NBA Finals: When Will the Lakers Win the Title?

Dan SmithCorrespondent IJune 12, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 11:  Kobe Bryant #24 and Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate in the final moments of the Lakers' overtime win over the Orlando Magic in Game Four of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 11, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.  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 Elsa/Getty Images)

I think the Lakers will finish off the Magic in Game Six, back in L.A. It might get ugly, too, like it did last year in Boston.

Kobe will get one without Shaq. Phil will get one more than Red. Derek Fisher will get another as well. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom will each finally get theirs.

And they all earned it. They faced adversity all season long. A late-season home loss to the Sixers sparked the "What's wrong with L.A.?" talk, and it gave the Cavs home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Lakers lost a playoff game to Utah, and the talk started again. The Houston series went seven games. The Nuggets were the hot team going into the Western Conference finals. Yet it was Denver that couldn't even execute an inbounds pass at two critical times in the series.

The Lakers are a historic franchise, so most things they do are historic. These NBA Finals are no different. I have never bought into the argument that Phil Jackson is the best NBA coach ever. He will soon have 10 rings and that will give him the most in NBA history.

Red Auerbach was the president and coach for nine of the Celtics eleven titles in thirteen years.

With their loss in Game Four, the Magic have caused us to wonder when—not if—the Lakers will clinch their championship.

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Their 75-point debacle in Game One was a real surprise after two road wins in their last two Game Ones.

Then, in Game Two, they had a chance to win it at the end of regulation. Continuing a familiar theme, the Magic missed their chance as Courtney Lee's alley-oop lay-up was a little too hard.

In Game Three they won by four points despite shooting better than sixty percent from the field. They actually set an NBA Finals record with their shooting to win Game Three and almost make this a series.

Game Four marked the first time that Orlando looked poised to win while the stat book told a different story. They have stolen a game like this each series, which has made up for the games they have lost in the closing seconds to immaculate made shots and missed alley-oops.

Rashard Lewis has emulated Robert Horry with his big shots: He made a huge one in overtime of Game Four. Kobe went 2-for-4, and I thought I saw him shoot an air ball. Could that analog-to-digital transfer have created an illusion? 

Derek Fisher has looked like Derek Fisher again, draining the tying shot in regulation and the winning shot in overtime.

The Magic have lost a few games at the free-throw line now in these Finals. Nick Anderson missed four straight against the Rockets. Dwight Howard missed three out of four in a pivotal stretch. When he missed the first one it would have given the Magic a four-point lead late in the fourth quarter. 

When he made the fourth one, it tied the game in overtime. 

You have to start wondering if there will be another 15-year gap until the Magic make it back to the finals. 

And like Cleveland fans, Orlando fans can always wonder what if...


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