.

Second Round Match up: Boston Celtics

The season series was tied at two games a piece but the big news here is that Kevin Garnett will not be participating. That's huge!

Dwight Howard is going to be able to man handle whoever Doc Rivers decides to put on him. In the two games that KG didn't play in this year against the Magic, Howard averaged 21 points, 18 rebounds, and 4.5 blocked shots.

Prediction: 4-2 Orlando

Now comes the big match up against "King" James and the Cavs. Orlando won the season series against the Cavs 2-1.

On January 29th the Magic beat Cleveland by 11 and on April 3rd they won again, this time by 29 points. Orlando lost a heart breaker in Cleveland by four on March 17th.

The point being, Orlando matches up very well with Cleveland and that's what the playoffs are all about, matchups. Mike Brown's team will have a hard time guarding Howard with Varejao and Ilgauskas.

Orlando has a good game plan when facing Cleveland. Which is, let Lebron do it all and shut down everyone else.

Lebron took an average of 20 shots per game this season. However, against Orlando he took 27 the first game, 27 the second game, and 20 the third game in which he only played three quarters do to the score. Stan Van Gundy is going with the game plan that not even Lebron can do it all.

Prediction: 4-3 Orlando.

If everything goes right in the West then Orlando is on a crash course with Kobe and the Lakers.

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