Why The Cleveland Cavs and The Los Angeles Lakers Might Not Be a Lock Anymore

Angelo CerilliCorrespondent IMay 4, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 19:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers puts up a shot against Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game at Staples Center on January 19, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers defeated the Cavaliers 105-88.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

In the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs we saw a few interesting things.

1) The Celtics proved once again that they cannot win a series in the East that doesn't go to game 7 and is on their own home court.

2) The Bulls may be more than meets the eye, and could very well seriously contend next year, maybe not as a home-court team but as a sleeper pick.

3) Tim Duncan and the Spurs should be very wary of next few years because if they Spurs don't make a serious run in a couple years we could see a rebuilding team in process soon enough.

4) Houston and Portland were not the teams I though they were.

5) Both the East and West conference might not be set in stone just yet.

In the beginning of the NBA playoffs I was one of those people who believed that the Cavs and the Lakers would storm each division and ultimately deck it out for the championship. I have come to realize this may not happen.

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After watching the Bulls almost, "upset," last years NBA Champions and after seeing only one team get shut down 4-0 (the Pistons to the Cavs) in the first round I have reason to believe that anyone in the East or West might make it to the NBA Championship. much like how the Cavs did a few years ago to face the Spurs, by upsetting a big team.


Boston Celtics

Yes, the defending champs are back and seem to be up to their old form. Although many people considered it a miracle that the Bulls made it to seven against the Celtics I was not shocked, because even without Kevin Garnett this is still the same team that went to 7 against the Hawks last year.

So calling this is upset is a real cry for attention by any fan because this is what the Celtics have been doing since the Big 3 came into town, winning enough games than winning game 7 at home.

What might keep them from the Finals: Other than a determined Orlando Magic I don't think the Celtics have what it takes to take Cleveland to 7 and win AT CLEVELAND the Celtics have never been battle tested yet with a game 7 on the road and without KG I do not believe they have enough to hold down the Cavs this year.

Orlando Magic

This is the team I'm watching, the Magic seem to go on hot streaks at will, unfortunately the same could be said about going on cold streaks.

The Magic have Dwight Howard and bunch of other young players behind him, if this team made it to Cleveland (or Atlanta) I could see them getting the upset, they have the talent and the players the real question is can this team overcome the powerhouses of Cleveland, or the explosiveness of Atlanta.

We may see that in the next round, considering the Magic upset the Celtics, which very well might be possible.

Atlanta Hawks

This team probably was celebrating for about two seconds before it crossed their mind that their next destination is Cleveland. The Cavs may be a powerhouse team but wait, this is also the same Atlanta team that took the Champions to game 7.

So I wouldn't be exactly surprised if the Cavs have some struggles with the Hawks early on. We may even have an upset on our hands, someone get the ESPN crew they have buttons and effects and everything for upset alerts.

Although I seriously doubt the Hawks can muster enough points to get past the Cavs who will probably average anywhere from 90-110 points a game against the Hawks if they find whatever they had against the Heat this might just be an interesting series.

Houston Rockets

I hate to tell all Rockets fan but there is no way they get past the Lakers, even if LaMar Odem doesn't find his stroke I find it hard to believe that the Rockets even with Yao, McGrady, and Artest that they will do anything against the Lakers, but I could be wrong this could be talked about as the upset of the decade if i'm wrong.

Which leads me to the series that could decide who may upset the Lakers.

Nuggets and Mavs

I put both these teams together because both these teams have a chance to upset the lakers, although it may not be obvious the talent on each team is similar. So it is only fair to put these two in the same category.

Carmelo Anthony and Dirk Nowitzki are the big names on each team and are going toe to toe the winner of this series defiantly has the best of luck to beat the Lakers.

And like every year we watch these games unfold with anticpation because we never know who might come from behind and upset the big name team. However, unlike most people predict, the NBA championships may not exactly be set in stone.