Come To Think of It: Why You Can Bank on the Lakers over the Magic

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IMay 31, 2009

Well, now, the match-up has been solidified. The NBA Championship Finals will feature the surprising Orlando Magic vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.

And I am predicting that the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers will win this series in six games.

Sure, it has been a great run by Orlando. Yes, Dwight Howard is a monster. But this series will go the Lakers for several reasons.

First, they are rested. The Lakers figure to benefit only that much more from the five days off before the start of the Finals. They only had a day to prepare for the Nuggets and they survived. Their reward now is a chance to rest.

Second, George Karl thinks they are the best team in the NBA.

“I saw little cracks in the Lakers and somehow they’ve cemented those cracks back up,” Karl said. “I think they’re the best team right now in the NBA.”

Third, this is likely Phil Jackson's last run. And we all know what a great coach he is. Lucky? Sure. But great, nonetheless.

The experience that Phil brings to this series is a huge plus over Stan Van Gundy.

But perhaps even more importantly, Kobe simply won't let the Lakers lose.

In Bryant's mind, he doesn't care about the comparisons between he and the Cavs LeBron James over who is the best player in the league. For him, he has his sights set even higher.

He's chasing Michael Jordan's six rings.

“He wants to be the best player to ever have played this game,” Lakers guard Derek Fischer said. “That’s what he works at every day. He feels like however many more years he plays in this league, winning championships is the thing that separates guys within that discussion.

"When you talk about the best ever, there are three or four guys who always come up because their teams won championships. That’s his No. 1 concern.

Unlike the Magic's best player, Dwight Howard, Kobe has been there, done that. He has a chance to win his fourth championship title and he wants it badly. Very badly.

Last year's Lakers squad wasn't ready to win it all. But they made a great move in acquiring Fischer. Their humiliating 131-92 loss to Boston in Game 6 last year still stings.

“Now we’re in a place where we didn’t get the job accomplished last year,” Bryant said. “Hopefully we will this time.”

Kobe is tired of hearing the critics who point out that he hasn't won a title without Shaq.

Well, Kobe, this is your chance to win one without the big man, currently shackled to Ben Stein.

It has been a real nice run by Orlando. But the magic has run out, come to think of it.


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